How to design a crochet bag

by Laura Eccleston

05 Aug 2020


How to design a crochet bag
When designing bags as a beginner, either big or small, it's a good idea to start with a basic square or rectangle format. You can either use simple stitches to create a flat swatch or you can utilise granny squares to make your bags look that little bit extra special. Just be careful when using intricate granny square designs by other designers as you may fall fowl of copyright if you wish to share your design, but using a basic design like the traditional granny square is a fun and safe way to start.

Think about the type of bag you want to design, whether it be a shopping bag, beach bag or a clutch purse, most methods work well for all. You can work in the round when designing bags, but I recommend when starting out as a beginner designer to work flat panels which you can either crochet or sew together. It's also worth bearing in mind the type of stitching you can plan to use as some more lacy stitches will leave gaps in your bag, so you will need to line these bags so your contents doesn't fall out. For an easier start to designing, maybe use tighter stitches and closed fabric designs.

Basic Shopping Bag Format

This design is simply two square panels and a long rectangle strip. The square panels work as the front and back of the shopping bag and the strip is used to create the sides, base as well as the strap itself (so make sure it's long!), so it functions as all three parts. A simple design where you can have fun using different stitches for the panels or you can even use multiple granny squares to work up into a larger square. When using granny squares it's best to make one initial square and then measure its dimensions to calculate how many you will need to make the whole bag. Just make sure to use the same yarn and hook for all your squares so they all measure the same at the end.

You can also apply the same method with circle panels! Here you will need to work in the round flat, so you will need to have some basic understanding of increasing and working in the round, but once you have two round panels all you will need is a rectangle strip, which is then wrapped around the sides of the circle panels and extends out to make the strap.

Both of these designs are open bag designs, as in the top of the bag will be open, so you may wish to add another smaller circle or square panel which you can sew onto one side at the top and fold over to close the bag to make your contents secure. I also recommend using a thick yarn for these types of bags so that the sides aren't too floppy and keep their shape. It depends on your style though and what you plan to use your bag for.

Basic Clutch Format

This design can work for larger bags or smaller coin purses as well as clutches and purses, and uses just one simple rectangle panel. The idea is that once you have a single rectangle panel you can fold it into three parts, making sure the top part is the smallest so that it doesn't cover the whole of the front of the bag when finished.

When folded, only sew the two bottom parts together at the sides otherwise you won;t be able to open you bag. You can have fun with the stitches in the design by using a plain solid stitch design for the bottom two parts and then a more fancier lacier design for the smaller top part as this doesn't need to hold in any items.

Adding a button hole can be tricky for beginners, but if you do decide to add one in you will need to add it to the beginning bottom panel so that when folded over it will meet the button at the top. You don't need to worry too much about what row to place your button hole on as you can measure this when it is complete and before you sew on your button. If you prefer you can add two thin straps instead, these can just be simple rows of chains, to the middle panel, which you can then wrap around your folded bag to tie into place. You can see an example of that design in action here on my Instagram page.

If you're feeling really adventurous you can also look into lining bags and adding zippers. You can watch my tutorial here on how to do this when I designed a Tunisian crochet flat paneled bag. 

Have fun designing and happy crocheting!

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