I'm going to show you how to make these easy handbag handles. They are quick and easy to make and only use cotton tape and cord. The following tutorial is to make a couple of 22″ (56cm) handbag handles that are ready in minutes.
I use these handles on my homemade reusable shopping bags. Both as a replacement for grocery shopping or as a simple tote to go to the market and carry produce.
- 48″ (122 cm) of cotton tape 1 1/2″ (2.5 cm) wide
- 44″ (112 cm) of cotton cord 3/8″ to 1/2″ (2 cm) wide
- Polyester thread to match
- Sewing machine
- Zipper foot
NOTE: You will notice that I am not using cord despite the instructions. I decided to make my own because I am too lazy to go to the store and purchase some. Normally, I have meters of the stuff lying around in my fabric stash but since we have moved my things are in “transit” so to speak. I will share with you how I made this homemade cord next week.
How To Sew The Easy Handbag Handles Using Cord
Cut the cotton tape in half. Lay the tape flat on your table.
Cut the cord in half. I have made my own to length.
Add glue to the center of the tape.
Place the cord in the middle and fold the tape. Pin.
Sew the handles using the zipper foot. Start sewing one inch from the edge at 1/8″ from the edge. If you find this difficult, you can use your speedy stitcher here, it is brilliant for this type of work.
You may or may not finish the edge of the handles. It will depend on how your handbag is finished. Below is are some of my shopping bags made with hessian or burlap, my preferred material because of its durability and natural material. The handles are all done using the technique above.
These handles cannot be easier to make. What do you think? I have a few more bags using this type of handle but I do not want to ruin the surprise…make a pair we will be using some tomorrow… Until then Happy Sewing!
Mayra, did you ever post how you made your own cotton cord? I can’t seem to figure out how to look back or search for older posts and this tutorial was linked to the burlap shopping bags. It looks like twisted t-shirt material to me, but some instructions would be great if you still have that link posted somewhere. Thanks for all of your great projects…I wish I had more time for sewing, but I save what I would like to make and hopefully will get back to them someday!!
Hi Ruth, I made my own recycling used plastic shopping bags, just twist and apply steam from the iron at a distance to stick it together. Works like a charm and you are reusing which is great.
I love your tutorials. This one is one I must try. However, I’m looking, and cannot find, the tutorial on making the homemade cord. Can you please help me out? Thank you so much for all you do.
I never made the tutorial, they are made with plastic bags. Twisted together over a boiling pot of water. The steam makes the plastic pliable.
Is there an easy way to print out these directions? I tend to go through my emails and print the projects I want to tackle, but there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to print unless I want to print all the ads. Any direction or advise would be great.
Hi Sandra,I do not share instructions anymore, the amount of paper that would require to print the pattern of the whole sew along is huge, so many people complain about PDF patterns The instructions are free on the site for as long as Googles allows me to share what I write with you. Hope you understand.
Hi in your address bar there is a Star . Click on this and it will save it to your favourites. Then you can go back to it whenever you need to.
Hope that helps you.
Elegant and easy!Thank you!
What a polished look for a home made bag. I’ve always balked at purchasing ready-made handles for my bags as they seem to shout “home made. I’ve lots of cord in my stash and can’t wait to try it out.
Please. What is a speedy sticher
Hi Barbara, please have a look at this post: https://so-sew-easy.com/speedy-stitcher-sewing-awl/
Love your idea to make handles of cotton tape! Will make up several to have on hand as I make purses. Thanks.
Yes, this is a good idea since you can get the tape and cord by the roll much cheaper.
I see you used cotton webbing, Can I use polyester? How to you finish the ends so they don’t fray?
I would use fire to seal them, but be careful. There is no need to get the fire too close.
Hi Maya, I love this idea – so simple as you say. I’m just a little uncertain about the tape and cord size because your metric measurements for both tape and cord differ from the inches size. (1 1/2 inches isn’t 2.5 cm, it’s 4 etc). Which one should I go by please when ordering?
Thanks a million for all your useful tips and patterns.
HI Clare, thank you for the correction that is a typo, will amend. 4cm is the right number.
You know, I have been on your email list for quite some time. I have downloaded your patterns from Craftsy, I have learned much from you.
I just wanted to make sure to actually tell you how wonderful it is for you to share your knowledge and to keep sharing it over the years.
My grandmother used to say a thank you never expressed is never heard, I am humbled by your gratitude your words touch my heart 😉
I love your tutorial and I LOVE the idea of making your own cord! What did you use and how did you do it? Love your tutorials!
HI, Susan, I will make tutorial will publish on Tuesday so keep tuned.
I cannot see how you have attached the handle to the bag. Is that a knot?
This tutorial is how to make the handles only if you want a to see how to attach it please see the https://so-sew-easy.com/burlap-shopping-bag-pattern/ tutorial in there you will see I am using handmade handles and I explain how to attach them. Thank you!:)
What is a Speedy Stitcher?
The speedy stitcher is a handy little tool that makes sewing difficult places and easy. Here is the link to the article I wrote about it. https://so-sew-easy.com/speedy-stitcher-sewing-awl/
Oh my gosh! What could be easier! I have horses, so I make my grocery bags out of empty horse food bags, and I think they’re all going to be made with your simple handles from now on. These handles are more sturdy looking and more finished looking than the ones that I have been making. Thanks!
HI Toby, it is my pleasure to share with you? Would you share a photo of one of your bags with the handles?