Sep 8
2008

Furoshiki Handbag

in Fuji Craft

I am absolutely crazy about furoshiki. Furoshiki are square wrapping cloths that were traditionally used in Japan to carry things. There are hundreds of ways to wrap and tie a furoshiki and they come in all sizes and patterns. Although they aren’t used as prolifically as they used to be (curse the invention of the plastic bag!), they can still be found and are coming back into fashion as more focus is being placed on the environment.
While in Japan I learned a fun use of a furoshiki that I’m finally getting around to sharing with you! This bag has so many possibilities, whether it be a chic bento carrier or a last-minute purse.


How to Make a Furoshiki Handbag

All you need is a furoshiki and a pair of purse rings.

If you don’t have a furoshiki, anything like it will suffice: a bandanna, a cloth napkin, an extra scrap of cloth, whatever you’ve got lying around!

You can usually find purse rings at the major craft stores in the sewing notions section or the knitting supply section. You can use wood, bamboo, plastic…whatever suits your fancy. Here are some examples: example #1, example #2, example #3, example #4.

Once you’ve got your cloth and handles, you’re ready to go!

1)Lay your cloth out on the ground in front of you. The side of the cloth that you want showing on your purse should be facing down.

2) Now grab one of your rings and 2 corners of one end of your cloth…

3) Feed the corners through the ring, from the front.
4) Wrap the corners out and around the ring. You should wrap the corners so that they end up back in front where you started. Now tie the corners together in a square not.
6) Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the other handle and 2 corners.


The handles I used are 5-inches in diameter. My furoshiki is 28 inches square.

I hope that is clear. If you have any questions, let me know. I would love to see your finished bags, so please send pictures!

Here is another fun way to bag your bento using a furoshiki: The furoshiki purse-tie.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }



K and S September 9, 2008 at 1:22 am

love this post! I recently got a COACH furoshiki through a fashion magazine here.

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The Carroll's September 9, 2008 at 2:25 am

very cute purse! Does it ever come untied??

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Bentoist September 9, 2008 at 7:16 am

Hi Fujimama

I love furoshikis too, and it’s neat how you used it as a handbag. Someone gave my mum a french scarf she didn’t want and it found its way to me. Maybe I should try that for the handbag. Hmm…

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Fuji September 9, 2008 at 7:20 am

k and s–I’m dying to see that COACH furoshiki, how fun!

the carroll’s–No, because of the square knot that you tie on each side, it should be nice and secure. I’ve never had one come out. I always make sure and pull the knots nice and tight once I’ve got everything where I like it!

bentoist–The good thing is if you do try it and hate the results, you can just untie it, no harm done!

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Misha September 9, 2008 at 7:35 am

Good idea! I guess it doesn’t matter how big or small the square cloth should be? Depending on how big or small you want your bag I guess! I’m going to try it, though I only have baby material at the moment, I’ll have to go shop for some really fun material! I’ll send a picture once I’m done!

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K and S September 9, 2008 at 8:11 am

I’ll try to post about it :)

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Meg September 9, 2008 at 9:22 am

What a great idea, especially for leftover pieces of fabric that are just a little too small to do much with.
I shall send photos after I make mine!

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Melanie Gray Augustin September 10, 2008 at 12:10 am

That’s really cool! I have a collection of furoshiki too, but had never figured out how to use the handles (I always just do the most basic shape with a couple of knots).

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Damaris September 10, 2008 at 12:44 am

woah this is so cool. I think you should give one away on your blog. hint, hint!!!

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Bentoist September 12, 2008 at 6:57 am

Hey Fuji, Thanks for dropping by my blog. I can’t help but gravitate towards your furoshiki post. I love furoshikis and have been taking my bentos to work in them. =) Right now, I am thinking of getting another. Are you aware that Furoshiki.com sells pretty neat designs? Shipping costs aren’t too bad either. =)

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kawaii crafter September 12, 2008 at 5:01 pm

I always use my furoshiki to carry things but I’ve never thought of using purse handles with it. Love this idea.

Now off to find some purse handles.

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Jesse September 16, 2008 at 6:25 am

Thanks for these instructions!

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Freshly Found September 18, 2008 at 12:24 pm

Found this via Jesse’s blog. Love her bag and love your instructions. I am definitely going to try it! Thank You!

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Fuji Mama September 18, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Welcome freshly found, glad you found me!

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Goldie September 20, 2008 at 6:35 pm

How fun! I have a few stowed away given by my Japanese friends, but didn’t know what to do with. I will totally have to make one. I just saw something similar at Old Navy yesterday, but yours are definitely cuter.

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Cheap Handbags October 17, 2008 at 10:07 am

Wow! Awesome idea very nice work and a great blog subcribed to your RSS feed Thanks :)

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Cheap Wrist Watches October 22, 2008 at 11:44 am

Cool.. nice work..

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Designer shoes November 14, 2008 at 3:09 pm

i read your post i really enjoy the tutorial excellent work…

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myfuroshiki February 17, 2009 at 6:44 am

Great to see so many furoshiki enthusiasts out there! My sister & I are big fans too and have just started designing, screenprinting & tie-dying them. You can find us at http://www.myfuroshiki.etsy.com
Happy knotting!

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atika May 26, 2009 at 8:47 am

tres bonne idee pour accorder mes sacs a toutes mes tenues de soirees
merci

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Jimmy July 25, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Check out more furoshiki techniques from http://furoshiki.com/techniques

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Analuci August 31, 2009 at 12:18 pm

very excellent

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Furoshiki Club September 11, 2011 at 1:50 am

If you need some Furoshiki inspiration, please join my FUROSHIKI CLUB – http://www.furoshikiclub.blogspot.com Happy wrapping!!!!!!!!

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