How to save torn bag handles

how to save torn bag handles and give it a new look with ribbon Have you ever had your PU leather bag handles tear on you? If the rest of the bag is still intact, it’d feel like such a waste to toss it!

This happened to me recently and I decided to try my best to save the handles and give it a new look! All this just with some ribbon lying around!

Here’s how:

How to save torn PU leather bag handles with ribbon tutorial

  1. Use double-sided tape or glue to stick one end of the ribbon to the start of the handle and go around it a few times.
  2. Bring the ribbon around the handle (over and then under) and pull tight to form a knot.
  3. Repeat down the entire bag strap, keeping each knot close.
  4. At the end, tie a double knot with the remaining ribbon. Stuff it under more ribbon loops and knot it till it’s happy and secure.
  5. Cut off the remaining ribbon after the knot and use nail varnish to prevent the end from fraying.

Voila! You have yourself new bag handles!

turn torn PU leather bag handles into brand new with ribbon

Feel free to use ribbon of the same colour as the bag or even neon ribbon to add some fun to it. I used black to keep the style classic (and because I only had black ribbon lying around). Enjoy! :)


  1. Efthymia says

    Well, you may consider yourself my savior. I was about to give some 50 euros (about $63) to repair to of my handbags. I can’t even thank you enough for this post!

  2. amy says

    oh cool it’s a blanket stitch with ribbon! and i see you even knotted it on the outside so it won’t be biting into your shoulders when you carry it! (easier to knot on the outside too of course) let me know when you find a cure for flaking leather straps though, cos i have a bag like that which i’m still not willing to throw :(

    • says

      Hihi! You could do the same thing for your leather straps! Or alternatively get new genuine leather straps and have them replaced? Believe it wouldn’t be too expensive in China? :)

  3. Barb says

    How do you know how long of a ribbon to have to cover each handle? Thanks for the’ve just saved my favorite handbag!!!

    • says

      Hi Barb! Glad this helped you :) The length depends on how closely you knot the ribbon with each tier, the length of your bag handle, etc.

      You could potentially take a measuring tape or spare ribbon/ material that’s similar in width and wrap it round the handle a few times to cover one section. Multiply this length needed by the number of sections needed to cover the entire handle and multiply it again by 2 to give enough space for the knot and add some excess for the start and finish wrapping.

      Alternatively, you could buy a couple yards of ribbon and just keep going without cutting the ribbon until you’re done. The additional ribbon can be kept for future projects! :)

  4. Krishna says

    This was just what my handbag needed! I did this for my bowler handbag. The handle length was maybe almost twice the length than the handles on the bag in the tutorial and for those going out to buy ribbon especially for this project, I used 4.5m! I also sewed the ends into the handle to make sure it wouldn’t unravel and finished it with some ribbon bows and sewed on some beads from a broken bracelet.

    Thanks for the idea!

  5. aetiquette says

    Wow.. am seriously blown away at the simplicity of the cure. Do you have any ideas to fix flaking parts elsewhere on the bag? And also change the Color of faux leather bag which can’t be cleaned any which way. Thanks a ton.

  6. Dean says

    You are a life savior ! u saved my costly and my favorite bag ! and guess what it even looks funkier than before now ! kudos :)

  7. SAKINA ELLAM says

    Thank you… You amazing idea, saved my really expensive back. Used 2 colours of ribbon to make colourful matching strap.

  8. SAKINA ELLAM says

    Thank your… You amazing idea, saved my really expensive bag. Used 2 colours of ribbon to make colourful matching strap.

  9. says

    Hi Everyone,

    I just wanted to turn everyone on to a great leather supplier out of NYC. They are called District Leathers. Their website is http://www.districtleathers…and they are super friendly and helpful. They carry all types of leather that you can take out right from their showroom on 263 West 38th St. (15th floor) in NYC. No appointment necessary.

  10. Bev says

    THANK YOU! I did an internet search on fixing old purse handles. VIOLA!… found your article! :o) I have an old Coach bag that I adore but the black leather handles are frayed and look like crap. Otherwise, the purse itself and hardware are in great condition. So I went to Michaels and picked up 1 spool of .50″ wide black satin ribbon (cost $3.). Someone else had mentioned “Blanket Stitch”. So I kept flipping back and forth between your article & pics and a YouTube video for blanket stitch. It took me sometime but, my purse looks GREAT! I like the whole braided look. I wasn’t sure about satin ribbon but it actually looks good! I should’ve taken a “Before” pic. And I wish I could’ve at least included the “After” so I can show off! LOL. Thank you times a million. :o)

  11. Victoria says

    I wish I had seen this earlier. But am glad I have seen this now. I won’t have to loose any of my leather bag anymore.
    Thanks for sharing

  12. says

    Hello: This might not apply to fancy handbags, but could be adapted…I had a sm. Samsonite hanging-type toiletry-bag w./2 loops, so I took some parachute cord & connected them w./a sinnet of square knots (made a lot of Macrame, way back when.) Was real happy with the result, matched the black bag in color/style. The handle doubles as a ’emergency bracelet’ for me=bonus :) Maybe you have a sporty bag, that needs help–parachute cord comes in many colors…check out different knots?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *