Asked on Sep 09, 2017

Fixing/Replacing Handles for this Bag

by FL
This is a bag I picked up at a garage sale years ago: deep brown faux leather in a crocodile texture 12" high x 16" across. I used it for carrying paperwork
and a laptop but the handles broke (see picture) by ripping off of the metal rings that they were sewed onto. The handles are also faux leather, (covered rope) 23" long.
One end on each handles is torn up. I carry the bag on my shoulder and need it to be sturdy. Should I find someone to repair the handles and securely sew them back on or does anyone have other suggestions I can consider, like replacing the handles with new handles made of some other material? Thanks!
q fixing replacing handles for this bag
q fixing replacing handles for this bag
Sorry, the picture is a little blurred but shows unraveled fabric cover on the one end of each of the two handles.
  20 answers
  • 2dogal 2dogal on Sep 09, 2017
    How about a decorative chain instead of regular handles? If you think they might cut into your hand or shoulder, wrap that part of the chain in the fabric from your old handles. I changed out a dated purse with bamboo handles to a shoulder bag with chain handles and the transformation looks amazing. The handles won't wear out either.

    • See 1 previous
    • Kba27697237 Kba27697237 on Sep 17, 2017
      chain handles get grimy.

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Sep 09, 2017
    Take it to a shoe repair shop and see what they have. They have the tools and expertise to completely renew your bag.

  • Goc22168091 Goc22168091 on Sep 09, 2017
    Try finding something with the handles you want from goodwill or a thrift shop, then remove from the new purchase and add to your bag. Simple, and you get handles you already like.

  • C. D. Scallan C. D. Scallan on Sep 09, 2017
    Take it to a shoe repair shop .

  • Melissa V Melissa V on Sep 10, 2017
    Hi! I was also going to suggest taking it to a shoe repair shop, with old handles, new chain or whatever and let them work with the material. They have the right machines to get the job done right! 👜

  • Marianna jaluschka Marianna jaluschka on Sep 10, 2017
    I saw where they found a belt that it ( or two belts ) and made straps that way.

  • Sue c. Sue c. on Sep 10, 2017
    For years I have used a snap on convertible strap from a camera bag on all my purses. All you need to do is snap the strap onto the metal rings attachment on your purse. The convertible straps are on lots of bags ie. sports bags laptop bags etc. I buy the bags at yard sales for pennies then paint or decorate the straps in basic colors to coordinate with my purses. I can shorten for a fanny pack fit or go long for a cross body fit. Just depends on what I need at the moment and whether I need my hands or not.

  • FL FL on Sep 10, 2017
    Thank you everyone for so many wonderful and useful suggestions! I appreciate you all taking the time to help me!

  • MadameRã MadameRã on Sep 10, 2017
    How about starting with painting with a decent gold nail varnish the silver metal attachments//2-3 coats~ use some baking paper & painters tape around areas so no mess occurs.. Look into some gold based wool blends//i find much of what i need in op shops; unvavel usually part of an old jumper/top(as it will be a wool cotton synthetic blend you are looking for//or just purchase some,2 rolls is enough)..
    *Make a rope: this is done by using around ten to fifteen strands( pending on thickness, so you decide) making them 3-4 metres long, knot one end & add a pipe cleaner around it so it can be attached to a door handle, easy to then take off.
    Get your gathered strands & stand as far back as it can go & with a FIRM hold start twisting the strands until very tight. The next bit can be difficult for some though ought not to be at this length... once very tight hold FIRMLY in one hand, with the other aim to reach a half way point & hold it slightly sideways~ then walk the base end to the door knob area; you will see that the combination strands will want to wrap around each other... just get it as even as possible & slowly let go of the end you are holding( though not totally as you dont want the base to come undone... you now have the rope look so then tie a knot at that bottom part... unhook the top area off the door via the pipe cleaner then with a needle & cotton(& a concealed cotton colour cotton) sew firm the knots together; only trim excess once this is done...•I would do this twice if wanting two handles~
    Simply add the Now rope affect by starting with the hard end//sewn knotted area & sew it on to the brackets on bag however make sure one loops it over so to sew facing the bag itself~ do a neat job~ the other side will be easier as it has no knots though i would knot it together firmly before doing the same~ the idea is so it can't be seen where it is attached.
    Using a metallic gold base colour will make the bag really pop & look sassy,& additionally you will have the most comfortable shoulder straps...
    TIP; to finish totally, i would use some decent graded coconut oil on a soft cloth & polish the bag.. this not only will spruse' it up it will protect it for a long time... You should have one great looking bag,& NO ONE will have this look making it so original...& its cheap to construct!
    Happy Crafting:)))

  • Cheryl Markus Reynolds Cheryl Markus Reynolds on Sep 10, 2017
    My daughter had the same problem. She found a long belt at a local thrift store and used it for handles.

  • Danielle Odin Danielle Odin on Sep 15, 2017
    Alot of people are mentioning a purse. This is not a purse but a Bag that is used to carry papers and a laptop. This the bag is larger than a purse and usually heavier. That is why she needs a shoulder strap. I would just take it to a she repair and let them do a good job.

    • Connie Connie on Sep 16, 2017
       best idea I have seen is take it to a shoe repair shop.

  • Kba27697237 Kba27697237 on Sep 17, 2017

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Sep 17, 2017
    So, how do they get more "grimy" than any other handle?
    If they do, they're sure easier to wipe off than faux leather, leather or material.

  • Jane Jane on Sep 17, 2017
    Unless this is an expensive faux leather bag I wouldn't take it to a shoe repair shop. it may cost more than a new bag. I'd go with one of the DIY suggestions mentioned above.

  • Patricia Amos Denney Patricia Amos Denney on Sep 18, 2017
    Jane, I totally agree with you. If it's not a very expensive bag to begin with, the repair could cost more than a new tote bag would. If you have not had repairs done at a shoe repair shop lately, you might be in for a surprise.

  • TNsteph TNsteph on Sep 20, 2017
    Most craft stores actually have a section of purse handles for people who design their own purses. Go snag some of those or if you're out at yardsales, just look for another bag that has removable handles that you'd like to add to your existing bag. The same craft stores I previously mentioned, sell all attachment hardware as well. Have fun.

  • Nancy dennis Nancy dennis on Sep 20, 2017
    Any thrift store will have a wide variety of belts in various widths too. How about a dog leash (2)? slip the loop of the leash (handle) through a ring then put the clasp end of the leash through the leash handle thus creating a slip knot. attach the clasp to the opposite ring on the bag. You could even use decorative duct tape. I've seen some that looks like faux alligator/snake skin.

  • V Smith V Smith on Sep 20, 2017
    Wow, lots of answers for you. One more -- I suggest webbing. When you cut webbing you need to quickly run a flame across the cut end (match or lighter). That will fuse the threads and keep it from fraying. You would do that to all four ends. Then feed the ends thru the metal loops, leaving a generous inch to inch-and-a-half of overlap on the webbing. You or someone you know can sew an X inside a square using the zipper foot on a regular sewing machine. This is a piece of cake to do for anyone who sews. You can buy webbing straps at a fabric store or buy a dog leash and go from there.

    • V Smith V Smith on Sep 20, 2017
      The webbing should be nylon or polyester, not cotton.

  • Dreamingcreek Dreamingcreek on Sep 22, 2017
    search Guitar strap(s) on Amazon & eBay - they come in many plain & decorative embroidered designs