Instructables

How to sew a leather bag out of old auto upholstery

This instructable will guide you through the steps of gathering the needed materials and sewing a bag made (almost) entirely out of old auto upholstery. Because you probably won’t have the same leather I had this guide describes more of the general collection, design, and sewing techniques to make an all leather upholstery bag. *Disclaimer* This instructable assumes that you have at least basic proficiency in hand sewing and the use of a sewing machine.
 
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Step 1: Collecting the materials

First off, find an auto junkyard near you that allows you to essentially ‘pick and pull,’ meaning that you go in and take whatever you want out of a bunch of cars and then pay for it on your way out. Coincidently, Pick and Pull is the name of an auto junkyard chain that allows just that, and if there is one near you, I’d recommend going to them. Regardless, just find a place that allows you to go in and take what you want out of cars.
Next, actually go the junkyard to get your materials (you’ll design your bag based on the stuff you find, and you can always go back to the junkyard later if you realize you need/want anything more). Take a knife, a wrench, and a screwdriver with you; you’ll need them to cut out/get at stuff you want. At the junkyard, try to get as many large rectangular pieces of leather as you can. I found the backs of seats worked especially well for this. If possible, get as much leather of the same color as you can, unless you want a random multi-colored bag. If you see any cool pre-made pockets or holders on the car, cut them out too if you want, because you can sew them to your bag too. Also, don’t forget to stock up on seatbelts and buckles, at least 4-5 feet of the belts and at least 3-4 buckles. They’ll be important for straps and clips later.