How to Knit a Purse with Antique Style, Cut Glass Beads


I have decided to finally revisit one of my first posts on beaded purses.  They are beautiful, but are best made with a unique, metallic (often silver) frame.  This is why I have avoided posting a pattern.  It can be a bit complicated to adjust the pattern for different frame sizes.  However, I have finally written a pattern that adjusts in size from about 4.5 to 4 inches and can therefore be used to accommodate any frame in this size range – by repeating the appropriate rows.  I also have included a pattern option for no frame.  It is time to teach you how to knit a purse!

I shall finally share this lovely project – which is now suitable for an intermediate crafter.  If you make one of these purses it is sure to be envied.  I do, however, suggest having knitting experience before trying this project.


You can find my complete pattern on Craftsy, Knit Beaded Purse.  I was tempted to offer this pattern for free on my blog but it was quite time consuming and tricky to write this pattern, hence I am offering it on Craftsy for a pittance.   Give it a try – for less than the price of a cup of coffee!  It is a great step-by-step tutorial on how to knit a purse with 3 mm beads.

There are some amazing antique frames available and many can even be purchased at reasonable prices.  I suggest searching on eBay for instant gratification, but more brick and mortar auction sites can often provide better deals on the nicer frames.  Beware of buyers premiums though. They are often quite high.

There are also a few sites that sell reproduction frames, but I have never purchased one, so I can not speak for the quality.


Beading your own purse was very a popular trend in the 1920’s, and the fad produced many patterns.  The bulk were produced by Hiawatha, which also sold the beads and purse frames.  These patterns are readily available as scanned reprints and the old-school patterns can provide wonderful inspiration.  For my own use though, I wanted cut glass beads instead on the typical seed beads used in the patterns of the 1920’s.  The cut glass fire polish beads give a wonderful antique look to the purse.  They are larger than seed beads too, so the knitting is faster!  My pattern includes everything you need to know to make your own flashy purse with 3mm beads.   The pattern includes a section on making the lining and assembly of the finished purse.  I will also give you suggestions on finding the right frame and on fitting your design to the frame.


If you enjoy knitting, try this purse pattern.  If you enjoy knitting the purse then pick up some of the Hiawatha reprints and take a virtual time machine back to the 1920s.  Using contrasting colors in the beads is also a great idea – but when I made the purse above I was looking for classic black.

Check out my earlier post, 1920’2 Inspired Knit Purse, for another example of a purse.

I am happy to finally share this pattern with you all.  I hope you enjoy it.

Keep crafting,


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