With summer upon us, I thought everyone might want to consider a making themselves a macrame purse or tote. This one’s roomy enough to toss in a swimsuit, a good book and a bottle of water. Isn’t that the ultimate recipe for summer fun? One of our readers, Elvis from Ghana sent us several great photos of some macrame bags, and so I thought it would be great to feature a pattern to along with the image so others can create their own macrame bag. In the photo, a second color was used to give it some pizazz, but the pattern below is just one color. Of course feel free to put your own creative twist into it like Elvis did.
Finished size: 13 1/2 x 10″ (plus handles)
- 104 yds. 6mm or 7mm polypropylene cord
- Project board
Preparation: Cut 36 cords, 2 ¼ yds. long, 4 cords 2 ½ yds. long, 4 cords
3 ¼ yds. long.
Tip: you could easily adapt to use wood or plastic handles if you prefer.
1. Pin the centers of 2 of the 2 ½ yd. cords side by
side on board, with 2 ends going up over top of board and
2 ends hanging down. Pin the centers of two 3 ¼ yd. cords
on each side o1 the 21/2-yd. cords — you will have 4 cords
with the short ones in the middle. Tie a sinnet of 9 Square
Knots with these 4 cords, starting in the center. Turn cords around and tie 9 Square Knots in the other direction. Remove from project board.
2. Repeat step 2 with the other 2 ½ yd. and 3 ¼ yd cords.
3. Fold 2 of the 2 ¼ yd. cords in half and pin side by side on
board. Pin at centers, all ends hanging down—giving you
4 working cords. With these, tie a Square Knot. Bring the
Square Knot up close to the pins so no loops will be above
pins. Do this 11 more times, using 22 more cords. You will
have 12 Square Knot sections in all. Put them aside.
4. Pin one of the handles on the board, in an arc, with the last
Square Knots on each end about 5 inches apart.
Body of Tote-Front Side
5. Fold a 2 ¼ yd. cord in half (making 2 working cords)
and pin it to the right of the left end of handle. Tie a Square
Knot with these and the 2 right cords from (left end of)
handle. Bring knot up close to pin so no loops will be
above the knot. Pin another cord beside this Square Knot
(making 2 working cords) and tie an alternating Square
Knot (see knotting section), using the 4 outside cords (2
from previous knot plus the new cords). Repeat this again,
adding on one more cord. You will have added on 3 cords
and tied 3 Square Knots (2 of them alternating Square
Knots) to the inside of handle.
6. Repeat step 6, adding 3 cords to the left side of the right
end of handle, working toward the knots tied in step 6.
7. Tie the right and left side together by tying a Square Knot
with the 4 center cords. You will now have a “V” shape.
8. Pin one of the Square Knot sections tied in step 4 to the
left of the handle. Tie together with an alternating Square
Knot, using the 2 left cords from handle and 2 right cords
from the Square Knot. Pin another section to the left of the
one you just added and tie an alternating Square Knot. Do
the same with one more section.
9. Repeat step 9 on the right side.
10. Number cords, from left to right, 1-22.
- Tie a Square Knot with cords 5-8, 9-12,13-16.
- Next row: cords 7-10,11-14,15-18.
- Next row: cords 9-12, 13-16, 17-20.
11. Repeat step 11 on the right side, numbering from right to left.
Body of Tote-Back Side
12. Repeat steps 5-12 for other side (back) of tote.
13. Hold the front and back sides together (with insides facing each other)
between your knees, and then tie a Square Knot with the two end
cords from front and the two end cords from back. Under this
knot, tie 2 alternating Square Knots. On the next row, tie 3
alternating Square Knots. Final row, tie 4 alternating
Square Knots. You will have filled in one edge of tote
with Square Knots.
14. Repeat step 14 on the other side. You now have a
complete row of Square Knots around the tote.
15. Tote will now be worked as a tube. Tie 13 rows of
alternating Square Knots.
16. Turn tote wrong side out and place between your knees,
with the bottom side up. Check that front and back sides are
aligned. Starting with the farthest 6 cords, tie 2 Square
Knots, using 4 filler cords. Use the next 2 cords from each
side (4 total) and tie a tight Square Knot, using one cord
from each side as a filler and one from each side as a tying
cord. Continue this way across bottom until 6 cords are
left. With these 6 cords, tie 2 Square Knots using 4 filler
17. If using polypropylene or polyolefin cord, cut cords
leaving about ½ “. Pick up 2 cords, side by side, heat
ends and fuse together, or glue each bottom knot with a clear glue, cutting ends when it has had enough time to dry.
18. If you would like a lining, go ahead and turn the tote inside out and add lining.
Tip: For a modern edge to your tote, why not add a pop of color with a brightly colored or funky pattern lining.