How to attach a glue in purse frame

One of the elements of making a purse frame that concerns people is attaching the purse to the metal frame.  Today, we’ll dispel the worry and demonstrate how it’s done.


Beginning with a glue in purse frame and a completed bag, you’ll require in your tool box:

  • Strong craft glue – we recommend Gutterman HT2, Hemline Craft, E6000, Helmar Tiger Grip, – any really strong craft clear drying glue will work, if it holds sequins on a Jazz Ballet dress it will work!!
  • Hammer and old chopping board
  • Small end cut jewellery pliers
  • Cork coaster / purse frame crimpers
  • Toothpick or something similar
  • Good sized (10cm square) scrap of fleeced fabric

Step 1 – Glue the frame

Work with one side at a time, always let it dry before moving onto the other side.

Tip: If you’re worried about getting glue on the fabric that sits under the frame pop some masking tape on the area of concern.

  1. Turn your frame upside down so the glue channel is facing up towards you Squirt your glue along the channel from one side to the other. Be generous but not the point of oozing, a nice line of glue will be perfect for the job.
  2. Stop where the channel drops away from the side. You don’t want to get glue on the hinge. Depending on your glue, you may need to use your matchstick to smooth it along the channel.
Step 1

Don’t Panic!! You have at least 5 minutes to move things around, enjoy the process.

Step 2 – Insert your purse

  1. Start at the edges and up to the corners on both sides.
  2. Insert the the top section.

Some sections may need some leverage (such as the corners) use a small flat head screw driver (like the one that comes with your sewing machine) to assist the tuck in.

Couple of tips:

The other side can be a bother, tuck it under the frame to keep it out of the way.

Sticky Tape can also help to hold everything in place as you’re going along. Tape it over the frame catching the fabric on either side.

Step 3 – Resting

Lay flat on the table to allow the glue to set – leave it at least 30 minutes, for the glue to set before proceeding to the other side.

Step 3

Tip: Don’t worry if you’ve got a little bit of glue on the frame, it will pick off when it’s dry or you can also use a small amount of nail polish remover (once the glue is dry) to remove.

Step 4 – The other side

Test that the glue is dry with a gently tug, if there’s no movement you’re good to go. If there is movement, leave a little longer.

  1. Follow the steps you’ve just completed for the first side and insert the second side of your purse.
  2. Once inserted, tip your purse upside down with the frame open slightly, and leave to dry fully for 24 hours. This way you have gravity helping to hold everything nicely while it drys.

The final part – Crimping the frame

If your glue is fabulous, you don’t always need to do this however it’s a way of making certain everything stays in place.

There will be two methods covered off:

  • Hammer, Coaster and Jewellery Pliers
  • Crimping Pliers (difficult to find and rather expensive)

Crimping Style One – Hammer, cork coaster and Small end cut (Jewellery) pliers

Work with one side of your frame at a time.  Sides first than top.

The most difficult section is near the hinges and I feel it needs the tightest crimp which is where our trusty small pliers come in to their own.

Use your fleeced fabric to protect your frame from the pliers’ edge by wrapping it around both sides of the frame. You may need to double fold it to get a good thickness – use your best judgement, go as thick as you can but still be able to get your pliers over it all.


Final step 1
  1. Bring your pliers over the top of the fleece so they sit on the inner edge of your frame. Press down to close the pliers, you’ll feel the frame crimp under pressure.
  2. Work/crimp your way up the edge of the frame moving the fleece with you to protect the frame.
  3. Stop at the corners and do the other side edge.


Along the top edge it’s easiest to use your hammer and cork coaster as often the pliers aren’t able to work evenly around the clasp.

Final step 2
  1. Place your frame on the wooden chopping board and open out to work on one side (if your chopping board is a bit rough, place a tea towel over it to further protect the frame).
  2. Place your cork coaster about half way in on the edge of your frame. This is the area that will be compressed when you hammer – you don’t want the coaster sitting completely over the frame.
  3. Use short sharp taps from your hammer along the edge of the cork coaster sitting on your frame. This will crimp it into place. Continue to move your coaster and hammer along the frame until the crimping is complete.
Final step 3

Crimping Style Two – Purse Frame Crimpers

The purse frame crimpers/pliers don’t very often come with instructions, and more often than not they are covered in oil! So give them a good clean and it helps to squirt some WD40 on the hinges each time you use them to make sure they stay easy to open and close.

Final step 4

As with the jewellery pliers it’s still best to use the fleeced fabric to protect the frame from any scarring.

  1. Place your frame protection over the frame. Line the edge of your crimper along the inside edge of your purse frame and press down to crimp.
  2. Continue along the frame until it’s all done.
Final step 5

Final tip

During the crimping process your frame can get a little out of alignment, you can twist back into shape with your hands or lean gently against the wooden board if you need to bring your kiss lock’s back together or further apart.

Be gentle, it’s easy to correct a frame but also easy to over correct!

We also have tested the best framing glue available in Australia and have two distinct winners:

  • Hemline Fabric Craft and General Adhesive (Solvent based, Strong bond)
  • Tiger Grip All-purpose glue by Helmar. (Water Clean up, Solvent free, Non-Toxic)

Our Aussie Glue test blog post is a detailed read of what’s out there.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to attached glue in purse frames. They are wonderful to play with and they always look so very classy!

How to attach a glue in purse frame

Leave a comment