You cannot scroll down through Insta/Pinterest without seeing at least one straw bag. Simple ones, embroidered ones, those accessorized with scarves and what not. My maximalist self woke upon the sight of Aranaz bags. And the thought of creating something as complex as their designs did pass my mind but instead, I decided on going for a pattern that could be seen all around. And of course, you can turn a basket into a bag by just adding handles to it. Again, the handles would depend on your taste. To stick with the aesthetic and tone, I went with hemp rope. And for the flowers bit, its best to purchase naturally dyed raffia is best but if you can’t find them then paper ones are your next option. And all of this was under $20, that itself makes it worth a try.
- Basket 7.8″ x 9.8″
- Assorted paper raffia 32 feet
- Needle (small and big)
- Rope 40″ inches
- Thread (same color as your rope)
- Through experience, I learned that using the paper raffia as a whole did not give me the results I was looking for. It not only hardly passed through the weaves of the baskets but rather ended up looking stuffy and unfinished. What I did was to rip the length of raffia in half and this way it was easy to sew and control the fold of the raffia. Just like embroidery, thread your needle and tie a knot or two at the end of one end of the raffia and your good to begin.
- It is quite easy to go all over the place if your stitches are sewn randomly. As you can see below, I first stitched an X and then worked to fill up the spaces between the flower. I liked them like that without drawing a round-shaped center. I ended up using only 5 colors to make these flower pattern. And kept the areas where the handles are to be sewn free from stitches so to not be an impediment later.
- Cut two 15″ inches rope with an X-acto knife. Mark the points where you will have the ropes stitched with a marker (I kept a space of 4.5″ inches between the handles). Also mark the points where the rope meets the basket for accuracy. And have at least 4″ inches of the rope inside the basket to sew.
- Using the same color thread as the rope, sew the marked length of the rope within the basket bit by bit such that the stitching is not visible from outside.
You may think I was inspired by the colors of my skirt but I got it after I had the bag made. Despite some hiccups in between stitching, it was a fun project to try. I’m all excited about summer with this bag. It’s a great statement piece.
Let me know what you think of this raffia embroidered straw bag in the comments section below.