How to Attach Handles to a Bag

comments (0) September 28th, 2008     

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FriendyWendy Wendy Sloneker, contributor
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I raided the office supplies for split rings—aka keyrings—to attach this handle.
Cluster stitches to anchor.
This method results in satin-like stitches. Contrasting color adds some interest and texture.
I raided the office supplies for split rings—aka keyrings—to attach this handle.

I raided the office supplies for split rings—aka keyrings—to attach this handle.

Photo: Wendy Sloneker

Over the cozy fall evenings, I tend to knit and sew up scads of bags and occasionally turn to manufactured handles to bring projects to a quick close.

Sew It
Quick and dirty, bust out your needles and threads or fibers and sew that sucker on.

 

Satin-like stitches.


 

This method results in satin-like stitches. Contrasting color adds some interest and texture.

Option 1:
Use lots of stitches close together so the attachment resembles a satin stitch along the edge of the handle.

Cluster stitches to anchor.


Four stitches attach the handle to the bag. I wrapped the four stitches at the base of the corner with three stitches, secured with a knot on the inside.

Option 2:
Cluster stitches at each end of the handle to secure.

Location. Location. Location.
To place the handles on the bag, measure the length of the bag's opening and determine the midpoint of the bag. Then, measure the length of the handle—the side to be attached to the bag—and determine the midpoint of the handle. Align the midpoints and attach-o-rama! Use a strong fiber and play up the contrast of the bag color with the fiber that will attach the handle.

You may choose to sew the handle to the outside or to the inside—I chose the outside to prevent a super-clanky sound of the handles knocking together during use. This would be a great time to embellish with beads or buttons. Got a few more minutes? Embroider a motif somewhere on the bag in the same fiber.

Kelly Bag


I raided the office supplies for split rings—aka keyrings—to attach this handle. Use the biggest eyelets you can find—they add an industrial edge.


More Metal, Please

I made a bag for my friend Kelly—a lively, jingle-jangley sort of gal—so this handle required movement and texture to match her personality. I settled on split rings (y'know, keyrings) and eyelets (found in the notions section o' the fabric store) to attach the handles. Measure the distance between the handle's beginning and end to determine the midpoint. Determine the placement of the handles and place a safety pin to mark that space.

Kelly Bag - close up.


Before adding the eyelets, I had to see if the bag would hold up with just the split rings—nope! It buckled—and buckles are for belts! I needed the eyelets to support the structure of the bag.


Measure 1/2 inch down from the bag's opening. At each safety pin, snip four holes (one for each marker) and situate all four eyelets into place. Attach split rings through the eyelet and the handle so that the ring connects the bag with the handle. I ended up using two split rings for each eyelet—it was a bigger bag and needed more rings to fill up the space. I used the biggest split rings and eyelets I could find.

*Note: Split rings have a particular way of joining. Try to be consistent in how you connect the rings with the bags and the handles; otherwise, you may end up with a ring that is trying to flip backwards and you'll need to undo and redo it.

 

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posted in: fabric, purse, handbag, tote, bag

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