How to Make this DIY Macramé Tote Bag using Jute

This post is by Francesca of Fall for DIY. Check out the original post here.

I’ve always loved these string style shopping bags. What better way to show off how healthy you are than letting the world see your fruit and veg haul. Just make sure you hide the junk food in a fabric tote right! But seriously, anything which helps me remember to take my reusable bags to the supermarket is a win.

I crocheted myself one in the classic style a few years ago and I use regularly. As this was such a success I thought I’d try it again. This time putting a spin on the bag by using a macrame knotting technique instead. To speed up the process I’ve used a thick jute rope and these bag handles from Hobbycraft, which meant I could whip this bag up in an hour and be out the door.

This bag looks great styled up for summer, but it will also take you through autumn too. Imagine a few squash sitting inside as you head home to get cozy under a blanket with some kind of spiced drink.



You’ll need:

  • Bag handles
  • Jute Rope

1. Cut 10 lengths of 2.3 metre long rope. Fold them in half and thread the folded centre through the gap on the bag handle. Take the ends of the rope and pass them through the loop you’ve made in this previous step. Pull tight. Repeat this until you have 5 pieces of rope attached to each bag handle.

2. Starting at one end separate off two pieces of rope and push the rest to the side. We’re going to make the first knot with these two pieces. This is the knot we’ll be using throughout the tutorial, so if you get lost keep referring to the next few steps.

Make a bend in the right strand so it crosses over the left rope at a right angle.

Take the left rope (which is still straight) and thread that through the space you’ve made with the two ropes. Pull both ends of the rope away from each other until the knot has formed and is in the right place. You want it to be about 5cm from the handle.

To complete the knot take the left hand rope and put it over the right this time.

Thread the right hand rope through the gap this time. Pull the knot tight again. This is now a completed double half hitch knot.

3. Make four more of these knots in a row using the rest of the ropes on the handle. Then start again, but this time miss the first rope and knot the second and third. Continue along the row. This time you will make four knots and the first and last rope will not be knotted.

4. Once you’ve completed the second row, make the third row the same as the first (so five knots, without missing any ropes).

5. When the third row is finished repeat steps 2-4 on the second handle. Once that’s done bring the two handles together with the back sides facing each other.

6. To start the next row take the two end ropes from both the front and back of the bag and knot these together. Knot the ropes along the front and back until you reach the other end. You should then be left with the last ropes on the front and back. Knot these together.

7. Keep knotting in this pattern until you have around 10cm of rope left on the strands.

8. Cut a length of rope 4 metres long. Tie this onto the last side knot using the same technique as you used for the handles.

9. Take one strand from the front and one from the back and wrap the rope around them. Tie one double half hitch knot then take another two knots (one from the front and one from the back) and do the same again. Work until you reach the end.

10. Untwist the rope that is hanging down. Tie strands of these together between knots to hold in place. You can add some glue to these to strengthen them. Comb it out to create a fringe.

And your bag is done. If you want something with a pop of color try dip dying it in a natural burnt red or sage green.

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