Introduction: Cowboy Boot Purse

About: ...after 30 years of becoming corporately numb, my dreams of not working (for pay) and instead creating with my hands has become a reality. Life is grand!

They say you are a redneck if you have more cowboy boots than sneakers.  So what are you called you if you make a gift from a cowboy boot?  ...strange? ...odd?  ...peculiar?

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...

...moon pies?
...beef jerky?
...RC Cola?
...shot gun shells?

It's entirely up to you! 

Now that you've made one, make another to give away  :-D

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