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Crochet Tote Bag in 2 Sizes

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Learn to crochet a tote bag in 2 sizes with this free tutorial.

 

Crochet tote bag in cream color with leather handles

 

 

I had envisioned this design as a regular-sized crochet tote, but my first attempt gave me a huge bag that was fit to be a beach bag. That made me decide to include 2 sizes in this crochet tote pattern. 

 

 

Crochet tote bags in green and cream colors shown in 2 sizes

 

 

The bag is worked bottom up. You first work an oval base and then build up the sides on it. Once you get through the base and a couple of rounds on the side, you just keep repeating the same round.

 

 

 

 

Large crochet tote on a mannequin wearing a sun hat

 

 

Green crochet tote modelled on a mannequin

 

 

I used T-shirt yarn for this project as I absolutely love the stitch definition it provides. It almost gives the effect of a Macrame cord. 

 

 

 

Closeup of Cream crochet tote with leather handles

 

 

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 Crochet Tote Bag Pattern

 
You can work from the free pattern below or purchase an ad-free PDF for $3.99 here. You will receive a download link once you make payment and click “Return to Merchant”.
 

 

Materials

Note: This bag has a stiff bottom and a lining that will help it hold its shape better. 

1. Bernat Maker Home Dec yarn in the color Green Pea for the regular size tote and Cream for the large tote. It is a size 5 Bulky weight T-shirt yarn.

2. A K (6.5)mm hook.

3. Stitch markers

4. Leather Handles. I used 23.6″ handles for mine. There is also an option for crochet handles.

5. Lining fabric– 3/4th of a yard.

6. 1/2 inch ribbon- 1 yard. This is required only if you are opting for a crocheted handle and you don’t want it to stretch.

7. Fabric glue

8. Plastic canvas to stiffen the bottom of the bag. You can also use cardboard covered in duct tape as an alternative. 

9. Matching sewing thread and needle to attach the lining.

 

 

Finished Size of the Crochet Tote Bag

Regular Tote: 16 inches wide and 12-1/2 inches tall

Large Tote: 21 inches wide and 14 inches tall

 

 

Yardage

Regular Tote: 1-1/2 skein or 475 yards

Large Tote: 2 skeins or 620 yards

 

 

Stitch Abbreviations

ch- chain

sl st- slip stitch

sc- single crochet

dc- double crochet

sk- skip

BLO- Back loop only (see stitch explanation below)

YO-yarn over  

RS-Right side or outside of the bag

WS- Wrong side or inside of the bag

 

 

Gauge

12 sc sts and 14 Rows= 4″ square

 

 

Stitch Explanations

Sl st in the Back Loops Only(BLO): Instead of inserting your hook under both the loops of your stitch, you will insert it only under the back loop and leave the front loop free, see the picture below.   

 

Shows how to work in back loops only

 

 

 

More Crochet Bag Patterns

Crochet a Small Bag- Gail Bag

One Skein Boho Bag

2 Hour Crochet Market Tote

Bunny Treat Bag

 

Crochet Tote Bag Free Pattern

 

Pattern Notes

1. This bag comes in 2 sizes, a regular size, and large size. The large size can be used as a beach bag too.

2. Stitch counts for the bigger bag are given in brackets. For example, if you see 16(28)sts, 28 is the stitch count for the bigger bag.

 

Base of the Crochet Tote Bag

Round 1: Ch 19(31), 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, place a marker in this stitch,  1 sc in next 16(28)sts to the last ch, 3 sc in last ch, pivot to work into the free loops on the opposite side of the foundation chain, 1 sc in the base of the next 16(28)sts (make sure you don’t miss the first st as it can be partly hidden by the 3 sc we worked into the last ch), 2 sc in the base of the last st, do not sl st and do not turn. See pic 1 below. 38(62) sts around

 

 

Round 1 of crochet tote bag completed in long oval shape

1. Round 1 is completed by working around the foundation chain

 

 

Round 2: Work 2 sc directly in the next marked st, move marker up into the first of these 2 sts, 1 sc in next 16(28) sts until you reach the other end of the oval, 2 sc in each of the next 3 sts, 1 sc in each st until you have 2 sts left before the marked st, 2 sc in each of the last 2 sts, do not sl st and do not turn. 44(68) sts around

 

 

Round 3: Work 2 sc directly in the next marked st, move marker up into the first of these 2 sts, 1 sc in next 19(31)sts, 2 sc in each of the next 3 sts, 1 sc in each st until you have 2 sts left before the marked st, 2 sc in each of the last 2 sts, do not sl st and do not turn. 50(74) sts around

 

 

Round 4: Work 2 sc directly in the next marked st, move marker up into the first of these 2 sts, 2 sc in each of the next 2 sts, 1 sc in next 19(31)sts, 2 sc in next 5 sts along the curve, 1 sc in each st until you have 2 sts left before the marked st, 2 sc in each of the last 2 sts, do not sl st and do not turn. 60(84) sts around

 

 

You will find that your work is curling up a bit and that is okay. It is just the nature of the yarn.

 

Round 5: Work 2 sc directly in the next marked st, move marker up into the first of these 2 sts, *(1 sc in next st, 2 sc in next), repeat from * one more time, 1 sc in next 20(32)sts, *(2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next st), repeat from * 3 more times, 2 sc in next st, 1 sc in each st until you have 4 sts left before the marked st, 2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next st, 2 sc in next, 1 sc in last st, do not sl st and do not turn. 70(94)sts around

 

 

Round 6: Work 2 sc directly in the next marked st, move marker up into the first of these 2 sts, 1 sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next, 1 sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next, 1 sc in next 19(31)sts, 2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st in the middle of the curve,  1 sc in next 3 sts,  2sc in next, 1 sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next, 1 sc in each st across until you have 7 sts left before the marked st, 2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st, 1 sc in last 3 sts, do not sl st and do not turn. 80(104)sts around

 

 

Round 7: Work 1 sc directly in the next marked st, move marker up into the st you just made, 2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next 5 sts, 2 sc in next, 1 sc in next 26(38)sts, 2 sc in next, 1 sc in next 5 sts, 2 sc in next, 1 sc in next 5 sts, 2 sc in next, 1 sc in each st across until you have 5 sts left before the marked st, 2 sc in next st, 1 sc in last 4 sts, do not sl st and do not turn. 86(110) sts around

 

 

Round 8: Work 1 hdc directly in the next marked st, move marker up into the st you just made, 1 hdc in each st across until you have just 2 sts left before the marked st, 1 sc in each of the last 2 sts, sl st to marked st, ch 1 and turn.86(110) sts around

 

 

Round 9: Place a marker in the turning ch-1 you made at the end of Round 8. This will be counted as our first sl st. 1 sl st in next st and each st across to end, sl st to marked ch-1, move the marker up into this sl st. DO NOT TURN. See pic 2 below for the completed base. 86(110) sts around

 

 

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2. Completed base of the crochet tote bag

 

 

Preparing the Plastic Canvas

Now is the time to trace your base on plastic canvas. I used a sharpie, make sure you don’t stain your bag if you are using a sharpie. You will add this plastic canvas to stiffen the base of the bag.

 

 

If your plastic canvas is thin, you might have to cut 2 to make it thicker. Cut a little inside the traced line. Place it inside the bag and trim as needed. You don’t want it jutting into the walls. It should ideally be a little smaller than the base. Keep it aside for later.

 

 

Sides of the Crochet Tote Bag

Note: In the next round, you will work sc sts into the sl sts which are stuck on the surface. Insert your hook under both the loops of the sl st horizontally without going into the stitch it is stuck to.

 

 

Round 10: Ch 1, 1 sc in next sl st and each sl st across, end with a sc in the marked sl st, sk next ch, sl st to first sc, ch 2 and turn. 

 

Round 11: Ch 2 (counts as a dc), (1 dc, ch 2, 1 sc ) all into the same st as beginning ch-2, *(sk 2 sts, 2 dc, ch 2, 1 sc in next st), repeat from * until 1 st is left, sl st to top of beginning ch-2, turn. 29(37) Repeats

 

 

Round 12: Pull up the loop on your hook just a tad, WITHOUT making a turning chain, directly work (2dc, ch2, 1 sc)in the next ch-2 space, and each ch-2 space across to end, sl st to the first dc, turn. 29(37) Repeats

 

 

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3. Place the plastic canvas inside to ensure it fits

 

 

Now place your plastic canvas inside to make sure it fits as shown in pic 3 above. Trim and make adjustments if needed. Keep it aside. 

 

 

Repeat Round 12 until your bag is around 11 inches tall for the regular size tote and 13 inches tall for the large tote. If your last round was on the RS (outside) of the bag, do not turn. If your last round was on the WS(inside) of the bag, turn your work at the end of the round. Proceed to work the leveling round below.

 

 

Leveling Round

 Note: This round should be worked on the outside of your bag or it will form bumps on the outside. The pattern is slightly different based on whether you turned or did not turn at the end of your previous round. 

 

Leveling Round (If you did not turn at the end of the round): Ch 1, 1 hdc in same st, place a marker in this hdc, sc in next dc, sk next ch-2 loop, sc in next sc, *(1 hdc in next dc, sc in next dc, sk next ch-2 loop, 1 sc in next sc), repeat from * until you end with a sc in the sc right after the very last ch-2 loop, do not sl st and do not turn. 87(111) sts around

 

 

Leveling Round (If you turned at the end of the round): Ch 1, 1 hdc in same st, place a marker in this hdc,*(1 sc in next sc, sk the next ch-2 loop, 1 sc in next dc, 1 hdc in next dc), repeat from * until you end with a sc in the dc right after the very last ch-2 loop, do not sl st and do not turn. 87(111) sts around

 

 

Note: In the next round, we will add 2 increases on each side of the bag. 

 

 

Next Round: Work 1 sc directly in the next marked st, move the marker up into this sc, 2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next, 1 sc in each st across until you are one or 2 sts before the other corner of the bag, 2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next, 1 sc in each st across until you end with a sc in the st right before the marked one, do not turn. 91(115) sts around

 

 

Next Round: Work 1 sc directly in the next marked st, move the marker up into this sc, 1 sc in each st across until you end with a sc in the st right before the marked one, do not turn.  

 

Only for Regular Size Crochet Tote 

Last Round: Work 1 sl st directly in next marked st, move the marker up into this sl st, 1 sl st in each st across until you end with a sl st in the st right before the marked one, sl st to the marked sl st, fasten off. 

 

 

Only For Large Tote 

The sides of the large tote tend to be floppy. So we will be adding a few more sc rows which we can fold down inside to make the top edge stiffer. You don’t need this for the regular size tote as it holds its shape well. 

 

 

Next Round: Work 1 sc directly in the BLO of the next marked st, move the marker up into this sc, 1 sc in BLO of each st across until you end with a sc in the st right before the marked one, do not turn.  

 

 

Next Round: Work 1 sc directly in the next marked st, move the marker up into this sc, 1 sc in each st across until you end with a sc in the st right before the marked one, do not turn.  

 

 

Repeat the above round 1 more time, sl st to the marked st, and fasten off. You will see a line of free loops running along the top of the bag from working into the BLO.

 

 

Sl St Round: Join yarn to a free loop on the side of the bag with a sl st, sl st into next free loop and each free loop across to end, sl st to first sl st, fasten off. This sl st will run along the top edge of the bag to give it a nice finish once you fold down the last three sc rows. 

 

 

Continue for Both Sizes

Preparing the Lining

 

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4. Place the bag on the folded lining and trace around it.

 

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5. While tracing around the bag leave a gap as shown

 

 

Take your lining fabric and fold it to fit the bag. Place the bag flat on the lining fabric taking care to fold along the middle line of the base to ensure symmetry. Trace around the bag leaving just a 1/4 inch gap for seam allowance along the bottom, sides, and top but when you are in the upper 2 inches of the side of the bag, make the gap wider to almost 3/4 inches on each side (see pic 5 above). If the lining is narrower at the top, we will have a hard time sewing it to the bag. 

 

 

Sew the two pieces together along the sides and the bottom. Ideally, if you have a sewing machine you should be using a locking stitch like the zig-zag stitch. I used a backstitch with a 1/4 inch seam allowance to sew by hand but it is best to do an overlocking stitch so the fabric doesn’t fray on the edges. 

 

 

You can learn how to do the overlock stitch by hand here. Watch from time stamp 0:40. You may not have to make the markings and might be able to just eyeball it. 

 

 

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6. Sew the sides and base of the bag and fold down the top edge

 

 

Once you finish sewing, fold down the top edge by an inch as shown in pic 6 above. Keep it aside to work on the plastic canvas. 

 

 

Adding the Plastic Canvas

The plastic canvas will be sandwiched between the bag and the lining but we will cover it with fabric as it tends to rub on your yarn.  You can also try putting duct tape all around the edges. 

 

 

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7. Trace around the plastic canvas twice. One should be 1/2-inch bigger all around.

 

 

Place the plastic canvas on the lining fabric and trace closely around it. Trace another bigger oval around it leaving a 1/2-inch gap all around (see pic 7 above). 

 

 

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8. Sandwich the plastic canvas between the cutout fabric

 

 

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9. Fold and glue down the bigger oval after snipping along the curve as shown.

 

 

Place the plastic canvas on the bigger oval you cut out and top it with the same size oval fabric (see pic 8 above). Snip the bigger oval a few times along the curve of the oval as shown in pic 9 above, so it gets easier to fold it over.

 

 

Using fabric glue, fold down the edge of the big oval and glue it in place. Your plastic canvas will completely be sealed inside the fabric now.

 

 

Once the glue is dry, place the plastic canvas base into the bag and use a matching thread and sewing needle to attach the 4 corners to the base of the crochet fabric. This doesn’t have to be perfect, just make sure you hold it down at 4 points so it doesn’t move. 

 

 

Attaching the Lining

Once you have made the base sturdy with the plastic canvas, it is time to add the lining. Insert the prepared lining into the bag and make sure it sits well on the base.

 

 

Using a sewing needle and thread, sew the folded top edge of the lining to the bag along the 2nd row of sc from the top if you are making the regular size tote and along the 5th sc row from the top if you are making the large tote. 

 

 

For the large size tote, now you have to fold down the last 3 rows of sc inside the bag and sew it onto the lining. 

 

 

Adding the Leather Handles

You can now attach your leather handles to the bag. Mine turned out too much to the top. I would suggest you bring it down a little. If you are opting for crochet handles, read below. 

 

 

Crochet Handle Pattern (Make 2)

Finished length: 27 inches. A total of 8 inches will go inside the bag when you attach the handle. 

 

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10. Crochet handle with flat edges

 

Note: We will crochet a long strip and fold it to form a tube. The two edges will be left flat so we get more fabric to securely attach to the bag. See pic 10 above. 

 

 

Row 1: Ch 72, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook and across to end, turn. (70sc)

 

 

Row 2: Ch 1(does not count as a st here and throughout), 1 sc in same st as beginning ch-1, 1 sc in each st across to end, turn. (70 sc)

 

 

Repeat Row 2  three more times, turn and work a sl st in each st across for a length of 3 inches.

 

Place the ribbon on the sc fabric, fold it lengthwise to trap the ribbon inside, and sl st it shut into a tube until only 3 inches are left, fasten off. 

 

 

Attaching the Crochet Handle

The crochet handle will be attached to the inside of the bag using a sewing needle and thread. Insert the handle 4 inches into the bag and sew it onto the bag as explained below. 

 

 

You should run your needle through the crochet handle, the lining, and the inside of the crochet fabric. To do this, insert your needle through all the inner layers and bring it out through a gap in the crochet stitch pattern. When you insert it back, insert the needle through the base of the crochet stitches taking care not to show the thread outside the bag.

 

 

Repeat the above step until your strap is securely attached. You might have to do a second run to attach the ribbon to the lining and the inside of the crochet bag as the ribbon will be narrower.

 

 

Take your time attaching the handle to ensure that no sewing thread shows on the outside of your bag and everything is securely attached. 

 

 

Final Thoughts on Crochet Tote Bag Pattern

Making a crochet tote bag is a true labor of love if you want to make it last. Adding a lining and a sturdy base will make sure it holds its shape and you can enjoy it for a long time. 

 

 

Related Crochet Bag Patterns

How to Crochet a Small Bag- Gail Bag

One Skein Crochet Bag

2 Hour Market Bag Pattern

Bunny Drawstring Pouch

 

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Crochet Tote Bag in 2 Sizes

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Bibbi JENNINGS

Thursday 5th of May 2022

Absolutely luv,luv,adore your site !!! … thnx from down-under, NZ … will be Crotcheting moi-little-heart-out !! ❗️🍒😍 Bibbi from NZ …

Andrea Frazee

Friday 15th of April 2022

This is an excellent crochet tote bag tutorial. I love that you lined it, used a canvas base and added leather handles. I never thought of using ribbon inside a crocheted handle. One additional thing that would nice to learn is how to add a zippered top.

Shehnaaz

Friday 15th of April 2022

I am glad you like my crochet tote. I have added a zipper once but I am yet to perfect it. Once I figure it out, I will share it on my blog.