Attn Leather Work Yodas

OK, leather working people, I need some advice from the Yodas out there.

I made a wooden purse with wooden chain links for the strap, as the designer suggested. I photographed it and added to my Etsy shop. I decided to use the one I took photos of myself. To my surprise, one of the wooden links broke. I am glad it happened to me and not to a customer.

Here is where I need help. Should I go down the rabbit hole to make custom leather straps, and is it cost effective to do that?

What do you suggest as bare minimum tools I would need to get started? I know I will need some hardware to attach the strap to the purse, but what else?

I am also considering making canvas straps, but my sewing machine isn’t working at the moment, and I am not certain it could sew canvas webbing anyway.

Thanks for your advice in advance! I am including a photo of the purse.


the wooden links are sexy, maybe a thicker cut would make them stronger?
or coating them in poly?


WAIT WAIT… let me do this proper

Problem you have, answers you seek, mmmmm, maybe link too thin, must make thicker, yes… maybe cover with oils from swamp, make them stronger, with the force…


I don’t know the answer but this is gorgeous!

1 Like

They were a real pain in the %#^$@ to put together, so I imagine thicker wood would be even harder.

Thank you, I do!

1 Like

Thank you so much! The ladies in my office were amazed that i had made it.

1 Like

It can be cost effective, depending on the type of strap you want to make.

If you’re happy with a plain strap you can buy precut strips of leather, strings/shoelaces (braid a few together and interweave into your wood links to keep the look) or even a thrift store belt and buy nothing else (design your strap in a way that ties onto the purse).

You could also easily go down the rabbit hole of buying a side of leather and getting ALL the tools and finishes or anywhere in between.

A super simple, secure and professional attachment option that requires no other tools besides your GF and a screwdriver would be Chicago screws. (They’re like rivets you screw together, so they don’t need any setting tools).
They’re available in different colors.


I like the idea of braiding thin leather strips to weave in and out of the wooden links.

However, the wooden chain is not very comfortable for everyday use.


It really has a wow factor! I have found that people who see what the :glowforge: can do are mostly wowed! One of the reasons I love it so much!


I assume (ASS-u-me) its a interlock, you cut the link, with an insert, link the two together, then glue in locking piece? a thicker piece of wood may be easier to assemble… not harder
(I’m talking out my butt here, I have no idea, I am just thinking it thru)

1 Like

Go onto Amazon and type in “handbag hardware”…it will be a feast for your eyes of all sorts of great looking things to use on a purse. Most all of them don’t need any sewing. Even something like this for a cross-body strap;

That will be lots of fun figuring out how to finish your wooden project.


LOVE Chicago screws.


Just an idea for you. Have the GF cut out leather straps. Then use Chicago screws at the end of the straps to attach it to the bag.

A tip: If choose leather —-finish the back of the leather with gum trag. This product is phenomenal for laying down the fibers. Apply two coats with a sponge brush between each coat roll it out with a rolling pen. I do large sheets of leather with gum trag and then I put it in the GF to cut

I do love the look of the wood links. I agree with @Deleted it is SEXY!!

1 Like

Oddly enough, I’m working in Chicago for a few months and the people here have never heard that term. They call them sex bolts!.


I need to make the straps longer than the cutable area. I have a plus model.

That’s hilarious! Makes perfect sense, really.

1 Like

I did that for a shoulder bag I made. Just cut two strips with an angle on each end, then sewed them together on those angles. Not the neatest look, but it worked.

If you like the look, you can make a strap as long as you like with interlocking figure 8 shapes.


This is absolutely beautiful. For someone who packs a lot in my purse, I’m not sure you can make wooden ones strong enough. i like the leather option!


Thank you! I am going to try this.