Making a Beaded Purse Handle

Pat Winter © 2008

   
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If you find yourself in need of the right purse handle for your newly created purse as I did, don’t worry. With a few basic supplies you can make a custom purse handle. First you must sit, inhale deeply, exhale and empty your mind of all images of “proper” purse handles. You know the ones that are leather, metal, or cloth. Now let’s gather some things and get started. Don’t forget to breathe!

Supplies needed:

  • Two double jump rings
  • Two lobster clasps
  • Two crimp beads
  • Wire nippers and jewelry pliers
  • Nylon covered wire (I prefer Beadalon, which can be found at most craft stores.)
  • Assorted matching beads to compliment your purse…you don’t have enough beads? Not to worry, you can make them from fabric scraps and thin stir straws. (More on that at end of article.)

Directions:

Measure wire to desired length. I prefer a 30” strap, however, you can find your desired length by hanging the wire over your shoulder and measure where you would want your purse to be. Feed a crimp bead and lobster clasp onto the wire and crimp with pliers. Do this very firmly and pull on the lobster clasp to make sure it is very secure. I use two crimp beads for heavy purses.

Add your beads then repeat the addition of crimp bead and lobster clasp.
Add double jump rings to your frame if loops are available.
Finished handle.

Now for those fabric beads~~~ this idea has been around for a while; I didn’t invent it.

You will need those thin coffee stir straws for small beads or regular straws for larger beads.

  • Gather any fabrics scraps that coordinate with your purse
  • Glue that dries clear
  • Assorted fibers and seed beads are optional

Cut your straw to desired length. Tear cotton fabrics for raveled edge effect to the width of your straw. Ellen Anne Eddy gave me her dyed cotton edges and they work great for this, so keep those selvage strips from all your pretty cottons. batiks, velvet and lace make really nice beads too.

Add a drop of glue onto your fabric and wrap around straw and roll between fingers to spread glue and secure. Repeat using several fabrics. Wrap interesting fibers and strung seed beads around your beads for even more fun.

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