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DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

DIY round rope bag with POM POMS

I’m back on the bag making! My attempts took a bit of a nose dive after a failed attempt with some washable paper but I thought I’d try again with a more foolproof project!

This time I wanted to try the rope bag trend. I’ve seen some beautiful ones of Instagram and Pinterest and I’m always a sucker for a new technique!

The concept behind these bags is pretty simple. You use cord (I used 5mm twisted cotton cord) which is coiled and held together with a simple zigzag stitch. You turn the coil as you work so it continues to grow and you can manipulate it into the shape you want as you sew! You can make flat shapes – either circles or ovals – or baskets/ bowl shapes by keeping the work at an angle as you go.

I kept my first design simple! (Check out tutorials here and here for other designs!)

I used:

5mm wide twisted cotton cord (I used one 65m ball that I got from eBay)

Matching all purpose polyester thread

Pom-pom trim


I chose to make a flat circle bag with long-ish handles. The idea being that by making two identical shapes, I could then sew them together to make a tote!

I used a wide zigzag stitch which would catch both sides of the cord as I fed it through the machine.

Essentially I made a big disc shape!

I kept going until it was 30 cm wide and then I did a few reverse stitches to hold the cord in place. I then left a length of 60cm free and left a gap of 12cm before joining the free end of the cord back to the disc.

I kept on sewing and joining the cord as before for another three rounds (this forms the handle) before cutting the free end and tucking it to the inside and stitching over it a few times.

I did this whole process twice to make the front and back of the bag.

Once I had both pieces ready, I decided I wanted to jazz it up a little bit with some pom pom trim!

I already had this in my stash (no idea where it came from) and figured this was the perfect time to use it! I cut the trim to length and sandwiched it in between the two pieces. Once I was happy with the placement I stitched through all three layers to hold it altogether!

It’s so easy to make – I can totally see this becoming addictive! I want to try making a basket style bag next with different thread colours that I reckon will look pretty cool!


Watch and sew carefully as you move the coil around. It’s easy to miss one side of the cord!

If there are areas where you’ve not caught both sides of the cord, go back and stitch over it otherwise you’ll end up with holes in your bag!

Don’t forget to backstitch at the points of strain – i.e. the handles and the final seam.

To make an oval shape, start with a short line of cord folded back on itself and coil around this.

Play around with different thread colours to add some extra design features!

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  1. This looks great, I’ve just bought some hemp rope that I’d like to try making a bag out of 👍
    Sorry you didn’t get on with the washable paper… keep it damp while you’re sewing it, makes it much more workable 👍🙏

    1. It was damp. To be fair it wasn’t so much the material but a poor design on my part! I’ll have to try again one day!

  2. Ooo! This is so cute! I’ve been wanting a round bag, but I never stopped to wonder how I could make one. I’ve also never tried making things from rope. I’m going to have to try this. Thanks for the tutorial. That Pom Pom trim is the icing on the cake! Love it!

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