How to attach U-shaped purse handles

Written by karen waggoner
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How to attach U-shaped purse handles
Sowing machine (Jupiterimages/ Images)

U-shaped handles for purses come in a large variety and are nearly always used in pairs. Some are made of casual materials like wood or plastic, while others are decorated with pearls and crystals for a formal look. A satin and lace bag intended for a bride might call for a beautiful beaded handle, while a beach bag made of canvas would require a plastic or wooden handle. These handles can be found online or in retail fabric stores.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Two U-shaped handbag handles with hardware attached or with slots for loops
  • Fabric handbag, homemade or purchased
  • Matching fabric or ribbon to make loops
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins or chalk
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine or hand-sewing needle
  • Buttons (optional)

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  1. 1

    Make four loops, 37 mm (1 1/2 inches) long and one 12 mm (1/2 inch) wide, if using ribbon. If using fabric, cut 37 mm (1 1/2 inches) long and about 25 mm (1 inch) wide and fold lengthwise to one 12 mm 1/2 inch). Stitch to hide the raw edges. These will be used to attach the U-shaped purse handles to the fabric of the purse.

  2. 2

    Measure the distance between the upright portions of the handle. This measure will determine the placement of the loops on the bag. Mark this position with pins or chalk on the inside of the bag.

  3. 3

    Before attaching to the bag, insert each loop through the slots or hardware hooks of the handles and pin them securely on the inside of the purse. Securely hand sew or machine sew the loops to the inside of the bag at least an inch below the top of the bag. If the sewing is unsightly, the attachment of the loops could be hidden by creating a 50 mm (2 inch) facing for the inside top of the bag from matching fabric.

Tips and warnings

  • The loops for securing the handles may be installed with the use of buttons and buttonholes if desired. Select matching or coordinating 12 mm (1/2 inch) buttons to sew inside the bag at the marked places. Work matching buttonholes in the ends of the four loops. Button the loops inside the purse after threading the loops through the handbag hardware. This method will allow the handle to be replaced easily.

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