If you want to crochet bag handles, its tricky. Most crochet stitches are by their very nature stretchy, which is the last think you need. Ideal crochet bag handles are firm, nice to hold, look good and, most importantly of all, don’t get longer every time you pick up the bag!

Rainbow crochet tote Stylecraft rosette position

Make some super stylish cotton crochet bag handles

These are the handles for the rainbow tote bag I made with the Stylecraft limited edition colour pack and as part of their blog tour in September/October 2015.You can also now buy the Limited Edition pack of Stylecraft Special DK from Deramores at £9.99 per pack 🙂 If you buy after going to their site through my link I get a few pennies commission to help support my blog 🙂

I’ve written the handbag handles up as a separate tutorial as they can be used on other bags and the technique is a very useful one to know in its own right.

What you’ll need

  • A length of 6mm cotton piping cord. I used white but if you can get it in black, this is easier to disguise inside a dark bag handle.
  • Cotton yarn: I used Stylecraft Classique cotton in plum, obtained from Deramores. I had one ball and still had about half of the yarn left over.
  • Crochet hook: I used a 3.75 mm Clover smooth touch hook.
  • Scissors and darning needle.

Stitches used

This tutorial uses UK terms. The equivalent in US terms is shown in red in the list below:

  • Chain (ch)
  • Double crochet (dc) [single crochet (sc) in US terms]
  • Slip stitch (sl st)

Super stylish crochet bag handles – the tutorial

Step 1

The first stage of making the handle is to decide on the length of handle you want. I was making a tote bag handle so it needed to be long enough to just sit on the shoulder but not too long. I decided to make each handle 52 cm long from tip to tip.

The cotton piping cord is used inside each handle to reinforce it and give it a good shape. I cut each piece to a length of 45 cm initially and then trimmed it to the exact length I wanted once I had crocheted the outer part of the handle.

Taking the cotton yarn, tie a slip knot over the right hand end of the piping cord. Sew the tail end backwards and forward through the very last 0.5 cm of the cord to stop the loop falling off.

Stylecraft blog tour Limited Edition colour bag piping cord prep

Step 2

Make double crochet stitches around the piping cord to cover it. This is a bit tricky at first but it gets easier once you get going.

  1. Holding a loop of piping cord, insert your hook under the cord. Yarn over the hook and pull through a loop.
  2. You will have two loops on your hook.
  3. Yarn over and pull through both loops.
  4. Your dc stitch is complete and the stitch surrounds the cord.

Stylecraft blog tour Limited Edition colour bag covering piping cord

Continue to crochet over the cord until it is well covered up to about an inch before the end. Do not fasten off.

Step 3

Crochet the outer sleeve of the handle using the same cotton.

  • Make a foundation chain – mine was 100 stitches.
  • Make a turning chain and then work along the entire length of the chain, making a dc stitch into each chain.
  • Make two dc into the last chain and then rotate your work so that you can crochet up along the other side of the foundation chain.
  • Make one dc into each of the loops of the foundation chain on this side.

Continue to work in an oval, closing each round with a slip stitch and making one turning chain to start the new round. You will need the handle sleeve to be wide enough to just surround the handle core. I made four complete rounds.

  • Round 2: at the ends make 2dc stitches into the 2 stitches into both stitches that formed the increase in round 1
  • Round 3: at the ends make 2dc stitches into the inside stitches that formed the increase in round 2.
  • Round 4: at the ends make 2dc stitches into the inside stitches that formed the increase in round 3.

This crochet chart is my very poor hand drawing but I hope it will help at this point as this is quite tricky to explain in words.

Crochet bag handles chart

When your outer handle sleeve is finished it should look like this:

Stylecraft blog tour Limited Edition colour bag handle sleeve

Step 4

You will now sew over the handle sleeve to encase the handle core, which is the piping cord covered in double crochet.

Each piece of covered piping cord needs to lie in the middle of the sleeve, about 5cm from each end. Cut your piping cord at the end where your crochet is still attached to the correct length then fasten off and weave in your end

Stylecraft blog tour Limited Edition colour bag positioning the handle core

Sew the handle sleeve closed leaving the end flaps free to attach to the bag.

Stylecraft blog tour Limited Edition colour bag handle overview

When you have completed the sewing, weave through the tail end very securely. Your bag handle will look like this:

Stylecraft blog tour Limited Edition colour bag finished handle

Attaching the bag handles

You can attach to any bag using the end flaps – simply pin into position and then sew in place using a length of the yarn used to make the handle.

Rainbow crochet tote Stylecraft completed bag showing handles