The Rainbow Tote Bag is a generously sized tote bag that is perfect for those fall markets, day trips, and more! Have fun working it up!
To crochet the Rainbow Tote, you’ll need to choose your color(s) of yarn! The bag pictured was made with Loops and Threads Cotton Colors yarn in the Snapdragon color way. This is s self-striping yarn which removes any guess work about color combinations and making color changes throughout the bag.
This bag also looks great in a single color or alternating between a couple of different colors. Self-striping yarn is great so you don’t have to change colors at all throughout the bag and also no ends to weave in!
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The Rainbow Tote Bag crochet pattern is available for FREE on this website. If you’d like an ad-free, printable PDF version, you may purchase it for a small fee from my Etsy or Ravelry shops. Thank you so much for supporting Loops & Love Crochet!
- Worsted Weight (#4) Cotton Yarn – Any cotton (or cotton blend) worsted weight yarn can be used for this project. The bag pictured in this pattern was made using Loops and Threads Cotton Colors yarn in the Snapdragon colorway, which is on the lighter side of worsted weight. Each ball of this yarn is 394yds/200g. This bag used almost the whole ball of yarn with a small amount left over.
- Crochet hook – 4.5 mm size crochet hook
- Yarn needle for weaving in ends
- Yarn needle to sew on pieces and weave in ends (bent yarn needles are the best for amigurumi projects)
- Scissors for cutting yarn (these are my favorite!)
- Ch – chain
- Sl St – slip stitch
- SC – single crochet
- DC – double crochet
- When laying flat, this rainbow tote bag is approximately 14” x 14” (not including the handles).
- Gauge is not imperative to this bag turning out but may be helpful for bag sizing if you are substituting yarns. 2 inches square is approx. 10 rows of 9 SC stitches.
- Joined Rounds – This bag is worked in joined rounds. At the end of each round, you will be joining the last stitch of the round to the first stitch with a slip stitch.
- Color Changes – This bag was made with one skein of self-striping yarn. If you are changing colors with different yarns, your color changes can be worked in the last stitch of the round. Complete last stitch of the round up until the last yarn over, yarn over in the new color and pull through. Join with a slip stitch to first stitch.
- Starting Each Round – Start the first stitch of each round in the same stitch as the join and chain 1. The chain 1 stitch at the start of each round does not count towards the stitch count of each round.
- Bag Size – this bag was designed as a large tote size. If you would like to make your own custom sized bag, here are some tips to help:
- If you are happy with the bag width, but want to make your bag taller, just continue the row repeats until the desired height is reached. Then move on to the rounds that form the handles.
- If you would like to make a bag with a larger or smaller base, you can begin the pattern with a longer or shorter starting chain. This could require a little more math to work out ahead of crocheting. Note that in order for the stitches to work out for the bag body, you’ll need to have an even number of stitches after all of the increase rounds are finished.
- Any changes you make to the pattern can affect how your bag straps line up. Please watch this video tutorial for easy step-by-step instructions on how to place the handles so they line up evenly.
- Video Tutorial – I have a couple video tutorials on my YouTube Channel that will help you with working your Rainbow Tote Bag. Note they are from different patterns, but they show the same technique and are still helpful!
Crochet your Tote Bag!
Round 1: Ch 41, 2 SC in 2nd chain from hook, SC in each chain across, make 4 SC in the last chain. Now continue around so you are working on the other side of the chain. SC the next stitch and in each stitch across, make 2 SC in last stitch (this will be the other side of the same stitch with the first 2 SC of the round). Join with a sl st to first SC, ch 1. (84)
*Note – To keep your bag seem less noticeable and from traveling too much, pull your slip stitch joins and ch 1 tight at the end of each round.
Round 2: 2 SC in first 2 sts, SC in next 38 sts, 2 SC in each of the next 4 stitches (these are the ones at the end of the chain), SC next 38, 2 SC in each of the last 2 stitches. Join, ch 1. (92)
Round 3: 2 SC in first st, SC next st, 2 SC in next, SC next 39 sts.*2 SC in next st, 1 SC in next, repeat from * three more times (for a total of 12 sts), then SC in next 38 stitches. *2 SC in next st, 1 SC in next, repeat from * once more. Join, ch 1. (100)
Round 4: 2 SC in first st, SC in next 2 sts, 2 SC in next, SC in next 40 sts. *2 SC in next sts, SC next 2 sts, repeat from * three more times (for a total of 16 sts). SC in next 38 sts. *2 SC in next st, SC next 2 stitches, repeat from * once more. Join, ch 1. (108)
Round 5: 2 SC in first st, SC in next 3 sts, 2 SC in next, SC in next 41 sts. *2 SC in next sts, SC next 3 sts, repeat from * three more times (for a total of 20 sts). SC in next 38 sts. *2 SC in next st, SC next 3 stitches, repeat from * once more. Join, ch 1. (116)
This completes the bag base. It should measure approximately 11.5” long and 2” wide. Next, the height of the bag will be worked up, starting with some rounds of SC sts before moving onto the stitch pattern for the bag body. Remember, if you had trouble working the base, please give this video tutorial a watch.
Rounds 6-11: SC in each stitch around, join, ch 1. (116)
*Chain 2 after round 11.
Round 12: DC in first st, ch 1, skip next st, *DC in next st, ch 1, skip next st, repeat from * around, sl st join to first st, ch 1. (58 DC sts)
Round 13: 2 SC in each ch 1 space from the previous round, join to first SC, ch 1. (116)
Round 14: SC in each stitch around, join to first SC, ch 2. (116)
Round 15: DC in each stitch around, join to first DC, ch 1. (116)
Round 16: SC in each stitch around, join to first SC, ch 1. (116)
Round 17: SC in each stitch around, join to first SC, ch 2. (116)
Rounds 12-17 create the stitch pattern for the bag body. Repeat rounds 12-17 five more times (or as many times as desired to get preferred bag height) before moving onto the rounds working the handles.
The last time you complete round 17, work a ch 1 (instead of ch 2), and then continue to the instructions below. Do not fasten off your yarn.
In these next few rounds, the handles for the bag will be worked up (starting the round count back at 1 for the handles). Remember to watch the video tutorial for a visual on working the handles.
**Please keep in mind that the seam of your bag may have traveled differently than it did for the bag pictured. This is due to differences in yarn, tension, and technique. When you work round 1 of the handles, if this handle placement is not lining up in the center of your bag, or if your handles are not lining up with each other, please see the “Placing the Bag Handles” instructions below before continuing further.
Round 1: SC in first 23 stitches, chain 70, skip 25 stitches, SC in next 32 stitches, chain 70, skip 25 stitches, SC in last 11 stitches, join, ch 1.
Please note that if you would like a longer or shorter handle, you can add or remove chain stitches as needed to achieve your desired strap length. If you would like a wider strap, repeat round 4 until you have your desired strap thickness.
Round 2: SC in each stitch around and in each of the chain stitches (to form the handles), join, ch 1.
Rounds 3-4: SC in each stitch around, join, ch 1.
*After round 4, do not chain 1. Fasten off and weave in ends.
You’re all done your Rainbow Tote Bag!
Placing the Bag Handles
Follow these instructions if your handles in round 1 do not line up properly
Please note that your seam may have travelled differently than in the bag pictured. This can be due to differences in tension, how you are joining each round, yarn choice, or just because not everyone crochets the exact same. If the handle placement above does not line up in the center of your bag, you can easily modify the instructions to move your handles. Check out this video tutorial or you can follow the written instructions below.
Lay your bag flat, measure it across and mark the stitch in the center. Then count 12 stitches on either side of the center stitch and mark those. This is the section of stitches you will be skipping for the handle placement (25 stitches in total) so keep a stitch marker at the start and end of that section. Repeat for the other side of the bag and make sure the stitches you marked lined up on both sides so the handles line up.
Once you’ve marked the stitches you’ll be skipping, just SC as you normally would until you get to the first marked stitch, chain 70, skip the 25 stitches, then SC in each stitch around until you get to the first marked stitch on the other side, chain 70, skip the 25 stitches, then SC in the rest of the stitches until you finish the round. Join, ch, 1. Then follow rounds 2-4 above.
Once your handles are placed, go back and and you have finished the last few rounds of the pattern, you are all done!
I hope you enjoyed this crochet pattern and love your Rainbow Tote Bag!
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