People often ask me about handbag feet! There seems to be a false belief out there that they are complicated or difficult to install. This can’t be further from the truth! They are EASY PEASY, functional and look GREAT too, making your bag look more professional!….so there is no excuse why you too can’t add some feet to your bags!
All you need is some bag feet (Of course!)….these either come with washers or without. Plus a hole punch, an awl or knitting needle or even a stitch ripper to make holes for them.
Here is a selection of some typical bag feet:
As you can see, they come in different shapes, sizes and colours, so you are sure to find something that suits your bag!
Some come with washers and some without. Both versions work just fine however I personally prefer to use a washer because I find the feet stay firmly in place better when using them. If there aren’t any washers included, I simply raid hubby’s stash for an ordinary round washer that fits over the stem…..if he hasn’t any, a visit to the local hardware shop will turn up one that fits!
Now…..lets install some feet into your bag! Typically the feet are installed during construction, prior to assembling and lining your bag. I like to use peltex, 7 mesh plastic or template plastic on the base to give it some support.
Once you have your support in place, the next step of course is to work out where to put them! Make sure you allow space for your seam allowance and some room to sew past them. Make tiny holes in the required positions using a small hole punch, an awl or a stitch ripper and then poke the prongs of the feet, from the right side, through the holes and top with a washer. Bend the prongs outwards firmly down against the peltex:
If you are using a fabric that frays a lot, you might also like to put a little fray stopper around the holes to prevent them from growing!
Personally I don’t want to feel the bag feet prongs through the lining of my bag, so I like to add a small scrap of fusible fleece on top of the fitted feet:
The fusible fleece not only feels better BUT also protects the lining from wear!
Oh and just in case you are wondering where to get them…..most bag hardware supply shops will carry them! I carry Hardware Kits for all my bag patterns in my Etsy Store PLUS I have extras available, such as purse feet, magnetic snaps, rivets etc so please just email me with what you need and I will see what I can do! 🙂
And there you have it…… that is all there is to it! That wasn’t so hard now, was it? 🙂
your blog has always been great…..
Thank you! 🙂
I’ve never used bag feet, but when I do, I’ll use this as a reference… very easy to follow!
Thank you! 🙂
I just found your blog and can’t thank you enough! I want to start making bags, but needed some guidance. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us. I will be purchasing some of your patterns.
Thank you Joanie! I am pleased you have found the info here useful! 🙂
They are EASY PEASY
Yeah I made my own bag It is really nice…
Wonderful blog & good post.
It’s really helpful for me, waiting for more new post.
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Thank you so much for the detailed tutorial. I’ve had some purse feet in a drawer for years, tried several time to install them and failed each time. Fail no more!
I am considering adding purse feet to an ‘after market’ bag. Is it realistic to be concerned that adding feet to an already constructed bag would just cause damage? I’m thinking that I would just poke the prongs thru both the bottom of the bag and the lining and could use some sort of fabric (patch) with a compatible adhesive to hide and protect the prongs Its a pretty deep bag and the lining is stitched to the sides at the bottom making it impossible to pull the lining out, otherwise I would do that, open the seam, cover the prongs directly and then repair the seam so the prongs with patches are hidden. Any suggestions you may offer would be appreciated. Thank you
Carol, I personally haven’t added feet to a commercial bag and I imagine it would depend exactly on what the bag is made of and how it is constructed etc as to whether you are likely to cause damage. In many cases I would imagine it is quite OK to do what you suggest in your comment however I am afraid I am hesitant to offer advice on this without having seen the bag and exactly how it is made or constructed etc…..especially the type of materials used in construction…. i.e. not every type of material would take kindly to having holes poked in it. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific in my reply! :0
Hey, I want to add these to my genuine leather Michael Kors bag, but don’t know if feet ruin the leather or how to secure them on the other side without covering or tearing the beautiful MK lining on the inside of the purse. Help?
I wouldn’t like to recommend adding them to a completed bag, especially one such as you have, if you are not familiar with bag making construction or procedures. I would hate for you to ruin it! It is impossible for me to describe to you how to do it without seeing the actual bag or how it is constructed etc. Perhaps there is a leather bag repair type shop in your area that may do it for you?
Sorry I cannot be of more help!
HI Christine –
How do you determine how many feet to add to the bottom of a bag? I am making a purse that has a 10″x4″ bottom. It is a plush fabric and I want to be able to keep the fabric cleaner. I can put four feet on the corners, and although I will have a plastic grid in the bottom, I don’t want the center to bow/drag. Would you use four feet on the corners and then add more for the center (maybe two). I could use 8 in a grid like pattern (2 – 1 -2 -1 -2) or (2 – 2 – 2- 2). Thoughts?
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There is really no hard and fast rules as to how many feet to add or the spacing so usually it’s just personal judgement as to qty and spacing but I would use 6 feet in a 10” base that I was particularly
keen to have not drag, plus a larger sized feet….perhaps 16mm (5/8”)….plus a nice firm base…..Template plastic might support the bottom better than a plastic grid….
Hope this helps!