I'm sure that most of you are more experienced in working with leather, so my post is for beginners. In this article I would like to describe a process of making volume handles for a leather handbag. Let's begin and not waste our time.
So, we will need the following:
- halyard (rope) with a diameter of 6 mm (it can be thicker if you need stronger handles or if a finished product will be larger);
- glue for leather (typical superglue or its analoge will be fine);
- a cutting knife and a stationery knife (you can use only a stationery knife);
- waxed polyester thread 1 mm in diameter;
- 2 needles;
- an awl for leather marking;
- punches for leather (you can replace them with an awl, but the time and labor costs will increase significantly);
- a ruler (preferably metal) with a length of 50 centimeters or more;
- and leather. I have green "crazy horse" leather with a thickness of 1.4 mm. You can take a thinner leather, but I do not recommend to take a thicker leather — it is difficult to bend and stitch.
1. First, cut two strips of leather for handles, considering the required length. Add at least 5 cm to this length at each side for fixing the handles. For example, my handles are 40 cm long, so I left 7 cm for attachment at each side and cut strips 54 cm long. The width of a strip is 5 cm. It's enough for 6 mm rope, but I cut a wider strip for my convenience in the future.
Make attachment points 5 mm narrower than the main strip on each side and give them a necessary form.
2. Cut the rope. Remember that the length of handles is 40 cm, the rope must a little longer — 41 cm is enough. Glue the rope exactly in the middle of our strips on the reverse side. Now take the strips of thin leather and glue them on the ends of the handles covering the rope. Thus, we fix the halyard and give the attachment points of handles additional rigidity:
3. Cut the excess of lining leather after the glue dries:
4. Now put glue on the leather from both sides of the rope and wait for 5-10 minutes so that the glue can acquire its properties (see the instructions for your glue):
5. Fold the leather around the rope and glue it. Start with the edges and glue to the center, making sure that the edges coincide:
6. Compress the rope with the leather as close as possible to the rope. The result should be like this:
7. Wait for the glue to dry. 10-20 minutes is enough. Now take a punch and a mallet (preferably of rubber) and punch holes. Put the punch as close to the rope as possible, but make sure not to punch the halyard. The holes should be reach-through, we will pass needles through them. The best way is to put some unnecessary plate or a piece of plastic not to damage the table:
8. Now stitch it with a regular saddle seam. Make 2-3 return stitches to secure the thread at the beginning and the end of the seam:
9. The last step. Step back 3-4 mm away from the seam, cut off the excess leather. Then sand the bumps and smooth out or paint the side:
Our handles are ready for attaching to a bag. They look perfectly on a product and last for a long time.
Thanks to everyone who have read this DIY to the end :) I hope my post was useful for you!
I wish you success in your work!