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Handbag How-To




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,


  • Template
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing supplies
  • Wooden handle


  1. Step 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. Step 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.

Martha Stewart Living, June 2013



Reviews (4)

  • capaig-1 3 Aug, 2013

    I'm Spanish and Martha Stewart fan since I discovered her accidentally two years ago looking for crafts to fill my free time
    I discovered your website when I was searching the web for halloween decoration ideas. Despite being very creative in Spain you have more experience in this event and become fascinated with all the ideas that you showed on your web especially for children
    I must say that your website has given me incredible moments and has occupied my time very pleasantly .Thank you

  • Gail88 29 Jun, 2013

    This bag turned out great--I would recommend using the Joggles handles specified; I used cheaper handles and had to replace them within a few weeks! I made the shape bag demonstrated and did bind the middle raw edges with a strip of self-fabric. I used some great outdoor fabric I found as a remnant and used several layers as it was too lightweight with one layer. Happy with the results!

  • lisa x 8 Jun, 2013

    very good handbag very easy to do it. especially if the fabric is a silk one its amazing!!

  • Felicitac 5 Jun, 2013

    I really like this DIY, really great !

    I think you should do another one with the Edge bag from Celine, its very simple so i think it could be done easily, and god this bag is gorgeous !