How to Make a Leather Messenger Bag – A DIY Guide for the Creative Type

Calling all leather-working enthusiasts! Do you want to make a stylish, functional and super cool messenger bag? If so, then you’re in the right place. Today we are going to take an in-depth look into how to craft a beautiful leather messenger bag from scratch. 

Whether you’re an experienced craftsperson or just starting out – this blog post will help guide your way through selecting materials, obtaining tools and ultimately crafting that perfect messenger bag for yourself or as a gift for someone special.

Not only is it an easy-to-make and stylish accessory, but it’s also a great way to show off your leatherworking skills. Read on for our step-by-step guide on how to make a leather messenger bag.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you get started, be sure you have all the necessary tools and materials on hand. You’ll need at least one large piece of leather (preferably two or three pieces), scissors, rivets (or other closures of your choice), an awl and hammer, thread, and needle. It’s also helpful to have some sort of cutting board or other flat surface to work on.

Materials needed: 

* The measurements for materials will depend on what size you want your bag to be *

  • Vegetable tanned leather
  • Maine Waxed thread
  • Buckles
  • Solid Brass Snaps 
  • Box of Copper Rivets
  • Leather Dye 
  • Leather Dye Reducer
  • Glue
  • Water Resistant Oil
  • Conditioner

Step 2: Cut Out Your Pieces

Once you have all your materials ready to go, you can start cutting out the pieces for your bag. Start by cutting out two pieces for the body of the bag – these should be slightly larger than what you want the finished size of your bag to be – and two pieces that will become straps.

When cutting out these pieces, leave some extra room around their edges as this will come in handy later when attaching them together.

Step 3: Make Sure You Round Your Corners

After you’ve successfully cut out all the pieces needed to construct your bag, take a few extra minutes to complete any finishing touches. Rounding the corners on the bottom of your bag will help give it a softer and more finished look.

Investing this extra bit of effort will add substantial appeal to its finish and provide a unique touch with each corner rounding that is made. Get creative in your approach – experiment with different degrees of rubbing or rolling to find the desired effect that’s perfect for your bag! 

Step 4: Punch Your Holes and Ends

Crafting a leather bag or wallet is an art that requires precision and care. It is important to punch the holes and ends of your leather correctly, otherwise the result may not be as satisfactory.

To do this, you should puncture your leather with either a veterinary awl or a special multi-hole leather punch tool that creates multiple evenly spaced holes at once.

This will ensure that the holes are consistent and secure enough so that all of your stitching will be tight and accurate.

You must also properly seal any edges with beeswax or beeswax glue before adding the hardware for better durability. A bag crafted from quality leather can last for years if maintained properly–so make sure to give it a little extra attention during your DIY process!

Step 5: Beveling

Beveling your edges when making a leather bag is essential for getting a neat finish. Beveling not only gives you a finished look, but it also helps protect the leather from cracks and other damage caused by everyday use of your bag.

Beveling the edges will prevent them from unravelling and help extend the life of your leather bag. Make sure you take extra care to ensure that when you bevel off any edging they stay uniform, this will give you a smoother overall finish and better protection.

Bevel your edges right and have a sturdy, beautiful leather bag that will last for years!

Step 6: Dyeing the Leather

Dyeing your leather bag is an excellent way to customise and breathe new life into it. You can transform a plain and boring bag into a stylish one that is sure to turn heads.

Dyeing leather requires some simple materials, and the upside is that you can experiment with different shades until you find the perfect colour that suits your style.

The quality of dye and proper application of the product are key factors in getting your desired result, so if it’s your first time embarking on this project, make sure to get quality supplies.

Dyeing your leather bag will be a fun experience; have fun mixing colours and designing your own unique piece!

Also Read: How to Remove Dye From Leather Bag 

Step 7: Conditioning

Conditioning your leather bag is essential for keeping it in tip-top shape. Conditioning helps to restore elasticity, strength and suppleness to the leather, extending its life. It also prevents it from cracking, drying out and losing its shine. 

Apply a leather conditioner or balm directly onto the skin with a soft lint free cloth in an outward movement, working it into the fibres of the material. Conditioning should be done twice a year, or any time you notice dryness on the item’s surface.

Give your trusty everyday bag the care it deserves by investing in proper conditioning and you’ll have a classic piece that will last you for years!

Step 8: Now it’s Time to Oil Your Leather

Oil your Leather is a simple, yet effective way to ensure the longevity of your bag. Whether it’s a travel bag, dress bag, or work tote, oiling your Leather can keep your favourite accessory looking great for years to come.

Oiling your leather helps keep leather strong and supple by replenishing its natural oils that may have been lost over time due to exposure. 

A small amount of oil is all it takes to restore moisture and protect against further drying out. Plus, oiling your leather gives the leather an attractive sheen – just what you need to add that hint of style!

Take a little time out for oiling your leather bag and you will be rewarded with a longer-lasting bag that also offers top-notch performance when exposed to the elements.

Step 9: Apply Water Resistant Oil

Applying water resistant oil to your bag can be a great way to keep it looking and functioning its best. The oil helps provide an extra layer of protection against water, dirt and other environmental exposure that can cause damage over time.

Taking just a few minutes to apply the oil is well worth it since it will help increase the life of your bag and make sure that it looks as good in years to come as it does today.

Step 10: Attach Your Pieces Together

Now it’s time to start putting everything together! Line up the two body pieces with their wrong sides facing each other and use either rivets or another kind of closure (such as snaps) along the edges in order to keep them together.

Then attach the straps by folding them over and again securing them with rivets or another kind of closure. At this point, it’s also helpful to sew along those edges with thread just to make sure everything stays in place once you wear it. 

If desired you can finish off any edges that might look unfinished with a little bit of edge paint or dye if desired – just make sure not to use anything too watery as this could potentially damage your leather!

Must Read: How to Attach Leather Straps to Bag


Making your own leather messenger bag is surprisingly simple – all it takes is some basic materials and tools plus a little bit of patience! Before long, you’ll have an amazing custom accessory that’s perfect for any occasion. 

Whether it’s used on its own or paired with other accessories like jewellery or scarves, this handmade piece will surely stand out amongst any ensemble – plus give you bragging rights that no store-bought item could ever provide! Try out this DIY project today and unleash your inner craftsperson!

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