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Toddler Bag Handle

I have 2 toddlers and only 2 hands.
(My older girl is 3. Is that still considered a toddler?  She’s just as wiggly and active as my 2 year old….)
So if I ever need to carry anything extra, I run into an issue.
A reader a while back asked if I could make some sort of toddler leash that attached to your purse/bag for a toddler to hold onto. (Sorry, I can’t find the email you sent me… thanks to whoever you are!)
But I know you’ve all been to the store/post office and have had extra bags and/or boxes in your hands……not really sure how you’re going to guide the little ones to the car or through the cart-less stores.  It’s quite the juggle.
Well, here’s a solution. 
And another reader came up with a handle for her stroller, found here.  Love that one too.  (Thanks Shannon!) 
But here’s the toddler handle I came up with, with materials I had on hand.
Perfect for the little ones to hold onto, while not being able to actually hold their hand.  
And when you’re through, just tuck it right into your bag.  Done.
Are you ready to make your own?
(This final leash is about 28 inches long.  Adjust according to your height and and how 
high your bag is when on your shoulder.)  
(And you don’t want it too long or your child will have too much length to run 
around and twist you up in it.  SO keep that in  mind.)


Start off with a strip of fabric that is 35 x 3.5 inches.
Then, fold your fabric in half lengthwise and sew along the side….using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Then cut a piece of felt and a piece of double sided fusible web that are both 7 1/2 x 1 3/8 inches.
Then place the fusible web between the felt and the long strip of fabric, and iron them all together about a 1/2 inch from the end.
Turn the strip of fabric right side out and iron flat.
Then sew a top-stitch right along both edges, nice and close to the outer edge.
Now, starting with the end that has the felt, fold over the edge a 1/4 inch…………
Then fold over the end about 4 inches.  Sew the end (with the 1/4 inch tucked under edge) to the strip, using two seams to secure it in place.  Now you have your sturdy loop that is your toddler’s handle.
Do the same thing at the other end, but tuck the end under a 1/4 inch and then only fold it over about 2 1/2 inches……making it a smaller loop than the first one.

Then loop the strip around your bag handle and place the toddler loop through the smaller loop……..

Then pull the end……..
………until it tightens it up and secures the handle in place.
And that’s it.
 Perfect for those outings with toddlers.


  1. Amy says:

    What a great idea! I have a 4 year old that needs to stay close but yet she wants her independence – this will be perfect! I'm putting this on my craft to do list! Thanks for sharing and Yes, we will all do a cheer for central air!

  2. Emily says:

    That is such an adorable idea…one I need!
    Where did you get your purse? It is way too cute!

  3. Ashley and Jason Faucett says:

    This is a great idea! I am with Erin; I have a little independent 2 year old, so I might try adding some decorative ribbon or something fun to make her want to hold onto it or try the velcro Erin mentioned! This is great! Thanks for posting!!

  4. madebymegs says:

    Awesome idea…so much nicer than the toddler leash that I have seen some people use on their children!!

  5. Kelly says:

    That right there is pure genius! Thanks for sharing this!

  6. Oh Holland! says:

    What a great idea! I'm definitely making one….tomorrow. My toddlers have worn me out today, and I'm going to take a nap!

  7. Delia says:

    What a great idea! I have my oldest grab one of my back pockets but I end up getting tripped up sometimes!

  8. Cammy says:

    First off "YES" I would still consider a 3 year old a toddler especially if they are as curious and active as my 3 year old. I actually have a backpack harness for him with a leash, but he fights putting it on lately so I have been putting the backpack on the stroller/cart/purse/etc. and giving him the leash end to hold. Your genius invention will eliminate the backpack all together, Yay! Thanks for all your fun ideas and creativity.

  9. Liz @ LivingMySweetLife says:

    My son is what I would call a wanderer. He just can't stand still!
    Maybe this will help!

  10. nap time journal says:

    Ashley, I posted a link to this on my blog!! Thanks again for sharing this will all of us.


  11. Lovely Lizzy says:

    I love it! I have been wanting something like that for grocery carts. My son refuses to sit in the seat, but I can't really trust him to stay with me. Thanks!

  12. Megan @ A Ruffle In Time says:

    this is amazing timing! thank you so much for sharing!!

  13. nap time journal says:

    I am leaving on a trip next week and you just saved me :) I have already made up a couple of these this morning. THANKS!!!! I'll be hooking mine to a purse, one to a stroller for the airport and I am taking one to hook to the husbands belt for touring :)……he just doesn't know yet!!! THANKS AGAIN!!!

  14. Shannon says:

    It turned out great Ashley and thanks for the link up! I definitely noticed the influx of traffic on my blog this morning :)

  15. Jan Bredenhof says:

    Okay – so everyone I know who is expecting baby #2, or #3, or #4…. will be getting one of these from me!! I have 4 children and should have thought about this eons ago!

  16. Melissa says:

    Oh WOW! What a great idea! My daughter is great at finding something to hold on to – my pocket, a bag or my purse, but many times in pulls me over too. I will be making this for sure!

  17. Molly says:

    Thank you!!! I have 3 little ones, 5,3 and 1, and two hands – The math does not compute! I don't think I can set up my sewing machine fast enough to make one of these!!! GENIUS!

  18. A. says:

    INGENIOUS. I love it!

  19. Maggie says:

    This is wonderful! My cousin just had her second baby- I am going to make this for her 2 1/2 y.o. tonight! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

  20. Heather Lee says:

    This is inspired!! I love it.

  21. Nic says:

    Soooo CUTE! I am expecting our 5th baby in 12 short weeks and at the time of it's arrival I will have a 7, 5, 4, and 2 year old! A purse leash may just come in hand…..A LOT!

  22. lindsey says:

    I love this idea! I also love your bag that is featured in this tutorial. What kind is it? Where did you get it?

  23. The Noalls says:

    My little 18-month-old guy isn't to this stage yet, but apparently I'm going to need one of these soon! Good to know. Lol and I have that exact fabric, plus the green version–I bought it to make the throw pillows I asked you about. :) (Still haven't made those. Long story.) Thanks for the great tutorial, as usual.

  24. PDCScarbroughpage says:

    Cool. I actually just have my little guy hold on to my pocket!

  25. Ashley says:

    JuliaVP…….look at a comment above. I left the link for someone else! :)

  26. JuliaVP says:

    Great idea! Where did you get that purse? I'm in love!

  27. Erin says:

    I love the idea!

    One thing I might do different… make the "handle" end velcro so that if I need to, I can wrap it around my daughter's wrist and physically attach her to the strap… she is pretty independent and doesn't think she needs to hang on to ANYTHING… so, this would be helpful! I like this so much better than the toddler backpack leashes… I find that the "leash" part is too low and the slightest tug sends my toddler toppling to the ground.

    We got on a lot of walks and she doesn't want to ride in the stroller… so I can see this as useful in SO many different ways… thanks for the idea! You rock!

  28. Lynette @ My Craft Discovery says:

    Oh, what a fantastic idea! I love it! I'll have to save this idea for when I need it! Thanks!

  29. Ashley says:

    2littlehooligans – Yes, you could definitely attach 2. Just don't make them too long or they will twist around you and each other and maybe make a mess.

  30. Ashley says:

    Noahbythesea – Here is a link to the bag:

    You could probably google the bag to find it cheaper elsewhere. I know I found it cheaper at like JC Penney or something. Anyway, good luck…'s a good bag and is about 2 years old. I'm not using it now….because I don't have to carry so much around anymore. But I'll use it again one day maybe. It's in great shape!

    And Natalie – It was great hearing from you! Hope things are well for you! :)

    And good, I'm glad so many of you will find this useful. I sure love it! :)

  31. 2littlehooligans says:

    This is brilliant! Can I attach 2 of these to my purse? I have a 3 year old, 18 month old and a 4 month old. I can so use on of these. Thanks for sharing!

  32. michelleml says:

    Love this ideaa great tutorial thanks for sharing. With ds i always had him old my shirt or purse when he was young. Now i have a daughter who is 21 months old and this will work great again thanks

  33. Amy says:

    This is perfect!!!! I have little munchkins too and find it hard to hold hands constantly, but worry when I can't hold those tiny fingers. I love this b/c you could still feel the little tug on the handle from your little one. I am gonna have to make one of these TODAY!! You have just restored a little bit of sanity to so many mothers!!! Thanks for sharing!

  34. Keriann says:

    That is just a fabulous idea!

  35. sjones says:

    I used to have one like that…until my boys decided to run around my legs in a circle! Yeah not fun to be walking then tripping because you are all tied up!!
    Good idea though!

  36. Natalie Steel says:

    Ashley, Eli is getting so big! We talked with stefanie and Scott and found out that you are enjoying the Southern Georgia styles. I am glad to see that you are still making fabulous crafts each day. So randomly, I was visiting my sister in SLC, UT. She pulled up your website to show me her favorite items. It was fun to tell her that I knew you from Idaho. You are famous all over the nation…just so you know. Keep up the great ideas!!

    Natalie Steel

  37. Annie says:

    Oh, this is perfect! I've got #3 on the way and my other two are 3 and 1 so this is just what I've been looking for. Going grocery shopping, or anywhere out of the house causes me to panic just a little thinking about what it's going to be like with three kids and two hands, which never seem to be enough already. I also love you bag, very stylish.

  38. Mrs. Hahn says:

    Lovely idea! I may make a few of these for gifts. Thanks so much for sharing!

  39. noahbythesea says:

    LOVE this!! and i also LOOOOOOVE your bag. did you make it? if not, who's it made by, i'd love to get my hands on one like it.

  40. April J. says:

    This is genius and adorable too. I always have the kiddos put a hand in my pocket. This would save some embarrassing moments when I am wearing loose pants!

  41. Sarah says:

    Such a great idea! I love it!! My girls often hold on to my pants (which is better than nothing but uh, not great). This looks easy enough, and cute!

    Did you know they make fusible fleece? I used that on the boy ties instead of felt and fusible interfacing… one less step! I think it would work well here too!

  42. Deanna says:

    You are a genius!!! We're expecting #3 any day now, and we have a 2 & 4 year old…I obviously won't have enough hands in a few days! THANK YOU!!!

  43. Traci says:

    Genius! Thank you!!!

  44. Kari @ Ucreate says:

    This is such a great idea/tutorial!!!

  45. Rebekah says:

    I'm making one today!!! Love it.

  46. Melissa says:

    awesome idea!! thanks for the tutorial!

  47. Mrs. Alex P says:

    This is fantastic! Thanks for the tutorial!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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