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Embroidering on Bag Straps

Embroidering on Bag Straps

Tiny designs look great on cotton web straps or handles, such as the ones on many tote bags. At first glance straps don’t look easy to embroider, but it can be done. This technique will show you how.


An adhesive stabilizer always comes in handy for odd-shaped embroidery projects like this one. I’m using Film-O-Plast here. First, I’ll mark an area to fit my beach bag straps widthwise on the paper side, with a ruler and the width of the straps as a guide.


I’ll use a piece of corrugated cardboard as my cutting surface, and carefully score the paper side of the adhesive backing along the lines I’ve drawn.


Peel the scored paper away, revealing the adhesive surface.


Next, align the part of the straps to be embroidered with the adhesive area, and press them down with your fingers.


Now I’m ready to hoop, and I’ll put a layer of clear Hide-It over the top, to help stabilize the stitches on the rough surface of the cotton web straps. After placing the top hoop, I’m ready to go to the embroidery machine.


At the machine, I need to take a look at any hanging material. It’s a good idea to know where this hanging material is. You can clip it aside to prevent it from being sewn through or getting caught on something during stitching.


I’ve used embroidery software to merge these little fish designs into a short border, and to orient them along the horizontal straps. That’s all there is to it!

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