Sunday, 31 July 2011

how to make fabric bag handles...tutorial

Finally got the knack of these, so thought I'd create my first  tutorial
You can make handles from any non stretchy fabric, I recommend upholstery fabric which is strong.
You can obtain it cheaply as curtain shops often have remnants which will do just fine.
Charity shops often have upholstery fabrics too. For those of you new to the game; upholstery fabrics are thicker than dress fabrics. Canvas or cotton drill ideal.If you have IKEA in your country, they sell lovely upholstery ( home decor ) fabrics cheaply.However it is impossible to go to IKEA and just buy a small piece of fabric, you will come out loaded with candles, objets d'art and implements you didn't even know you needed.
The fabric I used here was an old curtain remnant. ( Scarlet O'Hara inspired me)

Cut your fabric strip. It needs to be 4 times the final diameter you want your strap to be
it needs to be several inches longer than you want the strap to be, to allow length to attach to the bag.
in this example , I cut a 5 " x 26 " piece to make a 21" handle thats  1 1/4 " wide
This is an excellent length for bag handles as you use over your shoulder as well as in your hand, it will not drag on ground unless you are a child/short/munchkin/pixie in which case just shorten them to your specific needs. ( Pixies will need proportions of bag changed too )
STEP 2 :
iron your fabric in half lengthways, then open out again

STEP 3: fold the bottom half up to the midline  and iron

 STEP 4: do the same for the top half, iron

STEP 5 :  fold in half lengthways and iron. Note: it is not dirt everywhere in my photo, its fabric fluff, really.

STEP 6 : now to sew the strap. Firstly sew quite near the open  edge , a straight line down the whole length of the strap. Use normal stitch setting.I have rotated the strap in second photo to show you what side to stitch.

STEP 7 : now stitch down the opposite side of the strap

STEP 8 : tidy up the raw ends, I used serrated scissors ( pinking shears ) here

STEP 9 : iron your  finished strap flat

STEP 10 : admire your strap
2 examples of where I have used these straps

thanks for looking , any ask.


  1. How should I finish the ends if I'm attaching the straps to my bag via rings.

    1. HI, I have not used that technique, but there are plenty of blogs that you can search
      This one may have what you need