Crochet Cactus Tote Bag

 

Recently I was inspired by Crochet By Colleen on Instagram. She makes these adorable little crochet lady faces and attaches them to straw bags. They are SO CUTE!!! She sells the finished bags and the crochet pattern to the faces in her Etsy shop!

I saw them and I thought hmm I have a couple blank tote bags laying around, I wonder what I could attach to them! I ended up attaching a cactus inspired by my Crafty Cactus Pillow, and I loved how it turned out!!! I designed another cactus applique that I could share with you guys here! This one is much more simple and super cute!

Heres what you’ll need

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Green Yarn for cactus- I used I Love This Yarn in the color jellybean. But you could probably use any yarn of your choice for this project.
Yarn for the flower- used I Love This Yarn in the colors Peacock and Turquoise.
G Crochet Hook – Mine is from Harper Baby Shop on Etsy.
Tote BagNatural Tote Bag Set
Pom Pom Trim- With matching thread. I choose pink pom pom trim.
Sewing Needle
Tapestry Needle- I use a curved one and a straight one for this project. Just make sure it has a sharp point.
Scissors
Optional: Pins- To hold your applique in place while you are attaching it
Optional: Ruler and pencil- This is optional but it might help you keep your applique straight

Stitches Used (US Terms)
SC- Single Crochet
Back Bump-Here is a video I found by Fiber Flux on YouTube explaining how to crochet in the back bump.
SC DEC- Single Crochet Decrease- insert your hook into SC, pull up a loop, insert hook into next SC, pull up a loop, yarn over and pull through all loops.
*- To Be Repeated
SS- Slip Stitch
CH- Chain

Cactus Body
CH 21

Row 1: Skip the CH closest to your hook and SC 20 in the back bump of your CH. CH 1, turn. (20)

Rows 2-33: SC 20. CH 1, turn. (20)

Row 34: SC, SC Dec, SC 14 SC Dec, SC. CH 1, turn. (18)

Row 35: SC, SC Dec, SC 12 SC Dec, SC. CH 1, turn. (16)

Row 36: SC, SC Dec, SC 10 SC Dec, SC. CH 1, turn. (14)

Row 37: SC, SC Dec, SC 8 SC Dec, SC. CH 1, turn. (12)

Row 38: SC, SC Dec, SC 6 SC Dec, SC. CH 1, turn. (10)

Row 39: SC, SC Dec, SC 4 SC Dec, SC. (8) Tie off.

Right Arm
Join yarn into the side of the 15th row on the cactus body (going through the front). CH 1.

Row 1: SC 8 up the side of the cactus. CH 1, turn. (8)

Row 2: SC 6, SC Dec. CH 1, turn. (7)

Row 3: SC 7. CH 1, turn. (7)

Row 4: SC 5, SC Dec. CH 1, turn. (6)

Row 5: SC 6. CH 1, turn. (6)

Row 6: SC 4, SC Dec. CH 1, turn. (5)

Row 7: SC 5. CH 1, turn. (5)

Row 8: SC 3, SC Dec. CH 1, turn. (4)

Row 9: SC 4. CH 1. Now we will be working back down the side of the arm.

Row 10-12: SC 7. CH 1, turn (7)

Row 13: SC Dec, SC 3, SC Dec. CH 1, Turn(5)

Row 14: SC Dec, SC, SC Dec (3) Tie Off.

Left Arm
Join yarn into the side of the 7th row on the cactus body (coming from the back) CH 1.

Row 1: SC 8 up the side of the cactus. CH 1, turn. (8)

Row 2: SC 6, SC Dec. CH 1, turn. (7)

Row 3: SC 7. CH 1, turn. (7)

Row 4: SC 5, SC Dec. CH 1, turn. (6)

Row 5: SC 6. CH 1, turn. (6)

Row 6: SC 4, SC Dec. CH 1, turn. (5)

Row 7: SC 5. CH 1, turn. (5)

Row 8: SC 3, SC Dec. CH 1, turn. (4)

Row 9: SC 4. CH 1. Now we will be working back down the side of the arm.

Row 10-12: SC 7. CH 1, turn (7)

Row 13: SC Dec, SC 3, SC Dec. CH 1, Turn(5)

Row 14: SC Dec, SC, SC Dec (3) Tie Off.

Sew in all your tails and get ready to attach to your tote bag.

Lay your cactus applique on your bag where you want it to be once its attached. You can make some lines with a straight edge and a pencil if you want to give yourself a reference point so your cactus ends up straight.

Cut a very long piece of green yarn and thread it on your tapestry needle.  Use a piece of tape to help thread the needle if necessary. Place something sturdy into the bag to prevent you from accidentally going through both the front and back pieces of the bag.

Insert your needle into the bag, the back out and up through the cactus applique.  I am using this curved needle I got from the fabric section in Hobby Lobby, but a regular tapestry needle will work too, just make sure it has a sharp tip.  Pull through, leaving a tail for sewing in later. Go back into the bag and out the applique, pull through taught. This is called a whip stitch. Continue whip stitching all around the applique until you get back to the beginning. Be careful and make sure each section of your cactus is where it needs to be before you sew it down. You don’t want to pull your applique in any one direction as you are sewing it down or your finished bag will be warped.  You can use pins to hold your applique in place if you are having trouble.

I really like the look the whip stitch has. The entire edge of the cactus is sewn down neatly and securely.

Once you get the whole cactus sewn down, poke your tapestry needle back into the bag and pull through. Tie your two tails into a knot then poke the ends back up into the cactus and sew in.

Flower

For the flower, I used my go-to flower pattern by Bhooked Crochet. It’s her Popcorn flower pattern. I used an H hook and just did two rows of popcorn stitches. I made the center of the flower with I love this yarn in the color peacock and the outer row in I Love This Yarn in the color turquoise. Be sure to leave a long tail for attaching to your bag.

Now thread your tail onto your tapestry needle. To attach the flower to the bag, just line it up where you want it to go, poke your needle through the bag, then back up through one of the outer stitches of the flower. Now poke your needle into the next outer stitch on your flower, and down through the bag, come back up through the next outer stitch on your flower. Continue around until you are back to the beginning, tie off and sew your tail securely into the flower.

Pom Pom Trim

Now grab your pom pom trim, matching thread, and a sewing needle.

I like to start on the back panel of the bag, just around the corner from the front panel. Line your trim up near the top edge of the bag and begin sewing it on with your needle and thread (when you knot your thread leave a couple inches for a tail).

I use a simple running stitch (poke the needle in and out all the way around). It gets a little tight when you get to the straps of the bag, you are essentially going through  3 layers of canvas, so make sure you are using a pretty durable sewing needle. If you get to a point where you run out of thread, just leave a long tail and cut the thread near your sewing needle (with the tail on the inside of the bag). Thread on a new piece of thread and insert it into the bag next to where your last stitch ended. Continue around.

Once you get back around to where you started, snip off your pom pom trim so it overlaps about half an inch. Continue to sew it down like normal, this time going through the beginning of the trim as well. Once you get to the end of the trim do a whip stitch to secure the end completely so it doesn’t fray. Sew back a few stitches so you’re close to your beginning knot, tie your two tail together as securely as possible, then snip your thread.

You’re finished!!! Holy smokes that’s a cute tote bag!! You could use these bags to hold your wips, for trips to the farmers market, or just as your everyday tote (which is probably what I will be using mine for). I love the funky colors and the bohemian feel of this bag! The design options are endless with this technique, there are so many different trims you can use or different appliques you could crochet to sew on! You could even paint a design on with fabric paint and have some crochet elements for a mixed media look (like paint a deer head with antlers and crochet some flowers for a cute flower crown)! I love how creative you guys get!! If you want to see more designs for crochet applique tote bags comment on this post and let me know! Id love to hear your suggestions.

As always be sure to tag me @ACraftyConcept if you post any pics of a Crochet Cactus Tote Bag you made! I love seeing pictures of the things yall created using my tutorials.

➰Happy Crocheting➰
❤Ashley

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Crochet Cactus Tote Bag

  1. Crystal says:

    More applique tote bags please! A deer head with a flower crown sounds adorable! Or a fox or an owl… Or a giraffe!!!

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