Home Blog How to Fix a Leather Purse Strap

How to Fix a Leather Purse Strap

by Jessica

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 websites 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. I pulled most of it off with my fingers,but I also sanded off a few parts here and there.

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!


One last thing I wanted to show was that, a few readers have mentioned that this Edge Kote is coming off when wet on their hands. If you want to make sure and waterproof the Edge Kote, us this Acrylic Resolene Leather Finish Protectant. It works really well.
You apply it with a Q-tip or with a leather applicator.
Edge Kote above claims to be waterproof, but I also noticed that the koting needed an extra layer of protection. So just wipe it on.
It will have a white/blue sheen to it when wet, and then just let it dry where it will be clear. I did two coats per side.
It gives it a wonderful shiny finish, that is completely waterproof!

Also, a lot of Faux leather purses 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. Edit: It has been 9 years since putting up this blog post, and I’m still using the same bottle of Edge Kote and Resolene!

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!

Check out this tutorial where I use Edge Kote and Resolene again to fix my boots.

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Marsy September 18, 2015 - 8:40 pm

You ARE a clever clever lady! I purchased a “pre-loved” Coach Handbag only a few weeks ago, gorgeous Denim Blue Embossed Python slouchy-style bag (not real snakeskin/Python)…which I so love. I hung it up on the hook on the backside of the bathroom door a couple times and noticed just today that about a 3/4 to 1 inch piece of the “plastic edging stuff” on both strap edges is starting to peel-off exactly where it had come in contact with the bathroom hook~Oh NO! I thought! Any way I used a permanent felt marker to darken the pale blue leather that was left showing. BUT YOUR SOLUTION LOOKS WAY WAY BETTER! PLEASE MAKE A YOUTUBE VIDEO ON THIS SUBJECT!

Marsy September 19, 2015 - 10:20 pm

I just wanted to comment to everyone out there: DO NOT hang your handbags on any hooks (like in restaurant bathroom stalls, etc) or hangers or even doorknobs…it puts too much stress on the leather handle/straps and causes them separate from the “plastic sealant” and pull apart. I think it’s best just to rest your handbag gently on a clean/dry surface…and not with all the weight on the handles/straps. The purpose of that plastic sealant is to prevent moisture from getting in between the layers of leather that make up the strap/handle…which is one of, if not THE area that takes the most beating. I also strongly suggest you wash your hands to remove oils, lotions, makeup and other chemicals/ingredients to better preserve your handbag straps!
Thanks again for your great tutorial!

Kathleen January 9, 2020 - 10:07 pm

Hello πŸ™‚
Thank you so much for your video!! I have 2 Anne Klein purses with the straps badly frayed. I started to use the Edge Kote, but I was not very good at it and it looks messy. I would love to start over using your method. Would you suggest sanding down the Edge kote first before starting over? Thank you in advance!

jrwarfield January 10, 2020 - 8:05 am

Kathleen, I would definitely suggest sanding down first. The Edge Kote is a very thin layer and shows most imperfections underneath. Also, Don’t forget to cover with this Leather Protector otherwise the edge kote can color other things like your clothes. Good Luck!

sal September 19, 2015 - 11:30 am

Thank you!!!

Mikabonita September 20, 2015 - 3:08 pm

Omg thank you for your blog. Peeling straps on leather purses have always been a nuisance but I’m glad that there’s an easy diy fix to it. Now I can keep my leather purses forever!

Summer October 15, 2015 - 6:36 pm

Omg thank you so much!!!! I thought all hope was lost on my mcm hobo!!!!!

Kaleem dousan October 31, 2015 - 1:39 pm

where i can find this edge finisher, can you give me the link where i can order it directly?

Jay of Relaxed Thairapy November 25, 2015 - 1:17 am

I am having the exact same issue on multiple purses and they refuse to fix it. They changed their corporate policy about a month ago and they are not longer fixing the defective straps. It’s very unacceptable customer service.

Melissa March 19, 2016 - 9:50 am

Totally agree. A strap should not be hard to them to fix, especially on a $100+ bag. May have to reconsider my brand loyalty since they have changed their customer loyalty.

Lola M December 28, 2015 - 8:33 pm

Thank you.

Becky February 5, 2016 - 11:47 am

Did you peel off all the edging or just the parts that were cracked?

jrwarfield February 5, 2016 - 1:14 pm

I peeled off all of the areas that were cracked first and any lose areas, Then I sanded it to there was an even slope from no edging to the existing edging.

joyce February 16, 2016 - 8:45 am

Thank you for the post.

I have a black bag that has the same problem….I peeled the plastic off and used a black Sharpie to color in the bare white areas. No fraying though…if that happens, I’ll use the Kote.

Did your Kote bleed a little onto the green leather?

My older Coach bags are still beautiful. the leather is thick, yet pliable.

jrwarfield February 16, 2016 - 8:11 pm

Joyce, I didn’t have any issues with bleeding,but there were a few spots where I got kote on the green leather,but that was user error not the actual product bleeding. Let me know if you have any other questions.

shbark March 9, 2016 - 4:51 pm

Thank you so much for sharing. I have always wondered how to fix these type of strap problems, which are all too common.

Ann March 11, 2016 - 2:37 pm

Oh lord Thank you so much great Idea.

Melissa March 19, 2016 - 9:47 am

Thanks for the post, i will try it. Have this exact problem with a Coach purse, send it in and they would not fix it. They sent to back with a 10% another purchase coupon.

Muriel April 6, 2016 - 12:35 pm

What a Great DIY for fixing our much needed purses. I was thinking on maybe using painters tape on the part of the strap to ensure no bleeding of the product. Just an idea! Thanks

Aryn Sullivan April 8, 2016 - 8:49 am

Hi, I just wanted to ask if this actually helps prevent the strap from fraying again. When I cut off all of the frayed edges, it looks just as bad if not worse shortly after. So I was hoping adding the Edge Kote would actually help prevent it from fraying again.


jrwarfield April 8, 2016 - 12:05 pm

Once the Kote has been applied, it should seal off the raw edges again. Just like it was when you bought it. So, if done well, it should keep your bag from fraying.

Leslie April 15, 2016 - 10:05 am

Thanks so much… I actually just took my Sky Blue 1year old $250 Michael Kors bag to a repair shop and the man said it was paint and he couldn’t fix it. I’m going to be ordering this; but I’m concerned about color. I just bought a pink coach bag and the coating on the strap edges also have this – I’m not sure if it’s brown or black. I thought it was more charcoal grey but looking at the top edging of the purse it may be brown? Is the brown sort of a muted gray brown? Thanks.

jrwarfield April 15, 2016 - 11:55 am

companies use all kinds of colors for their edging. It could be a charcoal grey, so you could try one of these products since they have more color options. I haven’t used them before,but I’m sure they work well. https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/professional-leather-edge-paint-3 You might even be able to mix two colors to get the one you need.

christina May 17, 2016 - 11:58 am

This post was a blessing….I’ve been looking all over for a diy fix, because just like you said all of the leather repair places want to charge you just as much as the purse costs.

Donna July 27, 2016 - 5:00 pm

Great video. What I was looking for. I am going try to figure a way to put the kote to make it more even so that maybe I won’t have to repeat the kote so many times and sand it. Surely there’s a way.

jrwarfield August 18, 2016 - 6:28 pm

The only reason I did so many coats was so it look like the existing thickness on the rest of the purse.

car August 18, 2016 - 3:19 pm

great article! they charge a lot of money for these coach and micheal kors(kate spade too!) bags and when it comes down to it…they are made in china.i have never had these quality issues with the made in france or italy bags i treasure. micheal kors bags are not even interesting designwise,its all hype. i have a makowski bag with similar edging issues ,i used a black sharpie but it hasn’t frayed. anyway luck to all!

Barbara Boyle October 16, 2016 - 11:33 am

I returned my Coach purse to have the edges repaired. I paid the $20 and shipped it off from my local Coach store. 2 months later, the purse was shipped back (NOT INSURED) and left on my door step (while I was at work). When I got home, the package had been stolen- and since it was not insured, Coach said all they could do was refund my purchase price. Well- I got this one at a deep discount since my daughter was an employee- and by the time this happened, she was not an employee. Further- they said THEY DO NOT REPAIR THE EDGES. So it was all for nothing. I was totally disappointed with this customer service! They advise us to insure it when shipping it to them, but do not do the same when returning it. Relatively happy ending. My husband found my stolen purse for sale on Craigslist and got it back- without paying for it. Police did not even try to catch the people responsible.

jrwarfield October 17, 2016 - 7:27 pm

Wow what an ordeal! I’m glad you got your purse back, and that this tutorial can hopefully help you fix your purse edges.

Bri October 29, 2016 - 4:39 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m re doing my MK bag. Was going to throw it away before finding your page πŸ™‚

jrwarfield October 29, 2016 - 8:05 pm

I’m so glad! I hope that your bag turns out beautifully!

Thu November 20, 2016 - 8:46 pm

Totally genius! I’ll definitely be ordering some! Thanks for the post πŸ™‚ Have an awesome day!

Laura J. November 27, 2016 - 11:17 pm

This idea just may be a lifesaver! My kids bought me a coach tote and this happened to the handles that were patent leather. Coacheck offered me money for it but I couldn’t part with it because it was a gift. I’ll be trying this right away!!

Joana December 13, 2016 - 5:18 pm

Hi, I’m having the same problem with my leather bag and isent it to repair and they applied a thick paint over the edge and as soon as iIpicked it up the paint cracked and started coming off leaving the sides bare. Did this happen to crack at all when handing it? My strap is pretty malleable and I’d hate for it to happen again when the rest of the bag is in perfect shape. BTW they gave it two coats and when iIcomplained they said it was the only thing they could do so iIgave up. I’m one step to trying hot glue to try to seal the edges and give it a round look and more durability, similar to the factory finish.

jrwarfield December 13, 2016 - 8:07 pm

Joana, I haven’t had issues with it cracking,but I sanded down the edges, trimmed anything uneven, and then waited the correct amount of time before handling. I also did a lot more coats to get it closer to the look of how the bag’s edges were when I bought it. Let me know how the hot glue works if you do end up trying it. So far I haven’t had any cracking issues. You could always just stain the edges of the leather rather than using a coating,but then it might still fray.

dana simpson December 26, 2016 - 10:08 pm

So I see it was over three years between the time you posted this and your last response saying you hadn’t had any problems. So I am to assume that this has probably lasted more than the original trim?

jrwarfield December 28, 2016 - 2:30 pm

Honestly, this purse hasn’t been used as much as it used to be due to having children and using a diaper bag more,but for the times I have used it, it has held up well.

Lyrica January 10, 2017 - 2:58 pm

Great information, thank you for writing this. I am making a cruelty-free non-leather purse from vinyl faux patent leather using an old Lauren Ralph Lauren leather tote purse as a pattern (the strap on it broke off after 2 years of heavy use and other straps were about to go too…not just the sides but the actual width of straps got worn out totally and broke) After writing to them I was told they do not offer service to replace the strap. I would prefer a non-cruelty purse anyway. . .

Let me put in my two cents here: after shopping for a handbag online I began to feel that there is something nauseating about transforming cow’s hide from the skin of an animal to a highly decorative sugary sweet looking purse for me to carry all my junk in. I felt there was a masking of or an ignorance on the part of the consumers of what actually took place to make all of these leather purses. Many of the purses don’t even appear to be leather, for example they are pastel colors or decorated with designer labels and don’t resemble leather at all, so we don’t even think about the process that took place to get it to the shelf. From here I made a quest to make a vegan purse in the design I loved (the Ralph Lauren tote). Others are making vegan bags but the selection is pretty limited based on what I found online.

Thank you for the info in your blog, I was looking for how to seal the edges of the vinyl. It’s an experiment, I am hoping with the right stitching and layering the vinyl bag can hold up the test of time.

jrwarfield January 10, 2017 - 3:26 pm

I think buying vegan leather is wonderful if you feel convicted of that. I have seen a lot of websites that sell beautiful faux leather that are almost as soft and supple as the real thing. I hope that you can make a beautiful version of the purse pattern that you are trying to copy. My favorite website for fabrics is Girl Charlee, and they have a selection of Vegan Leathers if your interested.

Anne Lewis January 12, 2017 - 9:03 pm

Thank you! This was REALLY helpful. Amazing how many of us have the same issue with our handbags. Now there is a solution so we don’t have to add these bags to a landfill somewhere. Mother Earth thanks you, too!

ds January 14, 2017 - 7:07 pm

Thank you for your toutorial. I am working on an old Legacy Coach Leigh today. The straps are in really bad shape. Your info has helped.
I am using Feblings Dura Edge a slightly improved formula from the edge coat.

Amara January 20, 2017 - 7:11 am

Thanks for this blog. I hope to order for the edge kote. I make bags but how to deal the edges of the straps has always been a challenge. I’ll surely try this out as soon I get the edge kote. Can I use either edge kote or tan kote?

jrwarfield January 21, 2017 - 1:06 pm

The Tan Kote is mainly a water proofing barrier,but it you want to just seal the edges without adding color this product would be the best. If you want to add a color first then I would use an edge kote or a leather stain, and then top it with the tan kote.

Lisa January 21, 2017 - 12:29 pm

Thank you! This happens to all my coach purses and they won’t fix it! They just offer you a discount or gift certificate to a new one (and keep your old one!) I still miss the one I gave back last time πŸ™ wish I knew about this then!

Rhonda March 19, 2017 - 6:40 am

wow. i can’t tell you how many purses i’ve paid a lot of money to get fixed. def will be buying the product. thanks for the info. also i’m thinking of you are worried about getting any on your leather maybe use some painters tape. it won’t hurt the straps and will come right off when your done.

jrwarfield March 19, 2017 - 12:15 pm

The painters tape should help like you said, I’m so glad you like the tutorial.

mortangel March 19, 2017 - 11:19 am

So my snoopy bag edge did the same. I went to the Coach outlet store yesterday 3/18/17 and was told that it is plastic edging put on to protect the leather and it would cost $75 to fix. Not the $20 as in the blog, which was amazingly helpful. I am now debating doing the home fix as per the blog above (advantage: keeps purse home and may be repeated inexpensively as needed) VS. going to my local shoe repair and having a leather “tube” placed on the apex of the shoulder straps for a more permanent fix…….

I appreciate your careful blog and all the comments.

jrwarfield March 19, 2017 - 12:15 pm

I’m so glad the tutorial was helpful, and good luck!

Mary T March 28, 2017 - 8:50 pm

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I was looking at designer purses today and was wondering what that was they put on the edge of their outside seams to protect it. I’m just getting into making leather purses and trying to learn all I can first. Wouldn’t you know, I had already bought some from Tandy Leather. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet. Now I’m going back to those videos and see what else I can learn.

vegan leather April 2, 2017 - 9:34 pm

I really adore your post. I read your blog pretty often and
you’re constantly coming out with some amazing items.
I shared this on my FB and my followers merely adored it.
Keep up the good work!

jrwarfield April 4, 2017 - 3:09 pm

Thank you so much for your kind words! I am so glad that your readers liked it!! I hope you have a great week!

lisatt April 5, 2017 - 5:57 am

Hi, your page was great help and I am in the process of fixing the edges of my handbag which has worn from use. I just finished my fourth coat yesterday, but I do not see the thickness like yours. My edge kote is black. It seems like the leather just adsorb the edge kote like dye and I still see the same raw edge. Is it because I didn’t put enough edge kote? Thank you for your help!

jrwarfield April 5, 2017 - 1:49 pm

I would try putting more layers. Mine was I think 6-8 layers before it started looking nice and thick.

Lady T May 2, 2017 - 1:04 pm

one of the absolutely MOST useful fix-its of all time. THANK YOU!!!!!

Monette Szarzynski May 10, 2017 - 5:31 am

I’m another fan of your diy solution! I have tried to Google about this years ago but might not have used the right search words. Anyway, off I go to hobby lobby to see if they have any of these products. Someone added Dura Edge to the list of seam coating products to try. Will have fun rehabbing my J.Crew Peyton pebbled hobo bag. I solved the strap problem by coiling leather lace tightly around it to hide the ugly damage. But the edges on the leather strap loops are also cracked and I plan to use your technique to improve the appearance. Honestly, these companies price their bags feeling like they are so high end, but they don’t stand behind their products and only care about separating you from your money. At least cheepie faux bags don’t pretend to be something they are not, and you expect them to look ratty after using them even lightly. But I take exception to any bag that costs over $100!

jrwarfield May 12, 2017 - 12:34 pm

I hope that this works well on your bag!I also am frustrated with these companies for not standing behind their products,but maybe this is how they get you to buy more bags?

Sela May 18, 2017 - 11:12 am

This post is a blessing and Injust ordered edge kote for my Tory Burch and other purses. Did you have a problem with it melting even without sealant though? Like is it not sturdy enough without the Tan Kote? will i really need Tan Kote as well? That bit about the coming off when wet bothered me. Or do you think i could just use clear nail polish to seal that in so it doesnt stain my hands?

Anna August 22, 2017 - 5:56 am

So happy to find this post. I just bought a great 2nd hand bag on Poshmark but there is some damage to the handle. So happy to find an easy fix!!

Rhonda September 5, 2017 - 1:55 pm

Awesome! Any suggestions what to use to glue a strap that’s separated back together?

jrwarfield September 8, 2017 - 7:36 pm

The best glue that I have found is this E6000 glue.

Clare December 19, 2017 - 4:15 am

Hi – does this glue need a mask when wearing? I recall seeing it in my local shop!

jrwarfield December 24, 2017 - 1:18 pm

I don’t think so. It doesn’t seem to get off much of a smell. But if you prefer to wear a mask, that is always fine too.

Alecia September 19, 2017 - 8:35 am

I can’t even begin to express how HAPPY I am that I found this post. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

Juliana October 6, 2017 - 5:16 pm

Was looking endlessly for a post like this! Thank you! Can’t seem to find a leather shop anywhere that will fix the edging on my vintage LV. Do you think this can be put on top of the existing edging or does that need to be removed first? The edging is only cracked, there is no peeling (yet). Also, wondering if you have any advice on how to revive brass hardware. Thanks again!!

Terri February 7, 2018 - 7:00 am

Thank you so much! I had to have a Kors purse replaced last year for this reason (I argued with corporate that after spending that much, it shouldn’t break down after a freaking year.) and of course, it started up again with the new one a year in. Saw this and just thought I’d share:

Go with more layers of the Kote, preferably the waterproof one. More layers helps to really bond those edges. Even if you sand them down after, I’d recommend doing AT LEAST five to seven coats.

That glue she has up there is great for gluing the INSIDE of the purse straps, but not the outside. I found that if you really want to keep the purse from fraying due to the seams coming undone, use Pattex adhesive JUST ON THE SEAMS. Take a small brush or edge of a q-tip with the cotton removed and apply a very small layer to the seam line. Pattex, unlike the E6000, will dry invisible, and reinforce the seam.

Genuine Pattex Contact Adhesive Transparent, Flexible & Invisible 50g http://amzn.to/2nRNsxm

Vanessa June 19, 2018 - 1:36 pm

Hi! I just found your post, this is awesome, THANKS!! Quick question: do you know of any products or treatment, that you would recommend, in order to prevent the tearing on a brand new bag?

jrwarfield June 19, 2018 - 7:07 pm

I don’t know of an actual product, but I have read that leaving purses in extremely hot or cold temperatures for too long can cause the coating to expand and contract so that hopefully will help.

Susan November 11, 2018 - 6:58 am

Thank you for posting this trick. I too have a Coach bag that this happened to. However, I brought the bag back to a nearby Coach store and they sent it out for repair free of charge. I was told that Coach will do this. It was repaired and returned. HOWEVER, it happened again. So I went back to the Coach store, and this time they are replacing the handles. Just keep that in mind. Coach stands behind their products and will help you get them fixed.

CG February 5, 2019 - 7:27 am

AMAZING!!!! Thank you for sharing your research into this! Just in time! Was going to through out my leather handbag! Thank you!!!!!

Mona September 19, 2019 - 4:52 pm

I do know about the product to fix the edging but does anyone have any experience with the flat surface of the strap wearing away so that it’s no longer a finished colored look but rather a Rall leather look?

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