New This Month


Raffia Tote Bag and Hat

A plain canvas tote and a straw beach hat are turned into bright, sunny creations using touches of raffia.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2008





  • Canvas tote

  • Raffia

  • Disappearing-ink fabric pen

  • Large-eyed needle

  • Pom-pom maker

  • Floral wire

  • Pliers

  • Straw hat


  1. Start with a canvas tote and raffia in 3 shades. Using a disappearing-ink fabric pen, draw circles on tote, 1 for each sunburst (ours are 1 1/2 to 5 inches in diameter).

  2. Mark the center point of a circle (A) and 1 point anywhere along the circle's edge (B). Thread a large-eyed needle with raffia in desired color, knotting it before embroidering design using a French-knots-on-stalks stitch.

  3. Draw needle up through A. Wrap raffia around needle 3 times. Holding wrapped portion together, gently draw needle down through B, forming French knot.

  4. Repeat step 3, always coming up through A but moving B 1/4 inch over, until the sunburst is complete.

  5. Make matching pom-poms to trim a straw hat. Using a pom-pom maker and raffia, make a pom-pom (ours are 1 1/2 inches in diameter).

  6. Wrap center with floral wire, twisting wire with pliers to secure. Trim wire to 1/2-inch. Repeat to make more pom-poms, using raffia in different colors.

  7. Then attach to hat with embroidery thread.

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