Bamboo Handle Bag {funky tutorial}

bamboo handle purse 6

How do you like my new little bag? I even made this little beauty without making one trip to the store. Hmmm…is that a good thing or does that mean I have too much stuff. Anyway, I had two sets of bamboo handles just waiting around for me to make something with them. They’re really too nice to let them just sit in a closet, so I grabbed the smooth ones and came up with a plan.

My ideas was to not measure a thing and just make a bag in about an hour. Well, I did it…but I think it took a little over an hour. :)

I’ll show you how you can whip one of these up for yourself!

purse tutorial 1

The purse handles that I used were 6″ in diameter. I cut my fabric about 12″ wide and 10″ high because that’s how it worked out with the square pattern on my fabric. I cut a matching piece of fabric for the back and two pieces of a different fabric for the inside.

purse tutorial 2

Yes, I went ahead and ironed them. They were so wrinkled from being stashed away or I wouldn’t have bothered…I hate ironing!

purse tutorial 3

I quickly pinned the right side of my plaid fabric {outside fabric} to the right side of my turquoise fabric {inside fabric}. Just repeat this for the other side of your bag.

purse tutorial 4

I wanted the bag to have slightly rounded corners on the bottom, so I took a look around the house for something to help me out. I came up with canister lids! I tried two sizes and found the right curve. I traced the lid and cut one of the corners.

purse tutorial 5b

I started to worry about the other corner matching exactly, so I decided to fold the fabric in half and cut it to match. It worked!

purse tutorial 6

Here’s what it looked like. Time to head to the sewing machine…

purse tutorial 7

Sew the the front panels together. I felt like I was going to finish the purse in less than an hour at this point.

purse tutorial 8

Flip your fabric so the right side is right. :)

purse tutorial 9

I took the open top of the bag and folded it in a bit on both sides. Then I sewed it together to have nice edges at the top of my bag.

purse tutorial 10

Repeat with the back side of your bag. I lined them up with the right sides together, and folded them down about 2 inches.

*This is the one spot I’m planning to change on my next bag. It would be better to fold it down to about 3 inches to make the open larger.

Pin it from your fold down. You will not sew above it.

purse tutorial 11

Sew the right sides together starting at your first pin. Go slow so you take those bottom curves evenly.

purse tutorial 12

Flip it. It’s starting to look like something now!

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Now for the part that takes a few minutes…sewing the handles on.

I started by doubling my thread so it would be extra strong. I’m used of using embroidery thread, so I felt like this regular thread was a bit too wimpy to hold the handles on forever.

Just fold the the top around the handle and start sewing at one end.

purse tutorial 14

When I ran out thread I started from the other side. I didn’t want to run into problems with the fabric being uneven when I made it all the way there. This kept my ends nice, and gave a nice little scrunched look to the rest.

purse tutorial 16

Lookin’ good! Just repeat with the other handle and you got yourself a fun bamboo handle bag!

bamboo handle purse 2

The finished size is about 10″ x 7-8″ and I love how it turned out. The corners worked out and the bag went together easily…and no pattern. Yay!

bamboo handle purse 3

I thought it needed one of my funky fabric flowers…and it thanked me.

bamboo handle purse 5

Give it a try! Little bags like this would make great gifts. I think I’m going to use a beautiful linen fabric for my next one.

Note to all my sewing friends…

I don’t claim to know what I’m doing with a sewing machine. I pin stuff strange and rip them out way before I get to them. I didn’t measure and I didn’t use a pattern. Please don’t write me about what I should have done. :)

Attempt at your own risk and have fun!



  1. says

    Hahaha Kim, you sound like you sew like me 😉 Pinning stuff and ripping them out because they ‘are in the way,’ tee hee! I love your bag…that would make a super fun gift. I might have to try one…thanks for the inspiration.

    Jamie :)
    .-= A Forest Frolic´s last blog ..Be Yourself =-.

  2. says

    That was a fabulous tutorial! I have an old purse with round handles that has finally seen it’s day. I could not throw it out as it was a gift from my son when he was young! Now I know how I am going to upcycle those old handles.

  3. Spice Berry Cottage says

    Wow…you get the prize of the day! What an amazing job, Kim! Thanks so much for sharing. Going to twitter about it.

  4. Norma says

    The tutorial was easy to follow…I love the purse and so does everyone else…I have already made five of them.

  5. says

    Ok, now THAT is the cutest thing I’ve seen lately! Really, super cute!

    It makes me want to get my sewing machine out. You make it look so easy. 😉


  6. Angie says

    Kim, I love your bag! I just got some bamboo handles so I’m gonna try it. I love your no stress attitude about sewing and no measuring. I’m right there with you. I love my sewing machine but sometimes I want to make something I don’t have to measure and stress about it turning out right. Thanks for sharing your awesome bag :)


  1. […] time.  Pick up some bamboo handles the next time your in the craft store and head on over to Everything Etsy to read the step-by-step instructions on creating a funky bamboo handle bag for yourself. Filed […]

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