Craft Project: Baby Cradle Purse

This is also sometimes called a Church Purse. It is crocheted using a dishwashing detergent bottle for a base. Any oval bottle will work. When it is closed it is a purse, and opened it is a baby cradle.



  • Detergent bottle, oval shape
  • 3 ply yarn, baby or sport
  • 3 inch baby doll or size to fit
  • Scrap of fabric for a blanket
  • Heavy Duty Shears
  • 1/4 inch paper punch
  • Crochet hook size F


Remove label from bottle and cut 2 inches above the bottom with heavy duty scissors. Punch holes around edge of bottle, approximately 1/4 inch apart.


Using crochet hook, size F, crochet the "Bonnet" first.

Ch 2. Make 7 HDC in first Ch. Ch 2 and turn. (Ch 2 counts as first HDC in next row).

2nd Row: 2 HDC in 1st st. 1 HDC in next 4 sts, 3 HDC in last st. Ch 2; turn.

3rd Row: 2 HDC in 1st st. *HDC in next st. Repeat from * across, ending with 3 HDC in last st. Ch 2; turn.

4th Row: HDC in each of first 3 sts. 2 HDC in each of next 6 sts. HDC in each of last 3 sts. Ch 2; turn. Cradle2_260x195.gif

5th & 6th Rows: 1 HDC in each st across. Ch 2; turn.


7th Row: 1 DC in each st across. Do not end off.

Invert the bonnet into bottle as show in photo. Make 2 SC in each hole around the edge of the bottle, catching the edge of the bonnet as you go. Join with a Sl St.

2nd rnd: Ch 2, 2 DC in first st. * Skip 2 sts; 3 DC in next st. Repeat from * around. Join with Sl St to top of first shell. This row is the base row for the shell st pattern.

3rd, 4th, & 5th Rows: 3DC in each space between shells. Repeat ending each round with Sl St to op of first shell.

Cradle3_300x224.gif6th Row: (Beading Row) Ch 3 *sk 2 sts. HDC in next st; ch 1. Repeat around. Join with Sl St to top of Ch 3.

7th Row: in first ch 1 space make 1 SC, 1 HDC, 1 DC. In next ch 1 space, 1 DC, 1 HDC, 1 sc. Repeat around. Join with Sl St.

Make 2 Drawstrings: Ch 85 and end off for each one. Thread through the beading row beginning each string from opposite sides, and knot the ends. You may attach pompoms to hide the knots if you wish.


The instructions are also in a PDF file for which you may need Acrobat Reader to view. Download Acrobat Reader

Click Here to download the Cradle Purse Instructions in PDF format.

By Harlean from Hot Springs, Arkansas


About The Author: Harlean Greathouse is a mother of three who has been married for 45 years. Long time readers of ThriftyFun will probably recognize her as Harlean from Arkansas, the name she has posted under as a valuable member of the ThriftyFun community. She specializes in wood crafts and enjoys designing crafts using recyclable materials, knitting, crochet and has been an arts and crafts vendor for over 35 years. Harlean has a CD available with 11 unique crafts designs for only $5.00 (including shipping). For more information visit:

May 30, 20080 found this helpful

I've seen these many. many years ago. Thanks for your precise instructions and photos.

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May 30, 20080 found this helpful

Where can I get the little dolls that are suitable for the cradle purse?

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May 30, 20080 found this helpful

I've always been a knitter - my mom was the crocheter. But this is just one more example of the cute and quick things you can make with crochet that would be just plain more complicated to knit! Now that I'm retired, it just may finally be time for me to take up a new hobby and teach myself to use a hook as well as needles!

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May 30, 20080 found this helpful

Oh, this is SO CUTE! I love, love, love vintage crafts. If any of my 4 children give me grandchildren (sigh) I will make this! Thank you :)


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May 30, 20080 found this helpful

I just want to say AWWWWWW!! That is so adorable and I wish I knew how to crochet, I would make some for my neices.

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May 31, 20080 found this helpful

I haven't

seen these in ages. since I was a little girl and that was many,many years ago

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May 31, 20080 found this helpful

I am blessed to know Harlean and have seen firsthand many of her creations over the years. They are awesome! Her photos are great, but when you see them up close you'll just be blown away, SO cute! I'm FINALLY going to try making one for myself to use as a little makeup bag. Thanks for posting the pattern online Harlean, so maybe I won't lose it again. :^)

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May 31, 20080 found this helpful

OMG, I think this is the cutest bag I have ever seen. I am going to ATTEMPT to make one for my granddaughter. It is really adorable. Thanks for sharing the instructions. WOW!

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June 1, 20080 found this helpful

Just wanted to let you know that I posted about this pattern on the daily chum. Too cute!

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June 6, 20080 found this helpful

My mom used to make these, and I did as well for my nieces when they were little.

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June 21, 20080 found this helpful

This is one of my patterns and I wanted to add some information. This is a vintage pattern and I understand that some of you are having trouble finding the small dolls. At the time I was making these, the dolls were available in craft stores, dime stores (remember those?) etc. Since someone asked about them, I did a little research. I could not find any in the on line craft supplies companies, but the other day I looked at the local Hobby Lobby store. They don't have the small baby dolls, but they do have a cute Kewpie doll about 3 inches high, and they also have tiny teddy bears that would be a good substitute for the small dolls. Hope you can find what you need.

Harlean from Arkansas

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February 11, 20090 found this helpful

Could you tell me where you bought the little baby

that goes inside the purse. I really enjoyed your

pattern, I have 5 of them to make, for granddaughters, nieces and neighbors little girls.

Thank you.

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April 27, 20100 found this helpful

I made a cradle purse similar to this and also had a difficult time finding a small doll. Around Christmas time, however, I hit the mother lode. Many places sell little porcelein dolls all dressed up as Christmas ornaments and they are usually very inexpensive. I even found some at a dollar store and bought them out :-)

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December 6, 20140 found this helpful

What an adorable little church purse pattern! Thank you very much! :)

Lee Ann

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December 28, 20140 found this helpful

Thanks so much! I am making one for my granddaughter now. I bought some tiny babies at Walmart's baby and bridal shower department. I also found a tiny little 3" Rapunzel. Hope that helps.

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Two baby cradle church purses with Kewpie dolls inside.
Crocheted Baby Cradle Purse
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