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Ribbon Handbag

Ribbon Handbag


Description: The Ribbon Handbag pattern features the use of Satin Ribbons in combination with Macrame cord.

It results in a remarkably feminine purse. You can also use flat lace and Satin cord to make a more elegant handbag.

This is an easy Macrame project, but you should practice all the knots before you get started.

The finished size is approximately 10 inches tall and 9 inches wide.


Supplies Needed:

  • ¼ inch Satin Ribbon or Flat Lace (65 yards)
  • 6mm Macrame Cord (65 yards or more, depending on size)
  • One set of Purse Handles

Knots used:





Step 1: Cut 24 pieces of both the cord material and Ribbon, each 2.5 yards long (90 inches). 

To make the Ribbon Handbag wider, cut more cords and ribbons, but make sure they can all fit on the handles. 

There needs to be an even number of cords (26, 28, etc.)

For a purse more than 10 inches tall, cut the cords and ribbons longer.

Ribbon frays easily, so prepare the ends with tape or glue.  Do the same with the cords.



Mounting Cords to Handle

  Larks Head Knot   Step 2: Mount the first cord to one handle using a Larks Head knot. Mount one of the ribbons, using the same technique, but arrange the knot so it surrounds the other cord. (see nestled mount below)

Be sure the shiny side of the ribbon faces forward.

  Adding The Ribbon   Nestled Mount: Place the 2 ends of the ribbon beside the Larks Head knot made by the cord, after folding it in half.

The folded portion should rest below the head of the knot.  Pass the ends through the slot of the handle, from back to front.

  Completed Mount   Bring the ends down and under the folded area.

Pull on both ends to tighten.  The folded area of the ribbon should still rest below the knot made by the cord.


Step 3: Repeat step 2, mounting 11 more cords and ribbons (total of 12 of each type).


Step 4: Repeat steps 2 - 3 to mount the same number of cords and ribbons to the second handle.

Body of Handbag


Step 5: The body of the Ribbon Handbag is tied with Alternating Square Knots.

The knots should be close to each other, or the purse will need to be lined. 

Each SK is made with 2 working cords and 2 fillers.  This includes both the ribbons and cords.  Mentally number ALL of them 1 -24.

Make 4 rows of knots, in the following groups:

Rows 1 + 3:  ASK with 1 - 4, 5 - 8, 9 - 12, 13 - 16, 17 - 20, 21 - 24

Rows 2 + 4:  ASK with 3 - 6, 7 - 10, 11 - 14, 15 - 18, 19 - 22

Step 6: Repeat step 5 with the cords on the other handle (back half).



The Sides

Step 7: Separate cords/ribbons 1, 2, 23, and 24.  New cords will be attached to them in the next step.


Step 8: Cut 2 pieces of cord material, each 2 yards long.

Add one to cords 1 - 2 as well as cords 23 - 24, on the front half of the bag. Use the technique shown below. 

Do the same for the back half of the Ribbon Handbag, cutting 2 more cords.

  Center Cord Under Ribbon   Center each new cord under the ribbons/cords, and secure it with a pin.  
  First Half of Square Knot   Tie the first half of the Square Knot using the new cord.  The ribbons/cords already in use are the fillers.  

  Completed Knot   Tie the second half of the knot. Tighten it firmly.

For more information, see Adding Cords.
Step 9: Tie rows of Alternating Square knots, moving all the way around the handbag, both front and back. Each knot will consist of four cords/ribbons. 

You can't mentally number the cords anymore. So be sure to alternate the cords in each new row by selecting 2 cords/ribbons from one knot with 2 from the next.

Stop when the purse measures 10 - 12 inches long.

You need at least 6 inches to close the bottom.

Measure the shortest cords to determine if you can tie more rows.

Important: When you tie the last row of Square Knots, make sure the ribbons are lying with the shiny side down


Closing the Bottom

  Securing The Ribbons Out Of The Way  

Step 10: Secure all the ribbons out of the way.

Turn the Ribbon Handbag inside out. Place it between your knees to work on the bottom section.


Step 11: Tie tight Barrel Knots using 1 cord from each half of the purse.

Trim each cord to 2 inches after tying the knot, so you know which ones you have used. 

Apply glue to each knot while tightening, and allow it to dry completely. Unravel the cords so they become fluffy.


Finishing Touches


Step 12: Turn the Ribbon Handbag back to it's original position so the cut ends are on the inside.

Use one ribbon from each half of the purse to make tiny bows along the bottom, the same way you tie your shoe (Overhand knot + loops).   You can use glue if needed.

Cut the ends on an angle to discourage the ribbons from fraying. Apply glue to the tips as well.

A clasp is not necessary for this Ribbon Handbag, but you can add one if you wish.


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Have any comments about the Ribbon Handbag? Contact Me.


Cross Stitch

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