Not a very pretty thought, is it? You’re out shopping and some guy who probably didn’t get enough time-outs as a kid rips your purse right off your shoulder, out of your hand or from your shopping cart and runs away with it. Maybe you’ve already realized bad guys are out there, and wear your purse across your body. Did you know they will sometimes cut the strap and steal it anyway? That’s just not okay with me, so today I’m showing you what I’m doing about it. Keep in mind, the thief is expecting to rip through your purse strap and take off. If you choose to use a theft-resistant strap you need to be prepared for the reaction when things don’t go as he planned. I strongly believe that all women should have even a small amount of self-defense training. I’ve just heard too many of the stories my husband has come home with to take personal safety lightly. Just ask our children, the black belts.
To make this strap, you’ll need:
- 8 feet of 1” wide nylon webbing
- two clip-style hooks for the ends, as shown in the photo (sometimes called “dog leash”)
- 4 feet of 1/16” vinyl coated wire rope
- one tube of heat shrink tubing, cut in half
I bought the wire rope and heat shrink tubing at Home Depot. The wire rope is sold by the foot and is coated in green vinyl.
The heat shrink tubing is sold in small packages like this. Be sure your tube is slightly larger than your wire.
Measure to determine how long you want your finished strap to be. I wanted mine to be 48”, including the hardware. Cut the webbing the length you want your strap to be, minus the length of the hooks. For me, that was 43”. Run the ends briefly over an open flame to prevent unraveling.
Cut the wire the same length. You’ll need some good, solid wire cutters for this – the little craft version isn’t going to cut it. Literally. If you determine the length ahead of time, you might be able to get them to cut it in the store.
Slide the heat shrink tubing onto the ends. Shrink to fit with a heat gun. I used my old embossing tool from back when rubber stamping was a thing. The tubing is precautionary, to help keep the wire from pushing through the end of the webbing, but it isn’t a huge concern so if you don’t have access to a heat gun I wouldn’t stress over it.
Cut a second piece of webbing, adding 2 1/2” to each end. Mine was 48”. Lay the wire in the center, 2 1/2” from the end. Lay the shorter piece of webbing on top with the end even with the wire. Secure with binder clips.
Using a large needle (like the kind meant for sewing denim) VERY CAREFULLY AND SLOWLY zigzag stitch down the center though both layers of the webbing with the wire centered under the stitching. Do not stitch the wire. I found as long as I didn’t try to rush it and held everything on both sides with my fingers as I went, the wire stayed in place.
Slide the hook onto the end. Fold the webbing over 2” so it covers the edge of the shorter piece.
Stitch down both sides of the webbing, close to the edge, and across near the clip.
More secure, and still looks like it belongs with my purse!