How to make handbag handles

Written by pamela pender
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How to make handbag handles
Make your own handbag handles and save money. (handbags image by Bionic Media from Fotolia.com)

Having the right handles for your handbag project can make it stand out. Handbag handles can be bought and attached to your handmade handbag, but they can also be handmade. By making the handbag handles, you get to decide on the fabric and the length, marking them one-of-kind.

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Things you need

  • Fabric of choice -- cotton, leather, vinyl
  • Matching thread
  • Interfacing
  • Cutting mat and blade
  • Straight ruler
  • Iron
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Choose the fabric for your handles. Your straps can be made from the same fabric as your handbag or it can be a different coordinating piece of fabric. Consider leather or vinyl, as these fabrics make nice sturdy handbag handles.

  2. 2

    Decide the length that you want your handbag handles to be. The normal size handbag handle is 60 cm (24 inches)long and 5 cm (2 inches) wide, but you can decide to make it shorter to fit just underneath your armpit or longer to rest just above the waist area or even longer to fit over one shoulder and to cross the body to rest on the opposite hip.

  3. 3

    Line up your fabric and interfacing and cut out the fabric handles to the measurements that you've chosen for your straps. Note: Interfacing isn't needed if you are using vinyl or leather.

  4. 4

    Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric handles. The interfacing acts as a stiffener and makes the fabric more durable.

  5. 5

    Lay the fabric handles right sides down on a flat surface. Fold fabric in half lengthwise and line up raw edges evenly; press with iron. Open the folded seam and fold raw edges (lengthwise) toward the crease that was made down the middle of the strap from folding the fabric in half. Your handle should have both raw edges folded toward the middle of the fabric handle. Enclosing raw edges, fold over once again. You will now have a thinner 2.5 cm (1 inch) purse handle with clean edges lengthwise. Pin fold closed with three or four pins.

  6. 6

    Sew a straight seam to close fold permanently with your sewing machine. Repeat for the other handbag handle. Press handles to seal seam and make the handle neater. Your purse handles are now ready to be attached to the purse.

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