Style Snapshot: Beaded Purse Straps

Design Idea G221 Purse
by Barbara van Look, Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Jewelry-making techniques can be used to embellish everything--even bags and purses. And though embellished bags have been seen for more than a few seasons, the straps have tended to be straightforward.

And, frankly, a bit boring.

No more.

Ideas from the Runway

We're seeing stand-out straps from Fendi (who likes fur), braided leather from Mulberry, chainmaille from Alexander Wang and Oscar de la Renta, beaded chain from Dolce and Gabbana, huge rings from Roksanda, beaded straps from Coach--plus other styles. With all these possibilities, why are you settling for plain old purse handles?

You don't have to anymore.

Beaded and Embellished Purse Handles and Straps

Not sure how to implement what you're seeing? We've got some ideas:

Memory Wire
Memory wire, with its "remembered" permanent curl, is an ideal material for round purse handles. Personalize them for even more style. We've seen these on the runway during New York Fashion Week.
  • Cord
    • Colorful rubber cord is designed to slide over memory wire, creating a comfortable and attractive grip for casual looks
    • Touchable velveteen cord is ideal for elegant, upscale designs
  • Oh! Rings
    • String them over rubber cord (larger diameters) or straight over memory wire (smaller diameters) for a colorful, comfortable handle
    • Add a few jumprings for metallic shine
  • Beads
    • Use pre-beaded memory wire bracelets from our ready-to-wear jewelry selection, remove the clasp (if it has one) and attach to the bag
    • String beads to make your own! Just remember someone has to grip this, so make it comfortable. Heishi and long tube beads work, as do super-large, smooth rondelles. For sparkle, the slightly softer profile of Czech fire-polished beads will be more comfortable than crisper edged options
    • Design Idea 0097 Purses
Chainmaille
Channel your inner warrior queen with chainmaille purse handles and straps. Oscar de la Renta and Alexander Wang showcased both super short and super long handles made using full Persian and Byzantine weaves.

Design Idea A35W Chainmaille Purse
  • Oh! Ring™ Components
    • Woven together using fingers or the latch hook tool
    • Or mix with jumprings to add stretch and color to weaves. We recommend using aluminum or stainless steel, for their resistance to rust and oxidation. Plus, aluminum jumprings come in so many fun colors!
    Linking Oh! Ring™ Rubber Components with the Latch Hook Tool How-To
  • Czech pressed glass rings
    • These colorful glass beads are best for upscale and formal designs, as they can break under repeated shocks. But they do add marvelous color and iridescence!
  • Donuts
    • Intersperse sections of chainmaille with gemstone or shell donuts, Swarovski crystal cosmic rings or other ring-shaped components
    Design Idea DC1T Chainmaille Purse
  • Chainmaille weaves
    • Turkish roundmaille is a more complex creation, similar to Byzantine weave. It's ideal for mixing smooth and twisted rings, or colorful rings.
    • Twisted 3-in-3 chain is a simpler weave that works well with Oh! Rings, as it alternates evenly
    • Box chain weave is creates a slightly squared-off length of maille
Beads
When it comes to beaded purse handles and straps, there are so many options.
Reject boring, ordinary bag handles and purse straps. It's time to turn your jewelry-making skills to beautify and refresh what you own--or make fresh new straps and handles to offer your customers. The purse is another place to showcase your style. Don't leave it boring!

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