Corded bag handles are so easy to make, you'll never buy them again! Use my tutorial to make your own faux leather corded bag handles for the next bag you make!
Ever since I made my first handmade bag, I've wanted to make my own fancy straps. Fabric straps are nice enough, but I love how polished a set of faux leather straps looks. I've been looking into vegan faux-leather bags and seeing how nice they look and realized I've never tried them till now because they looked like they'd be too difficult or too fussy.
But a recent bag project was just screaming for corded handles, so I took the plunge. And then I found out just how easy it was to make corded bag handles. Like, "why had I waited so long?" easy.
If you, too, have been wanting to make faux leather corded bag handles, read on because I've got a tutorial for you.
I also have a tutorial for making the plaid bag you see above. Click here to see how to make it!
You can make handles any length you like. If you use my measurements below, you'll get handles that are 24" long. For me, that seems like a good length. It creates enough drop that you can easily put your arm through and sling the bag over your shoulder. But if you want your handles to be a different length, I've also got the formulas so you can create handles in any length you like.
Materials (for one set of bag handles):
Faux leather – 2 pieces 2.5" x 28" (or length of desired handle length, plus 4")
Home décor cording, 3/8" diameter - 2 pieces 23" long (or length of desired handle length, minus 2")
Fabric clips (e.g., Wonder Clips)
Rotary cutter, ruler, and mat
Tips and tricks for best results:
The cording tends to fray, especially the cotton cording. When you cut the cording, go ahead and wrap some tape around the ends to keep it from fraying.
For best results when sewing on faux leather, use a leather needle and a Teflon presser foot. If you don't have a Teflon presser foot, you can cover the bottom of your presser foot with tape. This will keep the faux leather from sticking to the bottom of the presser foot.
Pins create permanent holes in faux leather, so use fabric clips instead of pins to hold the faux leather in place.
How to make faux leather corded bag handles:
Use a pencil to mark the back of the faux leather strips 2" from both ends (this is where you will start/stop your stitch line) and 2.5" from the ends (placement guide for the cording).
Wrap the faux leather around the coding, with the ends of the cording flush with the mark you made 2.5" from the ends. Use fabric clips to hold the faux leather in place.
Use a zipper foot (Teflon coated or with tape on the bottom) to sew the faux leather close to the cording. Start and stop your stitch line 2" from the ends of the faux leather.
You'll notice there's a pretty big seam allowance. We're going to get rid of that. Use a rotary cutter and ruler to trim that down to 1/8" from the stitch line. I find it's easiest to cut about 8" at a time, moving section by section down the strap until the whole thing is trimmed. When you get to the ends, where the faux leather isn't wrapped or sewn, just trim off the same amount as you've been trimming off the rest of the strap to keep it all even.
That's all there is to it. Seriously. It's THAT easy.
You've just made your own faux leather corded bag handles! All you need to do to install them is stitch the tabs down to your bag.
Look how nice they look on a finished bag!