How to Make a Rag Bag AKA Ragamuffin Bag

When I take this bag out, I get nothing but compliments on it.  I made it in about 12 minutes.

Here’s what you need::

  • A thrift store bag with bamboo handles kind of like this:
  • Strips of all types of coordinating fabric–I like stringy, imperfect textures, but I just used leftovers from my Ragamuffin Garland
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue

Start at the bottom of the bag and start hot gluing on your fabric strips.  Work your way up.  I mixed up my fabrics so it would be all random.  Glue the strips close enough together to cover the bag fabric and then start a new layer above it working your way up to the top of the purse.  See in the photo the bottom of the green original bag?  Glue the strips on so they hang much lower.  It’s supposed to be really organic and imperfect.

At the top, line up your fabric so it just comes to the top of the original purse so you don’t see the old fabric.

Tie on a few extra strips to the handles to make it look extra poofy.

emily, rhoda, jen, sandy, melissa, kimba, nester, rag bag Blissdom ’09

I hesitated to write about this bag for two opposite reasons.

1. I thought maybe since it was hot glued it would fall apart and there would be riots.

2. I thought maybe since it was so cute I would go into the bag making business and make millions so I didn’t want to tell the world that I hot glued it or else I might get arrested.

Since neither one of those things happened {that photo of me holding the bag is from 2009 and it’s still held up}, and I saw that bag sitting around the other day, I remembered I had not ever written about it.  If you make millions selling hot glued bags come let me know so I can go into a deep depression!


  1. Ladies – She is not fibbing one little bit. It’s even cuter in real life. :)(I think you got 20 compliments and offers in ten minutes ;) )

  2. How fun! I can see women all over the world going thrifting for bags to make these, lol!

  3. lurve it! you’re so crafty with your guns :]

  4. That’s so cute! I would be very afraid that someone may patent this! You silly girl!

    Have a great day!

  5. Very cute! You could open an Etsy shop simply to sell those bags!

  6. Oh the cuteness! On my way to the attic to find strips. : )

  7. My cat would destroy a bag like that in 0.02 seconds. Alas…

    Does it serve a double purpose for you — bag and fabric file? ; )

  8. your mom isn’t gonna list just one of these on widewhiteshutters ebay page?? do it just to see what it will go for :)


  9. Love the bag, and love that you used hot glue!
    I like to use hot glue and spray paint on just about anything I can get my hands on. You are my kind of girl!
    Thanks for the inspiration.


  10. Adorable, I love the mix of patterns and the blue and brown colors. Isabella would love doing this project with me! Janell

  11. I am the cheapest person ever?! The first thing I thought was that I could go to the fabric store and get all the free samples to make this. I’d only have to splurge on the purse. Hmmm. Not a bad thought. The mostofthetimesnottyladies at the fabric store are really gonna love me now. Thanks, Nester!

  12. Must.Have.Rag.Bag.Now!

    I fully plan on making my own raggedy creation this weekend!

  13. That is the most godawful ugliest purse ever!!

  14. Really?? you want to carry around a ball of rags for a purse?????

  15. honey..when they are making comments about that aint good.
    “Wow! That’s SOME purse!!” *snicker

  16. ohmygoodness!!!! too cute for words. i’m trying to decide whether to make a Christmas bag or “general use” one this weekend!!! i’ll have to check my stash. . .

  17. That is by far the ugliest bag I’ve ever seen! I suspect the compliments were more like statements of disbelief that anyone would actually carry something that ugly.

  18. I love the idea but I’m sorry to say that looks like a dead dog, or a mop u turned into a purse!

  19. Anonymous says

    love your mistreatments, love your tips…but seeing you holding that in the photo made me literally laugh out loud! It looks like you are carrying a pail barfing fabric chunks. Stick to home decor and paint ;)

    • Dana LaBombard says

      After hearing all the unjust plainly rude comments….Hope the rude old lady group looks on Etsy today March 5, 2019 where several sellers are making these bags and selling for between 250.00 to 450.00 “ So let them eat cake”
      I think it was a great idea

  20. That bag is ADORABLE, and I can’t believe you didn’t sew anything!! Hot glue is pretty much amazing.
    And a year is an impressive purse lifespan! I got my big ruffly granny purse from Target last summer, and it’s falling apart at the seams!

  21. Nester-I love everything you do but this purse is UGLY! Were you serious with this?

  22. The bag? Adorable.

    My bangs from 2009? Not so much. What was I thinking?

    Me. Me. Me.

  23. Sorry, I love just about everything you do, but I thought this was a joke at first. It looks like a big bundle of raggedy scraps. No thanks.

  24. Honey, no. Just… NO.

    That hurts my purse loving eyes just to look at.

  25. Oh my gosh- you’re serious?! I TOTALLY thought you were kidding. Oi. Stick to home decorating, please!!

  26. The bag – I remember. Cute.

    The picture – what am I doing? (remove! remove!) hee hee.

  27. can i place an order?:0)

  28. I totally agree – not so Nester quality – big surprise. Love the fabrics, but at first glance at the photo, I thought you had hold of a dog.

  29. I should have put a third reason I never posted it :: some people will think it’s ridiculous!

    Heart you all.

  30. Dear Nester,
    You do such a great job at making something out of nothing but I hate to say it, you made the bag worse then it was in the beginning! Not only does it look like a shaggy dog but aren’t you afraid of stray threads coming off and ending up on your friends? What would the purse look like if you were caught out in the rain? Answer: Now it is a wet shaggy dog.
    Toss the bag away and start over; you are better then this Nester. Just chalk it up as a lesson that all great designers have to learn.

  31. Is it July Fool’s Day?)

  32. I’m sorry but that is the U-G-L-I-E-S-T thing I have ever seen and no, please don’t send it to me to show me how cute you think it is! I can tell it only took 12 mins to make.

  33. So. Stinkin’. Adorable! I just love how anything goes with this one. I so want to make one!


  34. some coach bags are some of the ugliest things i can imagine. i think the designers much come up with outrageous designs so they can laugh when women pay $200-300 for something they would never carry….

  35. Nester – once again, you R*O*C*K!
    I just made one! It is SO easy, but you do have to watch for wayward hot glue. Ouch! I got a small purse at the DAV, just to try it out and some fabric (49 cents a yard!). Now I wish I’d gotten a bag more my size. LOL!
    LOVE your bag & your blog!

  36. I so love this bag!!! I just finished making one and went back to see if I did it right(he he) and read the comments, for the first time. I can not believe all of the nasty comments. Not only is this bag original and neat. I love the idea of using scraps and a second hand purse. This is totally resourceful! I can’t wait to use mine! I found the purse at the thrift store yesterday for .99 cents and it was 30percent off day so I got it for .69 cents and I had all the fabric already, I even used scaps from a pillow and outgrown jeans!!! Anybody can go to the store and spend $$ to buy a purse this takes creativity!!


    :) Michelle

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