Handbag How-To

Handbag How-To

Photography: Kate Mathis

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2013


With premade wooden grips and basic sewing skills, crafts editor Marcie McGoldrick makes effortlessly chic purses that are great for summer.

If you have another shape of handle, adapt one of our templates by adjusting the width and the taper at the top.

Wooden Handle 101

Look for new handles at craft stores, or check Etsy and eBay for vintage versions. Large, nearly round designs have holes big enough to loop over your wrist, making them good options for everyday use. Smaller, oblong openings are better for clutches or baguettes. Some handles have slots you thread the cloth through; others you just loop the fabric around.


Assorted wooden handles, from $14 a pair,
Assorted fabrics,


  • Fabric

  • Scissors

  • Sewing supplies

  • Wooden handle


  1. Print out the corresponding template for your handle. Cut two pieces of fabric. Following the lines on the template, fold over the seam allowance on the top edges and press, as shown. Using scissors, remove excess material as indicated on the template. With right sides facing, pin the two fabric pieces together along the bottom half and sew. Press the seam open; turn right side out.

  2. Depending on the handle, either slide the fabric through the slot or loop it over the handle. Pin and stitch down the open sides, then across to secure the handle. Repeat with the other side.


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