How to Make a Leather Bag

How to Craft the Perfect Leather Bag

Leather crafting is an ancient art form that has been around for centuries. While it may seem intimidating at first, it’s actually quite simple when you break it down! Whether you’re a beginner or have some experience with leatherworking, this tutorial will help you create your very own unique leather bag. Let’s get started!

Gather Your Supplies

Before getting started on your masterpiece, make sure you have all the supplies that you need. You’ll need a piece of leather, scissors and/or an X-acto knife, a hammer and/or mallet, stitching needles and thread, rivets and/or rivet setting tools (for more intricate details), lacing or cording materials (optional), and any special embellishments or decorations of your choosing (also optional). Once you’ve gathered all your supplies, you’re ready to begin!

Come up With the Leather Bag Design

Whether you’re a seasoned designer looking for a fresh challenge, an amateur hobbyist eager to try something new, or someone just wanting to spice up their wardrobe with something truly unique – designing and crafting your very own custom-made leather bag is sure to be an experience that will stay with you long after it’s done.

Not only can creating your own one-of-a-kind leather carryall be incredibly rewarding, but it can also provide you with some unique status among your friends! 

Create a Paper Mockup of Your Bag

If you’re planning to make your own leather bag, don’t jump right into cutting and stitching it together. Make a paper mock up of the design first so you can get a better idea of how it will look before committing to the real thing. 

It’s easy to fold up some scrap paper and figure out the perfect shape for your bag, and then you’ll have a template to use when making the actual leather version. 

Because who wants to spend all that time tediously cutting leather only to find out it doesn’t look quite as good as anticipated? Make sure your design comes out just how you envisioned it–before moving on to construction–by making a paper mock up first!

Cutting the Leather

Lay your pattern pieces carefully on your ‘good’ leather, avoiding scars or weak sections. Lay your pattern pieces carefully on your ‘good’ leather, avoiding scars or weak sections. 

With a sharp blade, cut round your pattern.  With your awl, make marks for any placement of straps or hardware. Take time here, the more accurate you are, the more symmetrical your bag’ll be.

Once your leather is cut to size—based on whatever pattern or design you want—you can begin to shape it. Use scissors or an X-Acto knife to carefully cut out any patterns or shapes that you want.

Measure twice and cut once – accuracy is key here! If you’re working with thicker leather, then a hammer or mallet can be used to help shape the pieces into the desired shape.

Stitching It Together

Once all of your pieces are cut out and shaped accordingly, it’s time to start stitching them together. This can be done by hand using waxed thread and a needle; however if you’re looking for more durability then consider using machine stitching instead.

Once all of the pieces are stitched together, use rivets and/or rivet setting tools to add any extra details like straps or pockets. Finally, lace up any loose ends with lacing or cording material for added decoration (optional).


Now that we’ve gone through the basics of how to make a leather bag from scratch — congratulations! You should now have everything needed to craft yourself one unique bag that fits both your style and needs perfectly.

Have fun experimenting with different designs and don’t forget to show off your new creation on social media! 

Photo Credit: Image by azerbaijan_stockers

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