Easy Crochet Tote Bag Pattern

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My sister Kelley asked me to create a crochet tote bag for her to take to work. She needed the tote bag to be large enough to carry 8.5″ x 11″ items and strong enough to handle the weight of text books. This is the easy crochet tote bag that I designed for her to use 🙂

Easy Crochet Tote Bag Free Crochet Pattern Oombawka Design Crochet

Easy Crochet Tote Bag

Supplies

  • Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton. 1.75 oz (50 g) and 80 yds (73 m). 100% Cotton. Medium Weight Yarn [4]. Machine washable and dryable. 
  • Crochet Hook: 5 mm (H) 
  • Finished Project: 1220 yds
  • Scissors, Tapestry Needle (yarn needle), Stitch Marker (optional)

Difficulty

  • Easy

Finished Size

  • Approximately 14 inches tall X 9 inches wide

Abbreviations

Crochet Stitch Dictionary

US Terminology used

  • ch – chain 
  • fhdc – foundation half double crochet
  • g- grams
  • hdc – half double crochet
  • m – meters
  • oz – ounces
  • Rnd – round
  • rem – remaining
  • sc – single crochet
  • sk – skip
  • sl st – slip stitch
  • st/sts – stitch/stitches
  • yds – yards
  • * to **– Repeat the instructions between the asterisks the number of times indicated. This repeat will contain multiple instructions.
  • [ ] – at the end of the row – the total number of stitches
  • ( ) – important notes AND sets of stitches to be worked within one stitch, or space

Notes:

  • Work into the first st of each row
  • Chain stitches do not count toward Row End stitch counts
  • Work into the spaces between the stitches around all three loops of the half double crochet (i.e. work in the stitch spaces)

Easy Crochet Tote Bag Pattern

The Bottom of the Bag:

For my sister’s bag, I used a solid color for the base.

R1: 10 fhdc, ch 1, turn
R2: 1 hdc in each st across (beginning in the 1st st of the row), ch 1, turn [10]
R3-28: repeat R2 [10]

Note: Optional Bag Bottom for Extra Support:

If you would prefer the base of your bag to be stronger (i.e. do you want to carry library books in this bag?) then finish off and weave in the ends. Repeat the base of the bag instructions a second time and do not fasten off.

Place the 1st bag bottom on top of your 2nd bag bottom (if you are following the Optional Bag Bottom Instructions) and proceed to work through both pieces as follows:

Now you will be working around the outside of the bottom of the bag rectangle.

The Body of the Bag:

Rnd 1: turn 90 degrees, 1 hdc in each row end [28], ch 1, turn 90 degrees, 1 hdc in each st space across [10], ch 1, turn 90 degrees, 1 hdc in each row end [28], ch 1, turn 90 degrees.

  • You may wish to have a stitch marker handy from this point on as you will now be working in continuous rounds.
  • You will not be slip stitching to join, or chaining to increase the height of the rows.
  • If you would like to make the colour changes as I have, you will need to bring the new colour up on the last yarn over on the last stitch of each round. I did this on every round until I reached the flap section of the bag.

Rnd 2: 1 hdc in each st space around (but not the ch 1 spaces) [76]
Rnd 3: repeat R2 until the bag measures 14″ in height [76]

Do not finish off.

The Flap of the Bag:

You will now be working in a rows.

I chose to do the flap in a solid color for contrast.

R1: 1 hdc in each of the first 20 st spaces (you will be leaving the rest of the stitches unworked), ch 1, turn [20]
R2: 1 hdc in each of the first 40 st spaces (you will be leaving the rest of the stitches unworked), ch 1, turn [40]
R3: 1 hdc in each st space across, ch 1, turn [40]
R4: skip the 1st st, 1 hdc in each of the next 38 st spaces, skip the last st, ch 1 turn [38]
R5: 1 hdc in each st space across, ch 1, turn [38]
R6: skip the 1st st, 1 hdc in each of the next 36 st spaces, skip the last st space, ch 1, turn [36]
R7: 1 hdc in each st space across, ch 1, turn [36]
R8: skip the 1st st, 1 hdc in each of the next 34 st spaces, skip the last st space, ch 1, turn [34]
R9: 1 hdc in each st space across, ch 1, turn [34]
R10: skip the 1st st, 1 hdc in each of the next 32 st spaces, skip the last st space, ch 1, turn [32]
R11: 1 hdc in each st space across, ch 1, turn [32]
R12: skip the 1st st, 1 hdc in each of the next 30 st spaces, skip the last st space, ch 1, turn [30]
R13: 1 hdc in each st space across, ch 1, turn [30]
R14: skip the 1st st, 1 hdc in each of the next 28 st spaces, skip the last st space, ch 1, turn [28]
R15: 1 hdc in each st space across, ch 1, turn [28]
R16: skip the 1st st, 1 hdc in each of the next 26 st spaces, skip the last st space, ch 1, turn [26]
R17: 1 hdc in each st space across, ch 1, turn [26]
R18: skip the 1st st, 1 hdc in each of the next 24 st spaces, skip the last st space, ch 1, turn [24]
R19: 1 hdc in each st space across, ch 1, turn [24]
R20: skip the 1st st, 1 hdc in each of the next 22 st spaces, skip the last st space, ch 1, turn [22]
R19: 1 hdc in each st space across, ch 1, turn [22]

You will now be working around the outside of the flap and around the opening of the bag.

R20: 1 sc in each st space around (and row end around), and 2 sc in each corner
R21: 1 sl st in each st sp around (and row end around), finish off and weave in ends.

This next step is a personal preference of mine and not absolutely necessary. I wanted the bag to be able to carry the weight of her books so I added small patches / reinforcements for the areas that held heavier weights and would be used more often. Feel free to skip the reinforcements section if you do not need the bag for heavy items.

I wanted to reinforce my button clasp and straps so I crocheted little squares (as follows) and stitched them into the inside of the bag. This allowed me to work into this ‘back-up’ piece of crocheted fabric when adding the button clasp and the straps. I find doing this protects the bag stitches from stretching and gaping with the weight of the bag.

Reinforcements

One small square in green for the button:

R1: ch 6, turn
R2: 1 sc in each st, ch 1 turn [5]
R3-R6: repeat R2 [5]

  • Cut the yarn and leave a LONG tail for sewing to the bag

Two small rectangles in green for the strap ends:

R1: ch 10, turn
R2: 1 sc in each st, ch 1, turn [9]
R3-R8: repeat R2 [9]

  • Cut the yarn and leave a LONG tail for sewing to the bag

The Strap:

R1: ch 12, sk the first ch, 1 sc in each ch across, ch 1, turn
R2: 1 sc in each st, ch 1, turn [11]
Repeat R2 until your strap measures the length you want for your bag.

  • For my sister’s bag I crocheted the strap to a length of 24″. This allowed 20″ for the strap and 2″ to join on each side to the bag.
  • Now fold your strap down the center (to make a narrow strap) and single crochet up the row ends, finish off and leave a LONG tail for sewing the straps to the bag.
Strap placement

Assembly:

  • Turn your bag inside out. Fold your bag in half down the center to find the middle stitch on each side. It should be very close to the starting point for the flap.
  • Sew the reinforcement pieces (if you are using them) to the inside of the bag around the outside of the rectangle shape. I stitched mine through the inside loops of the stitches of the bag. Do this on both sides before turning the bag right-side out.
  • Now take your straps and attach them to the reinforcement pieces (you will stitch all the way through the bag). Try to place your needle between the stitches on the purse (try not to split the yarn). This will keep the integrity of the stitches – this is important if you need to remove the stitches and try again 🙂
  • When I attached my straps I sewed around the outside edge of the strap only.

For the button clasp:

I used a wooden button (4 cm by 1.1 cm).

Free Crochet Tote Bag Pattern.

I found the center two stitches of the purse a row below where the flap reached. I added the reinforcement piece to the inside of the bag and then sewed the button into the reinforcement piece.

To complete the closure:

R1: chain 15, turn
R2: sl st into each st across [14]
Finish off leaving a long tail to attach the strap for the closure.

Attach the closure strap approximately 5 sts apart on the underside of the flap.

Free Crochet Tote Bag Pattern.

I hope you love this bag as much as I do!!

front and back of satchel

#bernat #handicraftercotton #yarnspirations #totebag #crochetpattern #crochet

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41 Comments

  1. I really like this tote bag, and it’s named appropriately as my name is Kelly (I’ll just have to change the spelling a little!)

  2. Hi Sarah, Sorry for the delay! I used 1200 – 1220 yards (1097 – 1116 m) of the yarn for the bag I made. Best wishes, Rhondda

  3. Hi! I think I understand the pattern well enough but I am wondering just how much yarn it took to complete.

  4. Confused on the strap. The instructions say.

    “The Strap:

    R1: ch 20, turn
    R2: 1 sc in each st, ch 1, turn [29]
    Repeat R2 until your strap measures the length you want for your bag.”

    Shouldn’t that be 19? Or am I doing something wrong?

  5. Hi Mary, You begin in the pattern here:

    Since we are using foundation half double crochet stitches at the bottom you do not chain a row first but start right in with the foundation row of half double crochet stitches.

    If you want to work with a chain row first you can 🙂 Just chain 11, and work 1 hdc in the third chain from the hook and each remaining ch across. Then count that initial ch 2 as your first half double crochet. Then work the pattern as written.
    Hope this helps! Rhondda

    The Bottom of the Bag:

    For my sister’s bag, I used a solid colour for the base.

    R1: 10 fhdc, ch 1, turn

  6. hey rhondda how are you. i was trying to crochet this bag but i don’t understand the bottom of the bag instructions. I did the 10fhdc but it look so short and small it’s about 2inches long? is it suppose to be that short?

  7. Hi Kelley, You are VERY welcome 🙂 My sister is still using her tote this year for work 🙂 I hope you love yours as much as she loves hers! Have a lovely week! Rhondda

  8. I was looking around on Pintrest for totes and other projects to take along in said tote and found this cute pattern. The name of it sealed the deal for me! After all tote with my name on it just begs to be made! I’ll be starting on this one ASAP!
    Thanks Rhonnda

  9. I absolutely love this bag. It’s my summer project, ready for when we go on holiday.

  10. I love this bag tutorial especially on how to make the bottom of the bag more sturdy. Thanks. I’ll make one of this soon for my sister. 🙂

  11. LOL! Yes Clotilde 🙂 There is room for all our portable girl stuff in this bag I think 🙂 and a little extra for some pattern books and yarn too 🙂 Thanks! Rhondda

  12. Totally love it, Rhondda, love the fact that is very roomy too (a girl has to have room to carry her portable stash in the car, LOL!)

  13. HI,

    I have subscribed to your newsletter but can’t find a way to copy and print the free patterns – ie. the satchel and a couple other patterns. Is there a trick to it? It states that they are free but……

    Gail