I’ve recently made a couple of boho inspired handbags that are simply 2 circles stitched together with a strap added (and optional fringe). In this post I’ll explain how I made the two versions shown below and give you all the details you need to make your own version.
I was inspired by this gorgeous free pattern by Jess at Make & Do Crew. While I used Jess’s instructions for assembling the bag, I decided to use different patterns for the circles (and the strap) to create my own One Of A Kind (OOAK) bags. To make your own OOAK boho inspired bag you just need to make 2 circles (~30 cm/12 in) with any pattern and yarn that takes your fancy. Don’t feel limited by circular patterns either, lots of blankets start out worked in the round and can work great for this style of bag e.g. this, this or this would work. Or you can use the following directions to make one of the bags shown above. I guess that means my bags won’t be truly ‘one of a kind’ any more… but I don’t mind sharing 🙂
Myra Boho Bag (burgundy)
- Yarn: ~280 m/250 g of 1.8 mm twisted cotton from Industrial Yarns
- Hook: 5 mm
- Ravelry project page
I made 2 circles, following the Myra Crochet Square 3 pattern up to row 9
Row 10 ch 1, *SC, ch 2, skip 2 sts* repeat to end and join with a sl st [36 x (SC, ch 2)]
Row 11 sl st across to ch space, ch 2 (counts as first HDC), 2 HDC in same ch space, *3 HDC per ch 2* repeat to end of row, join with sl st [108 HDC]
Row 12 ch 1, *DC into the front loop of the SC in row 10 (2 rows down!), 1 SC into each of the 3 HDC from row 11* repeat to end of row and join with sl st [144 sts]
For the back circle Row 13 will be the last row: add a loop for the button by making a chain 15 and join back to bag with a SC (anywhere around the circle – I made mine ~half way around the row so the join would be at the bottom centre on the finished bag). At the end of the row, cut the yarn and weave in tail.
Row 13 ch 1, SC in each st, join with a sl st [144 SC]
For the front circle do not cut the yarn after row 13. Keep working as follows:
Making the strap loop
(the Make & Do Crew pattern has nice photos of this if you’re a visual learner)
Loop row 1: Ch 10, sl st to back circle, 20 sts away from the button loop (with the right sides of the two circles facing outwards). Sl st into next st “down” side of the back circle
Loop row 2: turn work, SC in each of the 10 ch, sl st to next st below where the chain started. Sl st into next st “down” side of the front circle.
Loop row 3: turn work, SC in each of 10 sts, sl st to next st below the start of loop row 2.
Loop made. Do not cut the yarn. Keep working as follows
Joining the circles together
In the next row, you will be working all your stitches through both circles
Row 14 with front circle facing you, sl st both circles together immediately below the strap loop, ch 1, SC in same st, HDC in each st around till there are 41 sts unworked, SC in the next st
In the front circle only: sl st in next st, then make the second strap loop as described above. Cut yarn and weave in tail.
Making the strap
There’s many ways to make a bag strap, I wanted mine to work with a slide adjuster, so it needed to be flat and the same width as the adjuster (25 mm wide). I have previously made bag straps in all SC (eg on the Ruby shoulder bag) this gives a nice strong strap with a neat finish, but it’s super tedious to make and I wanted this one to work up quickly, so I used all HDC. This is a bit stretchier than a SC strap, but since it has the adjuster, the stretch is not an issue.
I found that 3 rows of HDC with this yarn and hook size gave a good width of strap for the slide adjuster I have. If you plan to use a slide adjuster I recommend that you buy the adjuster first and then customise your strap to fit it. I made my strap ~150 cm long, which gave a range of 80-140 cm long once assembled with the adjuster. This allows it to be worn on the shoulder or as a cross body bag, and accommodates a range of body sizes and shapes.
Frigg Boho Bag (white)
- Yarn: ~430 m/260 g of 1.5 mm twisted cotton from Industrial Yarns
- Hook: 4 mm
- Ravelry project page
I made 2 circles, following rows 1-21 of the Frigg blanket CAL pattern by Marita Eyfríð Kristensen. This is an awesome textured pattern that taught me a few new stitches. It would look really great in a self striping yarn (or with changing colours every row, if you can be bothered sewing in all those ends!)
Make sure you add a button loop to the back circle. Join the circles, adding the strap loops as described above for the Myra boho bag. Strap also made as above, approximately 25 mm wide by 150 cm long.
Adding the fringe
The Make & Do Crew Pattern has a good tutorial on making and attaching a fringe to your bag. I cut strands ~40 cm (16 in) long, and used 4 strands per tassel. Since they’re folded in half, this gives 8 strands wide and ~20 cm long per tassel. I started from the centre of the bag and worked outwards till it looked like the right amount of fringe (the fringe should be approximately the same width as the bag).
I hope you found these instructions helpful. If there’s anything I forgot to cover, please let me know in the comments below. If you want to share photos of your finished bag with me, you can tag me with #motherbunchcrochet or @FrankstonHooker on Instagram, or share them on my Facebook page.