leather female bag image by terex from Fotolia.com

If you take care of a good leather handbag, it could last you the rest of your life. However, even for the most fastidious owners, rips and tears can sometimes accidentally happen—if your bag gets caught on a nail or sharp edge, for example. Leather, while very durable, is not impervious to all things. Luckily, you can repair most rips on your own and restore your bag's appearance without compromising the strength of the leather.

Cut 20 inches of thread and thread your needle. Position the sides of the rip so that they touch each other as they normally would if there was no rip. For cotton and other fabrics, you would grab the sides of the fabric, puckering them slightly, in order to bring them together. Don't do that with leather because it may weaken it.

Sew from left to right with a simple over-stitch to keep the sides of the leather touching. With other fabrics you would want to make a small stitch, but with leather a small stitch might pull on the material and cause more rips. Make your stitches long enough so that they bring the pieces of the rip together without tugging on the leather.

Knot your thread when you finish sewing up the rip and cut away the excess thread. Add a few dots of glue on the underside of the rip directly on the stitches. This will help reinforce them.

Apply one tiny drop of leather glue to the stitches of the rip on the exterior of the handbag. Distribute it to all the stitches using a Q-tip.