Pop tab (pull tab) crochet – my method… An epic post

I took some photos last week of my pop tab crochet method while constructing my messenger bag.

I am a bit pre-occupied with other projects at the moment and so this was on the back-burner for a while. I will finish it eventually…but in the meantime I wanted to share the method so those of you who are interested could get started with your own projects.

I make the patterns up as I go. I visualise each bag as a 3D shape and create the different components (faces of the shape) before assembling them all into the one piece. My current messenger bag will have three main components. The bag, the flap and the strap. The bag section is made as one large piece (approximately 50 rows of 30 pop tabs) that will be joined to create a seamless pouch. The flap (approximately 20 rows of 40 pop tabs) will be a rectangle matching the dimensions of the pouch opening and the strap will be a long thin shape (approx 2 rows of 120 pop tabs). I will have to ‘fill’ in the base of the bag – but I will cross that bridge when I get there!

How to crochet pop-tabs! 

So how do I join the pop-tabs to make the fabric of the bag?

As you can see the pop tabs are joined by a long row of single crochet which creates a seam which is hidden on the back side. The front of the fabric is smooth and only the flat part of the seam is visible.. The pop tabs are overlapped with right sides facing and then crocheted through the holes. Each stitch passes through four tab holes at a time – the outside two tabs are crocheted through the top hole and the centre two tabs are crocheted through the other hole. One new tab is added on the outside for each stitch. All other tabs are already forming the fabric as you go.

In this first photo I have inserted the hook ready to add a new pop tab … the hook is inserted through the top hole of the first and closest pop tab and the through the second hole of the other two.

photo 2




In this second photo, I have added the fourth pop tab for the stitch and have passed the hook through its top hole.



photo 3.



The yarn is drawn through all four poptab holes.




photo 4.

Proceed to complete a single crochet stitch by drawing the yarn over the hook and pulling through the two loops on the hook as in the next photo.

Before adding a new pop tab for the next stitch, crochet 1 ch (one chain stitch) to create a little space between stitches.



  photo 5            photo 1-1

At the end of each row (which incidentally reflects the depth of the bag you are creating), end off and burn the nylon thread to avoid it unravelling.

Let me know if I have missed an description or explanation  – I am happy to continue to post as much as needed to help you enjoy this process.



14 Replies to “Pop tab (pull tab) crochet – my method… An epic post”

    1. Hi Rosewolf
      To start this method, begin with two tabs right sides together. Join through one hole. Place two tabs – one either side of these, overlapping the holes in the same way as the images in the post. Crochet through the first hole of all four tabs. Sc between. Add two more tabs, one either side and overlapping. Crochet through all four holes continue to desired length. This will create a two tab wide length. Then as the images show begin at the same starting end and this time you will only need to add one tab as you go to increase your work by one tab width row each time. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  1. Pattern instructions are difficult to follow without a visual clue. Would it be possible to post a photo of the beginning? “Right sides together” is really throwing me off. Do the tabs then open back out after the stitch is made?

    1. Hi Pam
      Thanks so much for asking about the first row. I will attempt to make a video. Plz check back soon or alternatively subscribe and receive notification by email of my new posts.
      Stay happy!

      1. Did you ever make a video? I love this idea but I never crocheted before .. got the materials though

      2. Sorry Lisa i dont have the right account to upload video on my site… I have had a lot of interest in my technique so i will see if i can post a vimeo or youtube link. It may take a while so please subscribe so you get any new notifications. Cheers and happy crocheting! Bindy

  2. Bindy I am making a small pop tab purse and have gotten it all done but now am trying to find something to show how to close the side can’t do it inside out as it would be impossible to turn it…your pictures and instructions where great as far as they went but I don’t see anything about how to close it and finish the project…maybe I am missing the rest of the instructions…..any help you can give would be appreciated Thanks….marylaketapps@aol.com.

    1. Yes! It is tricky as you can’t turn it inside out. Essentially, i worked down on the inside as far as i could go, then tried from the other end to complete the row. It was pushing the tabs tontheir limit a bit but they all recovered! If you can’t crochet due to space inside the small bag, you could simply use a needle and the yarn to double stitch each link rather than ‘sc’ & ‘c’ along that last row. Thanks for visiting, Bindy

  3. Have you made a video or pictures of the beginning? I frankly think that is the hardest part.
    I have been looking all over for a tutorial like that.

  4. Hi, I made a bag like this. but wasn’t sure how to attach the lining and the straps. How did you do it? thanks, mimi

    1. Hi Laurie, I use a nylon thread that is actually ‘builders string’ from the hardware store. I found it difficult to get anything like it at the yarn stores here in Australia. I could buy it online but chose this instead. Bindy

  5. Thanks for this! I costume stuffed animals in VIking, Renaissance, and similar historic costumes, and this might work for making miniature “scale mail” armor for the mid-sized bears… 🙂

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