Happiest 2017 New Year (of the Fire Rooster) to you my fellow crafting bag making addicts! Thank you for reading my blog (some of you have been doing so for 10 years now!) Since becoming a mum nearly 5 years ago I have neglected my corner of the craft blogiverse. This year I resolve to remedy that, I really do. Please chime in with your comments and let me know what you would like me to write about. I'm always open to your suggestions. X
This post is a tutorial on how to use one of our exciting new products: Bag Handle Tape (aka bag strap off the roll) in 1" width and 1 1/4" width. Do you want strong and professional looking straps that are exactly the right length for you/your friend? Do you need them in a hurry and/or you don't want to work with vinyl/leather and plus hate topstitching???? Yes?! Then step this way.... We can show you how to make deluxe-looking straps in super-quick time. The results look gorgeous and they are soooo easy to make!
This is what the 1" Tape looks like front and back. We also have a wider 1 1/4" style that has a webbing back (which is nice to use on travel / satchel/courier style bags). This bag handle strapping is superb quality, it's very strong, it's nicely finished and it looks very posh indeed.
These are the straps that we are going to make. Yep! These straps look totally professional, just like like ready made straps! I actually enjoy topstitching (and like to think I'm pretty good at it), but my topstitching never looks as precise as the topstitching above!
1) Bag handle tape to your desired length and width (you can choose between 1" and 1 1/4" widths). See our selection of handle tapes, webbings and matching hardware all in one easy to find place.
2) Swivel hooks to match the bag tape width.
4) Rivets - you can use Chicago screws (like I have. I think they look fab and they're really easy to use) or cap rivets. I USED ANTIQUE BRASS 9MM (HEAD) X 5MM (TALL) CHICAGO SCREWS.
5) Hole punch; Scissors/rotary cutter; Big hand needle/awl
How to make your straps:
1). After cutting the tape to your desired length, use a lighter to melt the thread ends at the tape cut ends. This will prevent the topstitching from unravelling. As long as your strap cut-end is nice and straight (I use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut the strap) there is no need to fold the cut ends over. The strap raw edge looks perfectly neat as is.
2). Fold one of the strap ends over a swivel hook. You are looking to see where the strap end folds comfortably without sacrificing too much strap length. In the picture above I folded the strap end over the hook ring by 1 1/4".
3). Decide where you are going to insert your rivet. You need to place the rivet in the strap centre and at a height that is not too high or low for the strap end (at the back) and to leave enough clearance for the hook ring. When happy with the rivet position use a needle/awl to make a starter hole through both strap layers. In the pic above I have made my starter hole 7/8" up from the strap folded edge.
4). Remove the swivel hook, fold the strap as before and use a hole punch to punch the rivet holes through both layers. The hole width is dependent on the width of your rivet shaft. It is OK to make a punch hole that is slightly too narrow, but do not make the hole too wide as the rivet may wiggle free from the strap. If in doubt, test first!
5). Make corresponding holes on the other strap end. To make the strap ends perfectly symmetrical, lay the punched strap end over the unpunched strap end, match the edges and use your needle/awl to make corresponding starter holes on the unpunched strap end as shown above. Thread the strap ends through the swivel hooks and secure the ends with rivets/Chicago screws. Place on bag and show off said bag! Ta dah!!!