Weighted Monkey’s Fist Knot

Hey y’all! How was your weekend? Ours was fun – full of friends and family, a beautiful wedding, and way too much good food! 🙂 I plan on sharing more on Friday so I’ll get on with why I’m posting today!

I have a Pinterest board called want to try soon where I keep pins of projects/ideas that (you guessed it!) I want to tackle sooner rather than later. About two months ago I pinned this guy from the Design*Sponge site –


I was hoping that this doorstop would help me with our front door. See, we had a glass storm door installed a few months ago and when we’re home on the weekends I often prop the front door open so that we can get some extra sunshine through the storm door. The sad thing is that the only thing I’ve found heavy enough to hold back the front door is a set of small hand weights. Yeah…it’s not cute.

So anyway, a couple of weeks ago I finally had the chance to try my hand at making a doorstop. First I went to Lowe’s and got some rope. The Design*Sponge post says that it should be 5/8″ sisal rope, but when I got to Lowe’s I liked this 3/8″ manila rope better; I had read in the post’s comments beforehand that others had made the switch so I felt confident that it was a safe swap. To make the knot you need 12 ft. of rope; the manila rope came in a 50 ft package and was only about $9.


The only other items required for this project were a tennis ball and some rocks or other small, heavy items.

_MG_9250 edited small


Before I started on the knot, I went ahead and got the weight part of the project ready. I took my tennis ball and used a utility knife to make a slit along the seam. As you can see, I made the slit about 1/3 of the circumference of the ball. I then put the rocks (shown above) inside. I put as many rocks in the tennis ball as I could, trying to make the doorstop as heavy as possible.

Tennis Ball

Once I had that prep work done, it was time to work on the knot. Now, these are the three videos that  the Design*Sponge website recommends:

  • Video #1 – I found this video the most helpful. He talks for a while before he starts tying the knot, so you can skip to about 1:50 into the video. I had to stop, start, pause, and restart several times, but once I got the hang of it, making the knot wasn’t very hard.
  • Video #2 – This video didn’t help me with the knot-tying piece, but the tightening segment at the end was helpful.
  • Video #3 – This is an animated video that I just didn’t find very helpful at all. I guess it just depends on how you learn!

I left about 12″ loose (to the left) when I started my knot. I had to redo mine at least 3-4 times, so if you’re trying this for yourself, don’t get frustrated – just keep going! 🙂 (And like they mention on the Design*Sponge post, you can also Google “Monkey’s Fist Knot” and see if you find any other tutorials that help.) Here is what my knot looked like once I had it completed –

Rope without ball

The next step is to open up the knot and insert the tennis ball. This was much easier said than done! It took a lot of effort and I had to reshape the knot in a few places after I was done. Once I had the tennis ball inside, this is what it looked like –

Before Tightening

The tennis ball was showing through big gaps, so I just had to start tightening. Video #2 above is helpful for this step; basically I tried to find a place that seemed in the “middle” of the knot, tightened it there and worked my way out. In an nutshell – just keep pulling. Pull from one spot, then find another spot to pull. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly it tightened up and (mostly) hid the tennis ball!



Almost Done

When I had tightened as much as I could, this is what I had –


Even though I was making a doorstop, I wanted my knot to look more like the Design*Sponge paper weight (without loop), so I shortened the ends, dabbed them with hot glue, and attached them to the knot. I had found that there were some areas where I could still see the tennis ball, so I used the ends to cover up the gap instead of just tucking them right into the knot. I also snipped a couple of small pieces of rope (just an inch or two), twisted them into little tight oblong pieces, and hot glued them into the remaining gaps. Here are a few pictures of the finished product –


You can see a little bit of hot glue but it’s not very noticeable.


This one has a little bit of extra rope added in the upper right portion. 


Overall, it came out great!

After all this work, I hopped up off the couch (where Matt and I had been watching Season 6 of Burn Notice on Netflix – we love it! Does anyone else?) and tried it out.


Drum roll….

It didn’t work. 🙁

The rocks in the tennis ball apparently weren’t heavy enough because the front door slid closed, taking the doorstop with it. Boo! I was disappointed.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in doing projects around the condo, it’s that sometimes things don’t work out the way I expect and I’ve just got to smile, make the best of it, and move on. It’s all just for fun anyway, right? 🙂 I still really like the sweet knot doorstop paperweight – it’s a fun pop of texture and it makes me smile! Right now it’s sitting next to the TV in the living room.

paperweight in the living room

But y’all, I still need some help – I’d really like to have a door stop heavy enough to hold our front door back. Do any of you have any ideas? Preferably inexpensive and/or DIY? Or do you have any ideas about how I can tweak this to make it work as a doorstop?

DIY Knotted Paperweight/Doorstop

I’m linking up with Home Stories A to Z, A Bowl Full of Lemons, DIY Show Off, 36th Avenue, Snap Creativity, Vintage GwenStacy Embracing Change, Remodelaholic, Today’s Creative Blog (Link Party Palooza), and It’s Overflowing.

DIY Show Off   Link party every Wednesday over at the36thavenue.com 
  • stacy

    I love this next to your books and plant! I don’t have any ideas but I do love what you made. Nice job!

    • http://www.mrsbomb.com Helen

      Thanks Stacy! 🙂 You’re so sweet!

  • http://sandandsisal.com Kim @ Sand & Sisal

    Very nice Helen! My attempt at it definitely did not turn out as accurate as yours! I just kinda winged it! Great job!

    • http://www.mrsbomb.com Helen

      Thank you so much, Kim! I loved yours! Mine was definitely trial and error. 🙂

  • Lisa Marie

    Hi there Helen!

    I love the knot on the books! I’ve heard of people making door stops out of brick pavers, all shapes & sizes! I found this board on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rwilke2005/paver-pals/. There’s also this tutorial on eHow: http://www.ehow.com/how_6691919_paint-brick-pavers-door-stops.html

    Hope this helps for ideas for ya!

    Lisa Marie

    • http://www.mrsbomb.com Helen

      Thank you, Lisa Marie! That’s a great idea – I’m going to look into that. 🙂

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  • http://thequestionablehomesteader.com Ricki @ The Questionable Homesteader

    I love this, and have wanted to make one of these myself. However the tutorial I had seen called for a 3″ ball, and you filled it with cement to get the weight… I’m just wondering if that would have worked better for your door (not that it doesn’t look great with the books).
    You did a great job on it, and I really like how it turned out.
    I’m also on the hunt for a nice heavey door stop, not because of my door, as my dog likes to steal them (and yes I have tried hand weights, I found the 10 pound ones to work best 😉 )

    • http://www.mrsbomb.com Helen

      Oh I hadn’t heard about adding cement to a ball! That may have done the trick 🙂 You should try it – it’s fun and pretty easy! I’m glad I’m not the only one using hand weights! 😉

  • http://www.vintagegwen.com Jennifer

    I love this! Sorry it didn’t hold the door but looks great by your tv!! Thanks for sharing at Show & Share this week!

    • http://www.mrsbomb.com Helen

      Thank you! And thanks for hosting 🙂

  • http://littleeyecandies.blogspot.com Home Page

    You’ve got the best sites.

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  • radziwilla

    what about use lead pellets/shot to stuff the ball…get at a hardware store…really heavy

    • Helen Archer

      That is an awesome idea!! I’m going to try that next time! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!!

  • Amy

    Hi Helen,
    I just read this tutorial. Nice job on your knot. Have you found something to be a door stop yet? I use bricks for my doors. You can cover them in whatever style you like. Cross stitch a design, quilt a cover, or just a plain fabric that you like to match your door. It’s unobtrusive that way. I cover with batting first, then the fabric. Keeps the brick from poking through and scratching the door. If you don’t have to worry about it scratching the floor or door, you could paint a design even!

    • Helen Archer

      Hi Amy,
      That’s a great idea! Thanks for your help. We were using a rock for a while (it was unique looking so it wasn’t as bad as it sounds), but now we’ve installed new flooring that we don’t want to scratch so the rock is back outside. I’ll have to try a cover on a brick – that sounds like a great solution! Thanks!