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Decorative Bee Skep

by Cathy Monrad

Bee skeps are no longer used for bee keeping, but the primitive look of them has not fallen out of favor. This project is meant to be a decorative piece for indoors or the garden, however, it offers some functionality when entertaining outdoors: use as a cover to keep critters off the cheese ball.

1 clean plastic flower pot
1 1/2 inch cardboard circle 
Sisal rope at least ¼ inch thick 

Drill with 1/2 inch bit
Hot glue gun with glue sticks
Black marker


  1. Drill a hole through bottom of pot. 
  2. Cut an 8 inch length of rope for handle. Fold in half, then push through hole from inside.
  3. Glue both ends down as shown in Figure 1.
  4. Glue cardboard circle over rope ends as shown in Figure 2. 
  5. Starting at the lip of pot, glue rope one inch at a time around the pot for first two rows. 
  6. After second row, use glue intermittently, about every two inches as you wrap. 
  7. When about 1/2 inch from bottom, start gluing rope one inch at a time again. Continue until entire bottom of pot is covered as shown in Figure 3. Cut off remaining rope.
  8. About one inch from bottom of skep, use marker to draw and fill in a circle to create faux opening. 
  9. Dry fit rope around circle and cut to size. Glue cut piece around circle. 

– The project above uses an 8 inch diameter pot, 7 inches tall. 
– You need more rope than you think; I used most of a 100 foot roll of rope. 
– Purchase a new pot if purpose is to protect food.
– Use a shot glass as a template for cardboard and faux opening.

Cathy Monrad is the graphic designer and garden crafter for the Upstate Gardeners’ Journal.

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