Finding the perfect purse that matches an outfit and carries everything you need can be difficult. Even when you find the right color, style and size, the strap length may not be what you need. It’s easy to adjust the strap on a cloth bag: Just tie a knot in the strap. For leather purses, the easiest way to adjust the strap is to take the handbag to a leather worker, but here’s how you can do it yourself.

Things You'll Need


Slide Adjustable Strap

Cut a 5-inch length of the strap material in your choice of pattern or color. Cut a longer length if you prefer a low-hanging purse.

Slide one end of the fabric through the metal square ring. Fold the webbing over on itself, creating about a one-inch overlap and sew through both thicknesses. Sew a box about 3/8 of an inch inside each edge, then sew diagonally across the box, creating an X.

Cut a longer length of fabric, usually 24 inches, but longer if you like a longer strap.

Slide this length of fabric over the center metal piece of the slide adjuster. Fold about 2 inches of the fabric back on itself and sew it as in Step 2 to secure this piece of the strap to the slide.

Slide the short piece you made in Step 1 through the square ring, making sure the sewn-under pieces are facing each other and will both wind up on the inside of the strap, closest to your body. Smooth the put-together strap flat.

Sew both loose ends of the now adjustable strap to the sides of the purse.

Belt Buckle Adjustable Purse Strap

Cut two lengths of leather or fabric purse strap material. Recommended lengths are 15 inches and 21 inches. Cut a third length of strap material that is 2.5 times the width of the material; this will be the strap loop.

Thread the shorter strap through the buckle, folding the material back on itself, and sew the strap to secure it to the buckle. If you are using a leather buckle, insert the leather into the clawed end of the metal, then pinch or gently hammer the metal teeth closed around the metal.

Measure about 2 inches from one end of the longer length of strap material and mark a spot in the middle of the material for the first buckle hole. Measure one inch farther from the end, and mark a second hole spot. Continue the same process to mark four or five holes, one inch apart.

Punch holes in the strap material using the awl. If you are using leather, you are finished. If using fabric, use metal eyelets to prevent fraying around the holes.

Finish the piece with holes by placing a metal tip on the end — included in the buckle kit — or stitch along the edge to prevent fraying.

Slide the strap piece with the holes into the buckle, making sure both front sides are facing up. Sew the loose ends to the purse.