How to Add Adjustable Straps to a Purse

Written by allen gagle
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How to Add Adjustable Straps to a Purse
Short purse straps are a hassle. (handy bag image by Salem Alforaih from

Handbags and purses that have short handles can get tiring to hold, especially when the bag is full. Adding an adjustable strap to a purse can make it easier to carry, whether it is a handbag, shoulder bag or satchel. There are a variety of rings and nylon or silk straps on the market. A nylon strap and a square ring used in this example work best with cotton fabric purses.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Strap, nylon
  • Square ring
  • Triglide or slide adjuster
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Lighter or candle

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  1. 1

    Cut a short length of strap; loop it inside the middle bar of the square ring.

  2. 2

    To hold the ring at the top of the strap loop, stitch the ends of the short strap together. Use a stitch pattern that follows a horizontal path across the strap then vertically along the edges and finally an X pattern in the middle.

  3. 3

    Thread the end of the remaining long strap over the middle bar of a triglide or slide adjuster.

  4. 4

    Stitch the strap over the middle bar to the back of the long strap. If you have raw ends on the strap, you may burn the edges using a lighter or candle flame. Hold the ends to the flame, and then blow out the flame as soon as the nylon starts melting. Be careful not to burn the strap all the way. To completely seal the end it might take two to three runs through the flame. Conceal the melted nylon end by folding under about ¼ inch and sewing it in place.

  5. 5

    Lay the triglide end of the strap on the table with the underside of the strap facing up; that's the side with the turned under end. Thread the other end through the ring that you attached to the shorter strap.

  6. 6

    Thread the end of the long strap through the triglide.

  7. 7

    Sew the long end of the strap to one side of your purse, and sew the short strap holding the ring to the other side of the purse.

Tips and warnings

  • When attaching the purse straps to the bag, make sure you use a strong stitching pattern, such as the X pattern, as this is where strap failures are likely to happen. If you have a serger or overlock machine, double-stitch here for maximum durability.
  • Choose strap material and hardware---ring and triglide---that match the weight and style of the bag.
  • Pay attention to the face of the strap when attaching the strap ends to the purse sides; it is easy to accidentally sew the wrong face, causing the straps to not to lay flat against your shoulder.

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