Tutorial: How To Choose And Attach Fashion Handles

Lazies, Fashion handles are an easy and sophisticated addition to a fabric purse or tote.

‘U’ shaped saddle brown ‘marble’ style handle pair
(item #6335) from Clover Needlecraft.

How To Choose Handles
Fashion handles are one more design element for your project. From the standpoint of color, adding handles is similar to adding another fabric to a quilt. When selecting handles ask yourself, do the handles need to blend, act as an accent, or offer more of a particular color family?

Handles offer color, texture and character, all of which are a part of the overall finished design. Consider the shape, size, style, color, texture, and materials. Think about how they will function and how they will feel in your hand. Consider the weight, too. When possible, take your fabrics, or otherwise completed project, with you and audition handles until the right pair makes your bag sing.

Give It The Lazy Test
Take a look at the entire picture below. Now, cover the handles with your hand and look at the bag without the handles. Then move your hand away and see the difference these handles make to the total project.

‘Miranda Day Bag’ by Lazy Girl Designs (item #LGD123)

Why These Handles Work For This Project
– These dark saddle brown handles add warmth and richness, or depth, to the cool teal tones of these fabrics.
– Dark handles at the top balance the dark fabric at the bottom.
– The rich brown makes the brown flowers stronger (just a personal preference to emphasize this color).
– The silver toned hardware blends with the cool tones of the fabric. Gold toned hardware would stick out like a sore thumb.
– The brown ribbon loops visually pull the handles down onto the bag, increasing their presence and reinforcing their connection to the project.
– The loops reinforce the vertical design element of the flap closure.
– These handles echo the round elements of the fabrics (rounded flower tips and circles) in two ways, they are ‘U’ shaped, and round like a watering hose (as opposed to flat like a book).
– The variegated color makes it match better. A solid color would have to match almost perfectly to blend.

I couldn’t have designed a more prefect handle for this project – Thanks Clover!

Mechanics Of The Handles
These handles come with a ‘U’ shaped ring and screw post assembly at each end of the handle. When possible, have the screw post enter from the inside of the handle, toward the outside as shown below.


The ring and screw come completely off of the handle. This allows you to attach the handle at any time in the project, preferably at the end. The ends of the handle have a hole drilled for the screw post. As an option, you could attach just the handle by feeding any number of things through that hole – wire, fabric, ribbon, other hardware, etc.

The ‘U’ Shaped Ring
Here’s a closer look at the rings on this handle set. They are nice and hearty in size and feel. The screw goes through one end, and anchors into an awaiting pocket on the other end. One end has a hole, the other is rounded and closed on the outside, offering a nice clean finish when in place.


Here, I’ve used grosgrain ribbon as a loop to attach my fashion handles. I find it easiest to attach handles when the bag is lying flat on a surface.

Slip a ring into the loop.
Keep the screw post and end with the hole toward the center of your bag.

Slide the end of the handle into place.
Feed the screw post through the ring, the handle, then into the
anchor pocket at the other end of the ring. Tighten into place.

Attach one handle at a time.

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