I know it still feels like winter in a lot of places, but mentally, I’m already in summer mode. I can’t wait for the farmers’ markets, fresh produce, tank tops and poolside lounging. So to make summer come a little bit faster (or at least entertain me until it does) I whipped up a few of these no-sew produce bags. They’re perfect for carrying your produce haul home from the farmers’ market. Or you can simply toss one over your shoulder and use it as a pool bag or an airy tote for carrying all your summer essentials.
How to Make a Macramé Produce Bag
Don’t let all the knots fool you. Once you get rolling, you can whip up this baby in less than an hour (the process is even quite zen, if you ask me.) Simply grab some macramé cord at your local craft store, along with some cotton strapping and a couple d-rings. Then add a dab of glue and a few hand-tied knots to magically transform it into an airy tote. Once you’re done, dip-dye it for a little color, or leave it plain. It’s totally up to you!
Since Knot Tying 101 wasn’t something most of us learned growing up, here’s a quick video showing you exactly how to make your bag.
The good news is that these materials go a long way, so you can make a bunch of bags for next to nothing. One roll of macramé rope and a couple yards of strapping should make about 5 or 6 bags. Just stock up on a few extra d-rings ahead of time and have your hot glue gun ready to go.
Because these are made with 100% cotton, they’re washable and should last forever. I recommend hand-washing them in warm water, but you can always toss them in your washing machine on gentle. Then let them air dry to prevent the cord from knotting in unwanted places. Over time you might notice a few of the knots coming undone. When this happens I like to tighten the loose knots by hand and add a dab of glue to permanently secure them.
- 2-inch wide cotton strapping
- 3 millimeter cotton macramé cord
- 2 gold d-rings
- Hot glue gun
- Masking tape
- Dye (optional)
- Cut your cotton strapping into one 18-inch piece (this makes one strap). Then cut your macramé cord into 20 60-inch pieces. My finished bag came out to about 30 inches long, but you might need to adjust these measures if you would like a longer or shorter bag.
- Begin by making the strap of the bag. Take one end of your cotton strapping and feed it through your d-ring. Fold a small section of strap over the flat side of the d-ring and secure with hot glue. Do the same for the other end of the strap.
- Lay your strap flat on a table and secure with tape. Fold one piece of macramé cord in half to make a loop, then feed it through the d-ring. Take the two loose ends end of the cord and feed it through the folded loop at the top. Pull tight to make a knot around the d-ring. Do this for 9 more pieces of cord, so you have 10 total on one d-ring. Do this for the other d-ring as well.
- To make the body of the bag, we’ll use box knots to form a loose mesh. Starting on the far right side, take the four pieces of string and separate them so you have one string on the left, two in the middle, and one on the right. Starting about 3-inches down from the d-ring, loop the left string under the two strings in the middle and overtop the string on the right. Take the string on the right and loop it over the two middle strings and through the loop made by the string on the left. Repeat the knot a second time using the same four strings and pull it tight. That makes one box knot.
- Do this for the remaining strands on both of the d-rings.
- Move 2 inches down, and make a second row of box knots, except this time, set aside the two pieces of string on the far end, and use the strings one strand over.
- Bring the two sides of the bag together, so they lie side by side. This time move 1 inch down and, starting in the center, knot the sides of the bag together using the four strings left out in step 6. Moving out from the center, knot all the way across the left side, then go back and do the right side.
- You should have two strings on each side left over. Fold the bag in half so those four strings are next to each other and tie one final knot.
- Continue making rows of box knots (1 inch apart) until the bag reaches the desired length.
- To finish the bag, gather the strings at the bottom and wrap them a few times with a piece of cord. Cinch it tightly and either tie a knot or use glue to hold cord in place.
- Follow the instructions on your box of dye to create a dye bath. Wet the bottom of the bag and dip it into the dye to create an ombre effect. Rinse out the dye and let you bag dry thoroughly before using.