Like a lot of other people in the galaxy, I've spent a good part of 2015 quivering with anticipation for the release of the first new Star Wars Movie, The Force Awakens. Of course, I've tried to balance my excitement with a healthy dose of skepticism, remembering the lingering trauma of the three terrible prequels, but who am I kidding??... The anticipation is half the fun!... So I figured I might as well enjoy it, and maybe even channel it into something creative.

With that in mind, I decided to use leatherwork to create a bag that looked like the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon. I thought the shape of the ship would lend itself well to a small purse and I liked the challenge of trying to mimic the sci-fi metal finish of the Falcon with leatherworking techniques like tooling and dying. The adventures aboard the Millennium Falcon were always my favorite part of the Star Wars movies, and of course the ship itself, with its scrappy exterior, fickle yet powerful hyperdrive and unusual design has become a kind of symbol for the spirt of the movies themselves. "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid."

I designed a relatively simple bag and used hardware, texturing and dying to create details that mimicked the warn look of the ship. To create the illuminated rear hyperdrive module of the Falcon, I added a strip of LEDs with a simple on/off mechanism attached to the snap closure of the bag. I tried to turn as many components of the ship as I could into functional design elements while still keeping the overall form relatively straightforward. It was a really fun project, challenging in all the right ways.

Making this bag also ended up feeling somewhat like a ritual of hope and anticipation. I've heard the Millennium Falcon makes an appearance in the new movie and I, for one, take this as a hopeful sign. As I recreated my own version of this beloved vessel, which so embodied the heart of the original movies, I think I was also channeling all of my childish excitement and wonder into my creation, willing this new incarnation to capture some of the magic of those first adventures.

May the Force Be With Us All.

Step 1: Supplies

Leather Supplies:

Sewing Supplies:

  • Lining Material - I found mine at Mendel's in SF and couldn't resist using it
  • Sewing Machine
  • Pins
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Iron


  • Two strips of nine 12V cool white LEDs
  • 2 feet of connection wire
  • 9V battery snap connector
  • 9V battery
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Heat shrink tubing
  • Heat gun
  • Hot glue gun
<p>Maybe I'm missing something, but when I open falcon pattern2.ai, all I see is the center wall and I think the escape pod patterns- no pattern for the falcon shape itself. Did a second page get eaten in the conversion to .pdf, is there another file I'm just not seeing, or am I missing something else?</p>
<p>Ok, it's there now, let me know if that works for you :)</p>
<p>It works just fine, thank you so much! If I can track down my cousin's leather tools I might have to give this a try; the example looks awesome!</p>
<p>Hi! It is an Illustrator file not a PDF, and so all the different parts of the patten are on seperate layers. If you don't ave Illustrator you won't be able to see that. I'm uploading a PDF now with all the layers as separate pages, sorry about that :)</p>
very useful info especially the downloadable patterns
<p>Oh my god, wow!!! I'm so sorry I missed that this was an I made it!!! It looks soooo good! I like the silver stain you used, very well done!!</p>
A+ work all around!!!
<p>So well done, I'm not a huge Sci-Fi fan, nor of purses either, but very impressed by this, the creativity and quality. Really, that should be on the next opening night, or was it already? What about incorporating this into one of your helmet designs?? www.mikaelaholmes.com</p>
<p>Wow, magnificent! I'm in awe of your originality, creativity &amp; hard work. Very nice.</p>
<p>Where does one learn all this leatherwork? Do people teach classes? I have ideas...</p>
<p>I taught myself by looking at online tutorials and talking to other leather workers, but it just so happens I will be offering on online Intro to leatherworking class through instructables soon! It's not a terribly hard skill to learn, you absolutely can! Make your ideas happen :)</p>
Cool! I can sew like I'm Parisian so I'm sure I can do leather, it's the package of basic information that's hard to find. I'll be looking for your tutorial; It seems like a great material to make things with. Like, Millennium Falcom purses! Yours is an amazing fashion moment. Did you see last year at fashion week, the dresses with huge photos of Luke Skywalker screened on long skirts? I hopr that handbag has been all over and been suitably admired, it belongs in a gallery.
<p>Aww, thank you so much! :) If you can sew you'll be fine. I feel like leatherworking is a combination of art skills and sewing/patternmaking skills. I have a painting/sculpture + fashion background so it makes a lot of sense to me. The only annoying thing about it is that the tools are not cheap, but once you have them, you'll have them forever. The leather class I'm working on should come out around the beginning of April.</p>
<p>This. is. insanely. cool!</p><p>I would like to see the hyperdrive turned on.</p>
<p>This is wonderful work. Fun to see the construction process even if a bit beyond my skill set.</p>
This is phenomenal! The workmanship and thought that went into every step is fantastic!
<p>In. Awe. Love!!!</p>
thats a lot. how about I give you 300.00 for the purse.
<p>its fantastic moment here in the world which every thing now has been a high technology and which is changing the world </p>
<p>Oh-My-God! &lt;3 I'm Squealing in exment and awe! </p>
<p>i logged in just to give you love sistar! this is mindblowingly awesome ~(&oplus;⌢&oplus;)~</p>
Seriously amazing! Got my vote!
<p>This looks amazing!</p>
<p>Wow! Great work!!!!</p>
<p>This is just awesome! </p>
<p>awesome! i love your proyect mika! :)</p>
<p>That is the most awesome thing I have ever seen anyone make. That is so freaking cool my head is going to explode! </p>
<p>So great! How many parsecs did it take to create?</p>
<p>Well, given that parsecs are a measurement of distance, not time.... I'm going to stick with under twelve... </p>
Just amazing. <br>Do you have an etsy account?
<p>No, I don't really sell that much online, but sometimes I do custom projects. My website is www.mikaelaholmes.com :)</p>
<p>This turned out so EPIC!</p>
<p>This is stunning!!! I love the look and it does have a wonderfully aged look to it. Wear it with all your geeky pride ;p</p>
Very cool!
<p>Super impressive!! Great work!</p>
<p>The Force is strong with this one! And by &quot;this one,&quot; I mean YOU. Fabulous. Punch it, Chewie!</p>
<p>Mikaela, you are so talented!! The Force is definitely with you. :)</p>
<p>Well done!</p>
<p>Well done!</p>
<p>LOL so smart!!! Love your spunk, photography and &quot;enginuity&quot; ! yay for instructables! </p>
<p>totally awesome, I don't have the tools and skill to do it and I'd loved to have.</p>
<p>That is one of the most amazing projects I have ever seen, so creative and lovingly done, good on you!</p>
scifi contest is really push creativity out of us! awesome project!
<p>This is amazing, love the amount of detail and the finished result. Very very cool</p>
<p>This is amazing! Good Job!</p>
Phenomenal job; your exquisite details, down to the LEDs and grommets, are stunning!
<p>That is soooooo awesome!</p>
<p>That is soooooo awesome!</p>
<p>That is soooooo awesome!</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: Costume and experimental fashion designer and artist. Maker of clothing and accessories for time traveling cyborg superheroes, and lucid dreamers. Interested in fusing couture design ... More »
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