Uncharted Waters | Hand Crafted Holiday Gifts
Posted by John Dunaway on

Navigating the uncharted waters of selecting the perfect holiday gift for friends or family can be difficult, especially when you are in a financial pinch.  After countless years of receiving generic gifts, we decided it was time to change course. This year, our good friend John Dunaway shows us how to hand make the perfect holiday gift for any sporting gentleman in your life. 

Whether you just walked through the front door from a long day in the office or that much needed reprieve in the outdoors, there is no need to track that mess into your residence. Kick the scuff off those shoes on your very own rope door mat that we’ll show you how to make. Grab yourself a beverage of choice, clear off some table space and pull out a sharp, trusty knife, I recommend the Folding Hunter Knife, and get to work. When it’s finished, you’ll be able to know that each time the recipient of this mat returns home, they'll proudly look at the labor you put into it and see your own personality documented through the constant ware upon this rope mat.



Cut 36 feet of 3/8” line, preferably Manila, and then another 36 feet of 1/2” line to make your mat. You may use any size that you wish, but this produces a fair-sized end product. If you change size, make the knot one size smaller line than the outer coil.


Whip the ends of your line to keep them from fraying. Use the common whipping unless you have a needle and palm on hand.


Lay up your 3/8” (or smallest) line to get started then pass the ends as shown.


Pass the right line over, under, over, under as shown. Next, pass your left line until she returns into the knot, completing the initial knot. Now continue passing the line by following the line next to it until you have 3 full turns. Your knot is complete with 3 full turns. Now take out the 1/2” line to make your Flemish coil, giving the mat its body.


Coil your line clockwise, as almost all line is right-hand lay. If you go counterclockwise you line will develop kinks, which doesn’t stow well. With the coil done, you need to stitch it together for prolonged use with a sail needle, palm and sail twine, all available at Amazon for convenience. With a little practice you can make these as holiday gifts on a budget. 

Make it correctly and this will stand many good years of travels and will definitely be the most personal gift your loved ones receive this holiday season. 

To see more from John Dunaway check out the Over + Under Journal and his personal website Abstract Conformity



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