We really love our little umbrella stroller and folding travel stroller for quick trips or traveling through airports, but they are really uncomfortable to push! After a while my back just starts to ache from stooping over to reach those low stroller handles, and my poor husband is even taller than me! I finally decided I had to do something to make those strollers more usable, so I took a quick trip to the hardware store, bought a bunch of PVC pipe, and made a stroller handle extender out of PVC! I actually ended up making 4 versions because what worked on the stroller with soft grips didn’t work on the hard handles of the umbrella stroller, plus I wanted to try out a one-handed “mail carrier” style handle as well.
So today I’m going to show you how to make a DIY stroller handle extender with PVC pipe! I made a video to show you just how easy it is. And there are four different versions you can make depending on the type of stroller you have and the type of handle you want. You could even make them all and just mix and match!
These stroller handle extenders are super easy to assemble and disassemble, which is perfect for traveling, just in case TSA is worried about it, or if it won’t fit in your car with the handle attached. We leave the handles attached to the strollers and just fold the strollers up in the garage. Then, if we want to switch out the handle when we go for a walk, it takes about 30 seconds to swap them out before we leave!
DIY Stroller Handle Extender With PVC Pipe (4 Ways!)
- 15 minutes (time spent doing stuff)
- 30 minutes (time spent waiting around)
- 45 minutes (total project time)
- about 3’ of 3/4” PVC pipe
- about 2’ of pipe insulation
- 2 3/4” snap tees (3/4” should fit most stroller handles with soft foam over them, but take your stroller with you to the hardware store to be sure!)
- 4 3/4” elbows
- 1 3/4” regular tee
- 1 3/4” end cap
- 2 3/4” long radius tees, also called “traps” sometimes (again, 3/4” should fit most hard, curved umbrella stroller handles, but take your stroller to double check!)
- PVC pipe cement
- thin velcro straps
There are 4 versions of this stroller handle extender: a regular bar handle for a stroller with a padded handle, a “mail carrier” single-handed handle for a stroller with a padded handle, a regular bar handle for an umbrella stroller with hard, curved handles, and a mail carrier single-handed handle for an umbrella stroller with hard, curved handles.
I made a video showing you step by step how to put each of the four versions together. Check it out below!
Or if you prefer written instructions, I have those below.
Method 1: Bar handle extender for a stroller with padded handles
Start by pressing your snap tees onto the padded stroller handles. It doesn’t matter exactly where you place the snap tees, just make sure that they are even with each other on either side of the stroller. Add a short piece of PVC pipe to the open end of the tee, then add an elbow. Repeat on the other side.
I found that the snap tees fit nice and tight on my padded stroller handle, but I still used velcro straps to make sure it was really snug and secure.
Measure the distance between the two elbows, then cut a piece of PVC pipe to that length, plus about half an inch. Slide one end of the pipe into one of the elbows, then align the other end of the pipe with the other elbow and press together until the pipe is firmly stuck between the elbows.
Measure out a section of pipe insulation to cover the exposed PVC pipe. Slit the insulation open down one end (most pipe insulation is already started for you, you just need to use a box cutter to finish the job), then open the insulation and place it over the PVC handle. Use velcro straps to secure the insulation onto the handle.
And you’re done! You have a super simple stroller handle extender made out of PVC!
Method 2: Mail carrier (single-handed) handle extender for a stroller with padded handles
The part of this handle extender that attaches to your stroller is exactly the same; the only difference is the handle itself. So start with the snap tees, small piece of PVC, elbows, and velcro straps just as you did for Method 1.
Measure the distance between the elbows and cut a piece of PVC pipe to 1” shorter than the distance you measured. Then cut that piece of pipe in half.
Attach the two halves using a regular tee, then cut another piece of PVC pipe to about 8” long. Since this part of the handle sticks straight back, we’re going to glue it into the handle to make sure it doesn’t pop out when going downhill or something. (All of the other joints are fine just being pressed firmly together.)
Apply a small amount of PVC pipe cement to one end of the 8” pipe, then apply PVC pipe cement into the open end of the tee. Stick the 8” pipe into the open end of the tee and press firmly, rotating about a quarter turn to make sure the pipe is in as far as it will go. Wipe away any excess cement that comes out of the joint.
Set the handle aside to dry for half an hour.
After half an hour, add the end cap onto the open end of the 8” piece that you just glued for a finished look.
Attach the mail carrier handle to the stroller by sliding one end into one elbow, then aligning the other end with the other elbow and pressing firmly.
Measure out pipe insulation to cover all three sections of exposed PVC pipe. Cut the insulation to length, slit it open along the length, then place it over the PVC handle. Secure with velcro straps.
And that’s it! Now you have a stroller handle extender that you can steer with one hand!!!
Method 3: Bar handle extender for an umbrella stroller with hard, curved handles
The snap tees that you used for Method 1 probably won’t work on the hard handles of an umbrella stroller, so this is where the long radius tees come in. Slide the short end of the tee onto the umbrella stroller handle and press firmly. Rotate the tee so that the open end sticks approximately straight up.
Add a short piece of PVC pipe, and then an elbow. Rotate the elbow so that the open end faces towards the center of the stroller. Repeat on the other side.
Then you can make the bar handle the same way as described in Method 1. In fact, you may even be able to use exactly the same handle if your two strollers are about the same width as each other.
I really like this method because the umbrella stroller handles are so low that it’s especially hard to push. This adds 6”-8”, and you could make it even taller by using a longer piece of PVC between the long radius tees and the elbows!
Method 4: Mail carrier (single-handed) handle extender for an umbrella stroller with hard, curved handles
The part of this method that attaches to the stroller is exactly the same as Method 3, and the mail carrier handle portion is the same as in Method 2.
So stick the long radius tees, PVC pipe, and elbows onto the stroller handles. Then measure the distance between the elbows and create a mail carrier handle as described in Method 2. Again, you may be able to use the exact same handle you already made for Method 2 if your strollers are about the same width.
This is my favorite of all the methods because not only does it add 6”-8” to the height of the umbrella stroller, but it makes it so that I can steer with one hand! With regular umbrella stroller handles, it’s really difficult to push the stroller one-handed; the stroller always ends up veering off to one side. But this mail carrier handle is exactly in the center, and it “holds” both handles for you, which makes it super easy to steer with just one hand!
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