How to Fix a Leather Purse Strap

This post has been a long time in coming, I don’t own a lot of purses because I want the ones I do have to be good quality and to last a while. I used to buy really inexpensive purses,but after having to replace them multiple times a year I decided that I would invest in a real leather purse so that it would hold up better. So, to the clearance section of the Coach outlet store I went. I found this green purse, and I used it exclusively for over 2 years. The only thing that started to wear out was the edging on the strap which I would say shows the good quality. Then came the biggest problem of all, what ist that edging stuff made out of? What is it called? How come NO ONE has a tutorial on how to fix it?! I literally searched the most random website trying to figure this out. I eventually found places that would replace the straps but couldn’t guarantee the color matching, and they charged over $100 which is how much I paid in the first place. So, I just kept wearing the purse like that and searching.

Eventually, I found a leather company that had a few products that looked promising and so I decided to give it a try since it couldn’t make my purse any worse than it already was.

DSC_8376So first I took my purse out of storage since Grant got me a new one for Christmas.

DSC_8378Next you can see how it was starting to get frayed; I would say this wasn’t bad enough to not still use the purse,but it really was starting to get on my nerves.

DSC_8379Here you can see how cracked and chipped the edging looks. The edging on leather or Faux leather purses can be all sorts of colors,but the two I found available for purchase were the black and brown. Mine is brown as you can see, and my new purse also has the brown edging which is nice if the edging on that one even starts to come off eventually.

DSC_8381So, the edging product I found is called Edge Kote, and I bought mine from Amazon which cost me including shipping and tax $9.92,but there are also leather suppliers who carry it.

Tandy Leather Fiebings Brown Edge Kote 2226-01

DSC_8382I was hoping this wasn’t money wasted,but I figured $10 was a small price to pay for an almost new looking purse if it worked. Here you can see what other items this can be used on.

DSC_8383Also, my strap was fraying but not pulling apart, if a strap of yours is, this glue works for almost anything. I would use this with a Q-Tip to glue the pieces together before working on the edging.

E-6000 Med Visc 3.7-Ounce Auto/Industrial Carded Adhesive

DSC_8386Next thing I did was to remove all of the pieces of left over and cracked edging.

DSC_8389Then trim all of the frayed fly away pieces, don’t worry about it being perfectly smooth because I will show you how to fix that later.

DSC_8390I used Q-tips for this,but the directions say you can use a clean paint brush or wooden dowel with a rounded wooden tip. I didn’t want to ruin a brush or buy this special leather dowel so I made due with Q-Tips.

DSC_8391I first used what was in the cap, and then dipped straight from a bottle. At first, I would lay the Q-Tip on a paper towel,but it bleeds through really fast so a thick magazine was a better choice.

DSC_8393Once the Q-Tip is slightly saturated, gently wipe on one layer of the Kote. Once everything is covered let it dry for at least 10 mins until it is dry to the touch.

DSC_8404The first few coats might leave it still looking like the leather underneath, but just keep doing coats and letting it dry.


DSC_8406To get to this point, I was at about 5 coats.

DSC_8408It was finally getting to the thickness that I wanted so it matched the rest of the edging,but here you can see the uneven bumps from below are still showing up, and it wasn’t smooth to the touch.

DSC_8413So, I took a fine grit sandpaper and smoothed off all of the bumps until it was level and smooth.

DSC_8415Then I did one last coat, so 6 worked perfectly for my purse and let it dry.

DSC_8417So, here you can see one side of the strap is done!

DSC_8418I didn’t want to worry about either side getting smudged so I did one edge at a time,but I am sure you could rig a setup where the strap is held so both sides can be done at the same time.

DSC_8419Now, it was time to start the second side.

DSC_8425So, it starts again with a rough look and after enough coats, a little bit of sanding, and a final coat,and it will really look great!



DSC_8430Here you can see both sides of the strap done.

DSC_8431The directions said if you want the edging really shiny, just rub with your finger to give it extra shine.

DSC_8429The final product!

BeforeAfter

Also, a lot of Faux leather pures also have coating like this on the edges. I had a Guess purse that I threw away because the straps were looking so bad; Sad that I could have easily fixed it. I have a feeling this bottle will last forever! After doing this whole project, I think side the bottle the liquid line when down one centimeter maybe two.

I thought this difference was phenomenal for $10, and am SOO glad that I attempted it! My purse looks as good as new. Have you done anything like this before? I hope this helps anyone who has been having the same issues as me!

 

 

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28 Responses

  1. Madeleine says:

    Thank you so very much for this tutorial! I’m so happy to find out this can be fixed!

  2. Bo says:

    Great! I searched internet for months and this is the only useful DIY i found. Thank you so much!

  3. Leanna says:

    Thank you so much! I too purchased a nice leather purse expecting it to last much longer than my other purses. I was so disappointed when after about a year, the straps started to fall apart. This is the only tutorial/info that I have found, and you did a fabulous job of showing how my purse can be saved! Thanks again for sharing.

  4. Veronica says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share this information. You just remedied a problem I have been dealing with for a long time. Appreciation to you!!!

  5. roseyone says:

    Thank you! I have been searching the internet and specifically leather working websites forever to figure out how to fix the straps on my good leather bag. I’m like you, I would rather keep using a nice bag – it’s the perfect size – then have to keep searching for cheap bags in the right size that would need to be replaced too soon; it’s hard to find something with the right pockets, strap length, etc. You would think more people would want to conserve (maybe they just throw theirs worn out bag away). Going to Amazon right now to order my Edge Kote!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Do you think that the clear would work well on a colored leather?

    • jrwarfield says:

      Elizabeth,
      After reading up online, all of the “clear” coatings tend to dry with a slight yellow hue to them, but if your leather is dyed the whole way through unlike my purse strap it might work fine. I just used the brown because the rest of the bag already had it.

  7. leather says:

    Hey I am so excited I found your website, I really found you by mistake,
    while I was researching on Yahoo for something else, Regardless
    I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a fantastic post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the superb job.

  8. Marta says:

    Thank you so much for the tutorial! I KNEW someone would have investigated and repaired a purse. The pictures were extremely helpful,as well as sharing product used and resource. Great blog!!!

  9. Jessika says:

    You’re awesome for finding the answer to this problem and posting it! And with great pics and detailed instructions. Thank you! (from many of us, I bet)

  10. Lee Anne says:

    Thanks for sharing. This is really a great post. I love my purse, which I have had for a year. It has all of the exact features I need in terms of pockets and closures. It is in great shape, but it has the same frayed straps as yours did. I was looking for a new one, but I couldn’t find anything as nice as what I already have. Thank goodness your article came up first when I googled how to fix your frayed purse strap! Thanks again!

  11. Kelly says:

    So glad I found your blog. Edge Kote is much better than my original plan of just coloring over the edges with a sharpie or using colored glue.

  12. Jenna says:

    Thank you immensely for researching this issue and then posting about it. I have been trying to figure out how to repair a new JCrew bag that has started cracking in the leather sealant area around the mouth of the bag. I think this is the EXACT same thing they used. I am still in the return window of when I bought the purse but now I think I can happily keep it.

  13. Mary says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! And the pictures are great–you can really see how well this works. That edging coming off really gives away a purse’s age. This will keep my purse looking new for years! Thank you :)

  14. Isabel says:

    I purchased two new bags from QVC’s fashion line, G.I.L.I.. The name of the bag is the Roma 2 Tote. Many have written in regarding defective sealant edges on the straps touching the hardware. It is cracking after very little use. I’m talking the first time they’ve used them and up to two weeks later. Mine are doing the same. I’m wondering if I can use the Feibing Edge Kote before it gets any worse and halt the cracking in its tracks or if this is just a defect I must accept and return the bags while I can. I’m assuming the sealant the manufacturer used was inferior or improperly applied. I hate to send the bags back but I don’t want to keep them if they are going to crack on me no matter what I do. Any thoughts? Thanks. One bag is ostrich embossed leather, the other pebbled leather.

    • jrwarfield says:

      Isabel,
      I am not an expert in purses at all,but if you have only been using them for two weeks that would worry me. My purse’s coating started cracking after about 1-2 years worth of constant wear and tear. I tried to “patch” parts of mine,but it didn’t stick well, so I ended up having to strip whole portions and redo it like I showed in the blog post. If I were you, I would return them, unless you are very set on those purses and are okay with having to fix them up. I also agree, that seems awfully fast to be cracking. They might send you replacements if you can convince them it is a manufacturer defect, which it might be. Good Luck!
      Jess

  15. Isabel says:

    Thanks, Jess. I guess I was hoping for someone to say they’d had the same experience and fixed it, but I had a pretty good idea that it would be the smarter thing to just return them. They remind me of the Gucci Soho shoulder bag but without the giant interlocking “G”s…I’m not a fan of logos plastered on my bags. I’ll make one more stop at the shoe repair place in town and then probably return them. I appreciate your input.

  16. Sabrina says:

    Hi! Did you have any problems with the edge kote bleeding or rubbing off when wet? I used it on one of my purses and it bled all over my hands when it got wet from rain. I’m wondering if I missed a step. TIA!

  17. Carleen says:

    Thank you so much for your post! I may get brave enough to try it on my own. Did you use any special “technique” for removing all the cracked edging? And where do you find the glue you used? Thanks again!!

  18. cheryl says:

    Thank You so much..i bought a purse from QVC. it was a leather bag and i loved it..carried it for about a month then the edging started peeling off….i returned the bag but i was sick over it….then i noticed alot of others were complaining about the same thing….so QVC took 100.00 off the price…so i decided to buy it back and fix it myself……thanks to u i was able to do that!!…

  19. cheryl says:

    Isabel, i just read ur post about the GILI bags…i returned mine and bought the as- is- GILI Roma 2…almost 100 dollar savings…i stripped ALL the plastic that was cracking off the handles and applied the edge kote….i used about 10-12 coats…it looks great!…i have the black and the espresso…i would love to get the other colors but the edge kote only comes in black and brown….to me its a DEAL…QVC really screwed up….

  20. Jody says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! You identified the product needed (Edge Kote), and your tutorial re: the process is great! I needed Tan Edge Kote and found it, and other colors, on Ebay for $8.63, including shipping.

  21. DEBRA says:

    I have a Louie Vuitton purse. One of the straps broke at the ring,can I fix?

    • jrwarfield says:

      Debra,
      I know that they normally just fold over and resew the straps on around at ring,but it all depends on how it looks if that can be possible. I have never tried this before so I am in no way qualified to answer this. I do know that Coach has a customer service section where if the strap broke they will repair it for around $20. So have you tried calling Louie Vuitton’s Customer Service just to ask? If they don’t have anything available, I would suggest find a shoe and purse repair shop and getting an estimate on them fixing it. If that is too expensive, I would look for videos or tutorials on line that have almost the same purse or issue that they are fixing. Here is a video I found on how to replace a rivet, but I am not sure if that is what is wrong with yours. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNUOJNWVSNk

  22. Carol says:

    Wow! You saved me a ton of money!
    Since there’s always an occasion that calls for that special accessory, I hate getting rid of any of my purses. Sharing your creativity is deeply appreciated. Thanks

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