On our most recent vacation, I challenged my family to travel carryon only. We were flying to Orlando for 2 days at Walt Disney World followed by a 4 night cruise on the Disney Wish. They were skeptical at first but I was convinced (even more so after the Southwest debacle at the end of the year – of course, we would be flying that airline for the first time in forever right after). We managed to successfully pack enough for all of us for the week into 4 backpacks and 4 rolling carryon bags.
Just before we left, I decided to make our luggage a little more personalized just in case. There have been trips in the past where we expected to carry on a bag and had to gate check. It can be easy in those instances to mistake which piece of luggage is yours. Also factor in that our youngest was disappointed our newest carryon wasn’t a color, I wanted to do something to make it more fun for her.
The simple solution – DIY luggage handle wraps. Best of all, I had all the necessary supplies on hand. These are a great use of leftover fabric from other projects. And, they take very little time to make. I completed all 4 of ours in a few hours the weekend before our trip.
Ready to make your own luggage handle wraps? Follow our step-by-step instructions that follow.
- Cotton Fabric
- Quilter Square
- Fabric Ink Pen
- Coordinating Thread
- Straight Pins
- Sewing Clips (optional)
Step 1 Cut two 6″ x 6″ squares from your fabric. Both could be the same fabric or you can choose a fun pattern + one coordinating fabric like I did. Then mark a 1/4″ allowance onto the reverse side of one piece of fabric using the pen.
Step 2 Cut one 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ square of batting.
Step 3 Clip or pin the batting on the wrong side of your fabric. Find and mark 2 vertical lines down the center to divide the square into thirds. This will hold the batting and help the design to wrap around your luggage handle when complete.
Step 4 Sew 2 vertical lines to secure the batting and fabric together.
Step 5 Pin the second piece of fabric to the piece with the batting. Be sure right sides are facing. Then sew around the entire square leaving a gap of about 1-1/2″ on one end for turning.
Step 6 Clip your corners.
Step 7 Use the hole you left at one end to turn the design inside out. Press out the 4 corners. I use a ball point bodkin to make it easier.
Step 8 Use your iron to press the entire square being sure to get the edges lined up and matched.
Step 9 Carefully sew around all 4 sides close to the edge. This will close off your opening and secure the entire design.
Step 10 Measure and cut sew on Velcro. I just hold mine to the design and mark with my fabric pen to note the length. Quick and easy. You can measure with a ruler or Quilter’s Square if preferred.
Step 13 Sew one piece of the Velcro to the underside of your design (against the 2nd fabric – mine is solid). Be sure it is parallel to the straight lines you sewed earlier to attach the batting to the front (patterned fabric).
Step 14 Sew the attaching piece of Velcro to the opposite end of the luggage handle wrap on the front (patterned) side.
That’s it! Attach to the handle wrap onto your favorite piece of luggage and you are ready to go. Your bag will be easy to spot amongst other similar bags when flying. Repeat the steps above to make additional luggage handle wraps for the rest of your family.
Adding Extra Character Style
If you want to take your luggage style up a notch, like we did, add coordinating luggage tags! This idea hit me after I made my luggage handle wrap in Mickey & Minnie fabric. It looked so cute with my Minnie luggage tag. I quickly searched and ordered coordinating luggage tags for the rest of the family.
Now, regardless the suitcase color, we each have one personalized to match our own favorites and fun styles. And there is no second guessing which bags are ours.