DIY leather bag (and leather hide store giveaway!)


I am SO psyched to share this project with you all today! I was contacted by the Leather Hide Store about sending me a hide to work with, and of course I was in.

I love using leather! (for moccs, shoes, phone cases,ย  accents…)

They sent me a few samples and I chose my hide color from those. (Dark Gold Rush.)

I wanted to make a bag with it-but I wasn’t too sure about constructing the whole thing from leather, so I went with a leather bottom and handles.

DIY leather bag (and leather hide giveaway!)

I spent HOURS poring over Pinterest looking for ideas.

In the end, I did my own spin on Anna’s new pattern!

DIY leather bag (and leather hide giveaway!)


DIY leather bag (and leather hide giveaway!)

DIY leather bag (and leather hide giveaway!)

A few notes first about sewing with leather:

I don’t know if it was just this leather color or not, but if I dragged it hard against something sharp-ish, it made a mark.

those two marks on the front right side weren’t there until after I sewed on the handles and accidentally dragged it against my machine somewhere.

eek! but I’m telling myself it’s part of the “worn in” look.

I didn’t have a leather needle on hand so I just used the highest number needle I had on hand. I practiced on scraps to find the best stitch length and tension.

more of my thoughts as we go on!

DIY leather bag (and leather hide giveaway!)

So I kept the shape of the bag pattern…I liked the curved bottom and darts. those things were SO thick for the leather layer!!!

It took some hand cranking through the machine. and I did another row close to that one to strengthen the seam)

To color block it I just chopped the pattern in half and added seam allowance, then sewed together (the back at least)

DIY leather bag (and leather hide giveaway!)

See? no pocket on back.

DIY leather bag (and leather hide giveaway!)

On the front I wanted pockets! I like having my keys and phone handy.

DIY leather bag (and leather hide giveaway!)

So I sewed the leather bottom piece to the lining (essex yarn dyed linen), under stitched, then flipped right side out, and basted it to the striped outer bag piece.

fabric from Joanns, leftover from this dress! It works ok. If I were to do it again I’d use stiffer interfacing.

Then I sewed the pocket divider up the middle, forming the two separate pockets, reinforcing it at the top with some stitched triangles.

I used jean top-stitching thread since it matched my leather.

DIY leather bag (and leather hide giveaway!)

DIY leather bag (and leather hide giveaway!)

the handles are strips of 2″ wide leather, with the ends curved. I measured from the curved edges, then tucked both long edges in 3/8″, then in half, and topstitched.

Then I stitched them to the bag around the curved U shaped edge. (double rows)

Pretty sturdy! (I hope! lol)

I cut a matching short piece of curved leather for each of the handles, to sandwich the fabric layers for stability. (see below)

It’s not pretty. but it works.

DIY leather bag (and leather hide giveaway!)

On the inside, I added a zipper pocket-followed the pattern for this!

I wish I’d made it lower so it didn’t end up interfering with those leather reinforcing pieces, but I didn’t think about that til I was putting the handles on (last step).

I like to sew by the seat of my pants!

Anyways, it’s functional, so there’s that.

DIY leather bag (and leather hide giveaway!)

Also a fun thing-I added a little zipper to the top of the bag instead of a magnetic snap-a valiant attempt to keep Ava out of my snack stash.

(won’t work but look! pretty turquoise zipper!)

DIY leather bag (and leather hide giveaway!)

It was pretty simple to put together but alas I didn’t get pictures for a tute. I wonder if there’s one out there for this?

DIY leather bag (and leather hide giveaway!)

My favorite part is the little leather tab on each end!


I am so excited about my new bag! and the rest of my hide! I can’t wait to make some more moccs, bows, etc! hope I don’t get sick of mustard yellow.

(Not a chance)

DIY leather bag (and leather hide giveaway!)

Are you thinking about sewing with some leather?

Do you want to win some free leather?

If you answered yes to either question, CONGRATS. You’re in the right place.

Enter below to win a $50 gift certificate to the Leather Hide Store!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. i love all the darker red and the yellow colours

  2. Veryy niice article. I thoroughly enjoyed it and wwas very informative.

  3. I love the roasted red pepper

  4. That is one very nice bag! Love the fabric you chose with the leather. Well done. I haven’t sewn with leather…. yet…!

  5. Rhonda Miller says

    Love your bag!

  6. Marjan Wens says

    Ik wil heel graag meedoen met deze give away!

  7. I like the black leathers. Especially the black cat.

  8. The lemon meringue is pretty. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the bag you made!

  9. Whitney Luckenbill says

    I would love trying to sew with leather. Your bag is amazing!

  10. I have been wanting to try some mocs:)

  11. Stone wash orange and everglades are both so fun!

  12. Chelle Chapman says

    OMG! I LOVE the deep Fall colors like Autumn Spice, Stone Washed Orange, Austin Sage, Willow Tree & Sea Mist!!!
    So Gorgeous!!

  13. Beautiful bag! I am loving the look of the Cheyenne or the Polo Brown!

  14. Chelle Chapman says

    LOVE this site!!! Due to the contest we actually just bought a piece to recover our bar stools!!! WONDERFUL customer service, called & left message, they called back in less than 5 mins!! Thanks SEW much for the giveaway Jess & for the lead to a GREAT site!!!

  15. Courtney Kelley says

    I have been eyeing that dark gold rush for awhile.. would love to win this! Adorable bag and pretty pics- your hair looks great!

  16. i love montana and olive grove

  17. Adorable bag! I have been wanting to make mocs for my daughter, so this would be perfect!

  18. DeniseMarie says

    I love that remnants section – very reasonably priced! My favorite color is the Stone Washed Orange.

  19. I love the Cheyenne and the Gold Rush. Your bag looks fantastic by the way. I’d love a tutorial on how to add a zipper instead of a magnetic snap, if you’re up for doing one.

  20. Gwen Windham says

    I think *any* of the croc leathers are just awesome! Not sure *what* I’d make with them, but they’re just so cool! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the giveaway!

  21. I love the Colorado color – a nice brown without being too light or dark. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  22. I love leather accents. Fun bag!

  23. Love the burgandy, blue greys, greys the best.

  24. That’s one great bag! I loooooove neutrals! Black is always a winner for me and so is dark chocolate brown–especially if it’s distressed. I’m also partial to some brights if they are glazed and crackled.

  25. I really enjoy working with leather, it can totally up a project’s awesomeness!

  26. I like the apple butter and tuscan spice!

  27. Looks wonderful. I work with leather all the time and love it.

  28. They are all so lovely! I really like Rocky Mountain and Tuscan spice

  29. I love your bag. I’ve been dying for some leather to make Christmas moccs from, also I’ve always wanted to make a leather Christmas stocking. Not sure why, it just seems really fun:)

  30. I’d love some leather! This is a great bag!

  31. Barbara Godfrey says

    Love working with leather! And the smell is intoxicating!

  32. you are braver than me, very nice!

  33. Lou Ann Rice says

    I can’t resist the Atomic Red. In fact, I probably won’t resist it. Gorgeous. The purples are amazing, too.

  34. Love your bag! You did a good job. I think I would like a darker leather, but not sure.

  35. Ooh, cute! I like the shape of the straps. I loooove leather. I’ve been admiring the hides at the Leather Hide Store for over a year, but I just can’t afford them. If I could, I love most of the browns. Especially Red Rock and Montana.

  36. barbara woods says

    i like the embossed leather, thanks

  37. I really like the dark merigold color.

  38. Candace Henderson says

    I have such as strange obsession with Red leather I can’t explain it! Their colors look great!!!

  39. I love the aged copper distresss!

  40. I love me some mustardy caramel-y browns! I think they pair perfectly with black, too.

  41. Your bag turned out so well! You should be proud of that baby! I’d be a bit leery of sewing leather, but if I win, I will get over that feeling fast! I really like the colors True Burgundy and Roasted Red Pepper…I’m a red kind of girl.

  42. I live the mustard (dark gold rush) like the one you’ve used. So good to match with everything, huh! A also like the Austin Verde Sea.

  43. I like Peanut Butter Pie! Looks like a classic color.

  44. I really, really like this bag! The handles are great, and you did a great job with the top zipper. It looks like nice soft leather. Thanks so much for sharing your adventure with us.

  45. I have a similar bag on my to do list, so it was great to see how you did yours. I’m definitely adding those front pockets! I’ve never worked with real leather though, only faux, and I love the color you chose.

  46. I’ve been wanting to make up the Senna Tote using leather for the bag bottom but couldn’t find a good source. I LOVE this bag.

  47. I love the Colorado brown

  48. i want to learn how to sew with leather! This looks great!

  49. I have been wanting to add some leather to a bag – thanks for the tips!

  50. Tara Veal Karmas says

    I love the embossed leathers! That pink one is especially interesting. And of course who can resist black leather??

  51. I love the apple butter! I’d probably give the leather to my dad, though – he’s so crafty!

  52. Love your bag! My favorite colors were Nevada, Dark Marigold, and Aged Copper Distress. Thanks for the giveaway!

  53. I love dark brown leather. A good thing to know when working with leather is to use polyester thread. The chemicals the hide is treated with can degrade cotton thread.

  54. You made a wonderfully elegant bag and it looks minimal too, which is my kind of thing! I’ve been thinking of trying leather for some time, the mustard colour certainly works for me too!

  55. I’ve bought leather from them before, they’re great! I prefer the Browns and green.

  56. Beautiful camel color!

  57. I have always polished scuffs on leather with Vaseline just buff it off with a cloth. Beautiful bag!

  58. Ooh, I’ve been wanting to make a bag similar to that with leather on the bottom! I like the Canyon Mesquite.

  59. i have been eyeing their remnants, but I would love a classic brown color like Rocky Mountain or Chicago camel.
    I love the bag you made, so pretty!

  60. Torrie Gass says

    I’ve been dying to try sewing with leather, but I don’t have any leather retailers near me :/ I would get something that was in the cognac family, like the Nevada. It would be delish looking for a bag! Or some moccasins ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. Jacqueline says

    I LOVE the Rocky Mountain and the Montana Buckskin!! They would make awesome bags.

  62. Barbara P. says

    I love the blacks but also the Apple Butter and Tucson Spice and San Diego Blue.

  63. Yum! Love the gold leather!

  64. Lemon Meringue was a fun color.

  65. Oh my word. The things I would sew with that peanut butter pie leather. The possibilities are endless!

  66. Aren’t the metallic leathers just insane! And the embossed leathers are amazing. I’m so in love with the Black Copper Gator.

  67. I like a dark grey or mahogany leather

  68. I like Montana and Manhattan white

  69. I love the black and brown leathers for making bags, but wouldn’t mind experimenting with other colours. ๐Ÿ™‚

  70. very cool! I’ve been making a few purses a year… mostly just making them up as I go… I’ve been wanting to try the zippered top like you did… Pinning to come back to this in the spring… Want to do a tutorial for the top zip? ;o)

  71. it’s super awesome Jess! flattered you used my pattern to start, and amazing details you added and changed!! I hope to win some leather! (or at least get the guts to cut into some I already have).

  72. Erin Waters says

    San Diego Blue and Sierra NEvada

  73. LOVE the bag! I want one! And I want your dress too! Did you make it?? Is there a pattern?

  74. I love the bag.
    This leather. Looks so nice!

  75. I love the colors, they are beautiful, I especially like the Hollywood Red. It would be perfect for some booties.

  76. Tammy Albritton says

    Love this store. Was going to look there tonight for material for booties and slippers. Would love to win.

  77. LOVE this bag SOOOO much! You did a great job. I’d choose your color you chose, or red. Love leather!

  78. Beautiful work! I ordered a remnant piece of leather from Leather Hide Store and it is beautiful – I was very pleasantly surprised!

  79. My sister-in-law and I were just talking about leather and where to find it online if we could. She makes amazing little moccasins and I wouldn’t mind trying my hand a bag or something.

  80. I recently starting working with leather and I love it!!!! Great bag ๐Ÿ™‚

  81. The Nevada, Aged Copper Distressed, and Outlaw are scrumptious!!

  82. I love nevada and outlaw!

  83. I like grey en black leather.The bag is beautiful!

  84. Question. How wide are your strips by your zipper? I want to make my sister one of these bags for Christmas, but would love to put a zipper on it for her. Any help would be great!

  85. The bag is awesome, and you look BEAUTIFUL in these pictures! And I love that you made your own leather handles. I’m going to have to try that.

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