How To Make A Single Adjustable Strap For A Bag

single adjustable strap

A single adjustable strap is the type of strap that you will need on the 13″ MacBook Pro convertible backpack I shared with you last weekend.

single adjustable strap

This single adjustable strap is also useful for turning any bag into a  crossbody bag, messenger or tote bag.  The strap is very easy to make, and the best part of this type of strap is that it's easy to remove and wash.

We owe the invention of this strap to the military uniform,  first seen in the English army at the beginning of the 19th century.

The following instructions will give you a belt that can be a minimum of 30″ and a maximum of  57″ in length, this is not including the lobster claw since they differ in length.



  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Lighter or candle if using nylon
  • Zipper foot

Choosing The Right Hardware

Choose the width and the color of the webbing tape you are going to use.

Then decide what color of hardware will complement your bag. Lastly, choose the width of the hardware matching the width of the webbing tape.  The most important piece of hardware and the one which will make the strap adjustable is the slider.

single adjustable strap

This little gadget was first seen in the U.S Cavalry of 1834, of course, it looks a little different and it had a much different use, it had a hook and a latch to hang things from it.  If I had to guess, think it would've been a pouch for gunpowder.  I am still researching the origins of this handy device, so if anyone here is a historian, I'd be happy to hear from you and please correct me in the comment section below.

How To Make A Single Adjustable Strap

Seal both ends of the webbing.  This is for in case you're using nylon or any man-made fiber. Then, if you are using cotton, add a small to medium zigzag to stop the ends from fraying.

Insert the webbing into the bridge of the slider.

single adjustable strap

Fold one inch and sew at least 3 times back and forth.

single adjustable strap

Thread the other end of the strap under and through the ring of one of the lobster claws with the opening facing down. There is no reason to worry about how the lobster claw is facing if you have a swivel lobster claw.

single adjustable strap

Pass the tape under the first opening of the slider, then over the bridge and through the next opening.

single adjustable strap

Insert the tape in the ring of the second lobster claw and fold the tape. Sew.

single adjustable strap

single adjustable strap

single adjustable strap

This is the same single adjustable strap that you will need to finish the 13″ MacBook Pro convertible tote bag.

Hope you enjoyed this quick adjustable strap guide.  Comment down below your thoughts and finished projects.

Need a double adjustable strap?  Check the tutorial below.

Until next time, Happy sewing!

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Thank you great idea!