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Bucket bags are the hottest handbags right now and they are not only gorgeous but utilitarian. Why not DIY your own designer bucket bag without the designer price tag?

Another great thing about the shape of the bucket bag I chose is that there are two ways to style it - sides out (flared) or folded & snapped in.


Materials Needed:

  • Sewing machine
  • Recycled leather (I used a slightly worn coat I bought on Ebay)
  • Recycled suede (Suede pants bought at Goodwill - back pocket was tearing away from the pant and inner thighs were a bit worn but still lots of good suede to re-use.) This is my second project from these pants. :)
  • Fabric - about 1/3 yard (buy 1/2 to play it safe)
  • Heavy-duty fusible interfacing
  • Very stiff cardboard
  • Lining fabric - about 3/4 yard
  • Leather sewing machine needles
  • Bonded nylon thread is ideal (upholstery thread is next best) - I used quilting thread for most of it which also works
  • Regular thread
  • Walking foot for sewing machine will work best for leather (won't stick to the foot) and for all those layers you will be sandwiching
  • Belt to re-purpose (for the handles/straps) or chain/rope - anything strap-worthy & strong
  • Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • Strong (but not too big) needle for hand-sewing strap on

Optional:

  • Snaps or grommets
  • Small cording (If you want to make your own piping to go around the perimeter of the bottom of your bag as I did.)

Step 1: You Must Start With the Bottom

Choose a round object (ie. pan lid, bowl) about 2" in diameter bigger than you want the bottom of your final bag. Trace on paper to use as your pattern. Use pattern to cut out your leather bottom.

Make another circle pattern (shown in green scrap paper) that is about 2" smaller in diameter. Use this pattern to cut out your cardboard (stiff, strong, thin) to give the bottom of your bag support and structure. Then cut out of scrap fabric (I used a heavy-duty canvas) two circles that you will use to pad your cardboard support. Sew your cardboard inside, being careful not to sew into the cardboard. Use a zigzag stitch to sew close to the cardboard edge and then trim your seams down to the stitching. (I used my serger for this step - not necessary to have one.)

*Note: I actually had to do this step twice because my circle was too big once I got to the final step of inserting it. So save yourself this step and cut it even smaller than your pattern. Use the green-sized pattern for your fabric and then cut your cardboard 1" smaller all around than that.

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Bio: Upcycle? Yes. Remake? I love it. DIY at-home atelier? Theraputic. It's the redemptive and transformative nature of sewing that inspires me. It's wearable ... More »
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