June 30, 2013

Simple leather bag tutorial

Simple leather bag tutorial

I just finished another leather bag this afternoon and I love it.
As a matter of fact, I just put it to the test and I find it perfect - very basic - very simple - just the way I like it.
And you know what?!
The instructions are down below, so you can make one too!
This is an entry level project, so no special skills, nor tools are required.

Simple leather bag tutorial

Simple leather bag tutorial

Simple leather bag tutorial

Here's what you will need:

The dimensions of the finished bag are: 38 cm by 40 cm

- leather - I used a leather hide of approx. 0.55 m² but any large (combined) piece of leather would do
- leather cording for strap (determine how long you want your straps to be, and add an extra 15 cm to each strap for knotting - so, if one strap measures x you will need 2(x + 15 cm) in total.
- thread, linen or nylon, as long as it's strong
- magnetic snap
- 2 needles
- pricking iron or a stitching awl
- mallet, rubber or wooden hammer
- hole punch
- glue, a standard crafts glue is fine
- optional: beeswax to wax sewing thread

Simple leather bag tutorial


  1. Cut a rectangle (or two rectangles of equal size if working with smaller pieces of leather) - in my case the rectangle was 39 cm x 80 cm. Next, make stitching holes along the long side for the side seams using a pricking iron, stitch punch or awl, about 0.5 cm from the side.
  2. Cut a piece of thread about 5 times the length of the seam you're going to sew. Thread a needle at each end and 'lock the needles' as is very well explained here. Next, sew the side seams using a saddle stitch, explained here. Note: in most stitching videos you'll notice people are using a stitching pony. I don't, for the simple reason I don't own one and I don't find it necessary. However, you could squeeze your leather in between two hardcover books held together with a a rubber band or belt. This should work equally well in my opinion.
  3. From the left over leather, cut six 5 cm squares.  Put four aside. Attach male and female part of a magnetic snap to the two remaining squares. If you don't know how to fix a magnetic snap check out this tutorial. Next, generously apply glue to the back of the magnetic snap squares and glue them into place onto the wrong sides of the bag, perfectly in the middle and about 3.5 cm from the top (measuring from the center of the snap). To make sure the glue/ square adheres, lightly hammer the square. Dab away any excess glue. Let dry.
  4. Determine where you want the straps to come. Then, position and glue  into place each of the four other squares which will serve to reinforce the leather where the strap holes come. Hammer lightly, dab away excess glue and let dry. 
  5. Mark the center of each square. Next, punch a hole with the leather punch. Repeat for the other squares. 
  6. Cut the leather cord to size, to make two straps. Tie a  double fisherman's knot at one end, thread through the hole as shown, thread through the other hole and finish off with another double fisherman's knot. Repeat with the second strap. And that's it!
Simple leather bag tutorial

As with all of my tutorials, please note, this tutorial is intended for personal use only. Therefore, do not reproduce, sell or commercialize in any form. Thanks for understanding!

If you made something using a tutorial found on this blog or if you got inspired by something you found here, make sure to post your pictures here.


annelies said...

wow! i love this one!
put it on etsy - please? :)
i would buy it in a minute!

lightbluegrey said...

zo mooi!

Amber P said...

how thick is the leather cording for the straps?

Pascale said...

The leather cording is approx. 5-7 mm in diameter.

Amber P said...

Thank you :)

M Monica said...

Found your picture of little leather pouches through Pinterest!

I have made little faux leather items but haven't been brave enough to go buy leather yet! Defintely following your amazing blog now!




Shelley @ ThatGirlShelley said...

You did an amazing job on the handbag!

Hanneke said...

Mooi! Weer een prachtige tas! Wat ik me wel afvraag (maar ik doe dan ook niet zo veel met leer) is of het leer ook op de naaimachine kan worden gestikt? Heeft dat misschien met de dikte van het leer te maken?

pencil drawings said...

really wonderful

Reese said...

This is so awesome! Wonderful tutorial!


nicole/brussels said...


Anonymous said...

I live in Canada and have difficulties to get the leather cord. Could you tell me where you got yours?
The bag is georgeous and your tutorial very well made.
Thank you, Monika

Altered Annie said...

can not wait to start making one or more of your projects, love them all. thank you for the easy instructions, as well.

AmyeToTheRescue! said...

Fantastic!!! Thank you!

Ashley Simon said...

Where would one find decent leather remnants for such a neat bag??

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