Secrets to Making Macrame Handbags & Purses

Updated July 20, 2017

A macrame purse or handbag can shine as a signature accessory. Using this ancient craft of hand tying knots into fibre, you can fashion a work of art that is functional, unique, and durable. Knowing the secrets of turning out a one-of-a-kind macrame purse can mark the difference between something you carry every day with pride and something you hide, forgotten in the closet.

Skill Level

The first secret to making great macrame purses and handbags is picking a pattern that matches your skill level. If you are just getting started in the world of macrame, a simple purse will be your best. Pick a square or rectangle shape, with basic knots. If your skills are more advanced, you might choose a purse pattern that includes beads, wooden handles, and intricate knots. Picking a pattern that maximises your chances for a challenging, but successful, project is key to creating great handbags.


The second secret to a great macrame handbag or purse is choosing the right materials. You'll want to consider the cost of fibre, as well as the texture. Ask yourself how much you want to spend on supplies for the project, or think if you have an old macrame project that you could take apart and repurpose for your handbag. Consider what type of finished feel you want your handbag to have. Do you want something casual and tough, like jute? Or are you looking for something more delicate and smooth, like silk or satin cording? Thinking about the cost, source, and feel of your macrame materials will influence your happiness regarding the purse's outcome.

The Perfect Fit

The last secret to making awesome macrame purses and handbags is planning ahead for what the finished project needs to handle. The nicest looking, most well made purse won't get used if it doesn't fit your needs. Before picking a macrame pattern ask yourself what your purse needs to carry, how big it needs to be, and what type of closure will work best for you. If all you tote around is your phone and lipstick, a big over the shoulder project will not be useful. But if you often carry books, snacks, or even a laptop in your handbag, a tiny clutch will just languish in the back of your closet. Choose the right size and type of pattern for a stellar macrame purse.

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About the Author

Living and working in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Lisa Fine has been writing, researching and fact checking since 2001. Her writing has appeared in "Triangle Review" and "Kaleidoscope Literary Magazine." Ms. Fine has received awards for her writing from The National Council of Teachers of English and Sertoma Clubs of America.