I found a used pair of cowboy boots in a free box that were too pretty to pass up. While the size was wrong and the sole was shot, the upper leather section was still in great shape. I snagged them knowing someday I'd find a great way to repurpose them.
With the addition of a matching belt and two links from a broken chain, a purse is born!
Step 1: Prepare the Upper Section of the Leather
- Cut off the bottom portion of the boot where the shoe section begins.
- Working with the plyable upper section, turn the the leather inside out so the decorative section is facing inward.
- Flatten the upper leather section so curve of the machine seams/boot straps are on the side.
- Draw a straight line 3/4" across the cut section of the boot.
- Starting 3/4" from the end, mark the straight line at 1/4" intervals.
- Place a wooden shim under the leather and clamp another along the line so it acts as a straight edge.
- Drill through both pieces of leather until penetrating the bottom shim.
- Carefully remove the bottom wooden shim and keep the clamps attached to the upper shim so the drilled holes remain aligned.
Step 2: Stitch the Body
Cut about 24" of fishing line, thread into a large eye needle, knot both ends together.
Starting at either end, secure the fishing line in the hole that is located 3/4" from the end.
Using a running stitch (in-n-out-n-in-n-out), stitch until you reach the end of the drilled holes. Turn over and stitch to the other end. Securely knot the last stitch. Remove the clamps/shim.
Draw a diagonal line from the first/last stitch, 3/4" toward the machine stitched line (away from the cut end). Again, clamp the wooden shims and drill 3 holes (apx 1/4" apart) on the diagonal line.
- Remove wooden shims and clamps, stitch the diagonally drilled holes together.
- Trim the leather close to the diagonal stitching.
- Turn the boot upper so the decorative stitching is facing outward.
Step 3: Attach the Belt/Purse Strap
- Twist two links off of a chain.
- Slip one link around the boot strap and close the link. Repeat on other side.
- Remove the buckle from a belt by carefully cutting away the stitching.
- Place the buckle section directly around the link and using the existing holes, stitch the belt strap into place.
- Slip the other end of the belt around the other link.
- Determine how long the purse strap should be and again, place a piece of wood behind the strap and drill holes through both sections of leather to create aligned holes. Stitch into place.
- Cut excess length from the belt.
Step 4: Time to Fill With...
...shot gun shells?
It's entirely up to you!
Now that you've made one, make another to give away :-D