Introduction: Possibilities Bag
This Little bag is one of the first things i ever made. It is super simple and looks fantastic for whatever you want to put in it. It takes less than a day to make and customization is anything you can think of.
- saddle leather
- rubber cement
- edge beveler
- hole punch sewing hole punch
- artificial sinew
- leather needles
- leather stamps
Step 1: Cut Your Patterns
First off get your leather ready. It's better to use a saddle leather as this is sturdier. Any thinner and you will have problems with your bottom being too flexible. I am not a professional so I am using a glass as a template.
I trace the glass shape and then I have to measure the circumference of the glass to make the bottom of the bag. Always add a 1/4" to the circumference of whatever you measure as I have found it is better to be long than too short. Too short means you have wasted a piece of leather.
Cut out the rectangle first. Don't apply too much pressure with the Exacto knife as I find the first cut will guide the second and third cuts until the shape is free. Applying too much pressure, you may find your knife doesn't follow the pattern and you will have a hard time keeping it straight.
For the circle I rough cut it out because it is easier than trying to manipulate a whole hide. Once you have that, keep doing small cuts around the rough shape until it is cut out.
I beveled the edges of the rectangle piece. This makes for a nicer finish to it but is not needed really. I didn't do this to the bottom as no one would see the bevels.
Step 2: Making Holes
I use the skiver, (had to look the name up!) to make the channel on one side for the sewing holes. This side attaches to the buckskin. I use a sewing hole punch with a spacing of 4mm. I have used an awl to make the holes but one at a time it takes a while.
The bottom of the rectangle needs holes for the lacing to hold the bottom on. I space the holes 1cm apart and mark them with a nail. Then I use the hole punch to cut them out. Easy peasy! Next make four holes up each edge. This is to bring the whole bottom together when you lace it up. It also means the knot will be on the inside for a clean look.
The most unprofessional way I make the holes for the bottom is to wrap the 'wall' around the bottom and mark off where the holes are. Mark the start so all holes will line up when you lace it up. There must be a better way but i like it this way. All holes are done! Time for some fun!!
Step 3: Stamping!!
You don't have to do this part but this is where your personality comes in. There are lots of stamps and embossers you can use to make it your own.
I am making this simple for a friend but you can go as fancy as you like!
Take a wet cloth and dampen your whole piece, this will make the leather take the stamp. Do not soak the leather this will make it mushy and not look good. I used a simple star stamp, three whacks with a mallet and there it is. I used smaller stars as well. After you are done let it dry. then on to dying the leather.
Step 4: Dying Leather
When the leather is dry time to dye.
Remember to wear gloves! you are made of leather so to speak, so any dye you get on you will not come off easily!
Using the ink dauber go in even strokes over the leather. You will have to do two or three coats to get the desired color you want. Do not forget the edges, did that once and it doesn't look good.
Step 5: Time to Make the Buckskin Upper and Stitch It On
Go get the buckskin and lay it out. Using the rectangle piece as a template get the length of the piece and then measure up 2.5 inches. This will be your upper to the bag.
When cutting out use a ruler as a guide as buckskin stretches easily and you will not get a good cut. press the ruler down hard to stop movement and cut slowly with medium pressure. The leather will want to move. you have to stop that.
Time to glue. Apply glue to both pieces, (inside of the bottom piece and outside if the buckskin, I hope you understand), wait five minutes and press together hard. I used a rolling pin for that. Be careful to place it right there first time there is no do overs!!
We are going to stitch now we will be using two needles and making a saddle stitch. This is just crossing over the thread through the same hole. I couldn't get a good picture.. sorry. Make the thread three times as long as the piece, or longer. You don't want to end up short!!
Some stitching will be hard so a pair of pliers will help with the process. When you get to the end double back a couple of stitches and if you are using artificial sinew melt the ends to secure.
Step 6: Put Your Bottom On!
Using the lacing we will put the bottom on the bag. Make the lacing more than you will need once again too short means unlacing the whole thing and starting again.
Whip stitch the bottom on.leave enough to make the cross stitch when you are nearly done. When you come full circle we have to close the ends. For this we will use a cross stitch. When that bis all done tie a knot in the end and add glue to it, it prevents undoing.
Step 7: Stitch Your Buckskin
We will be cross stitching the buckskin 3/4 the way up. We leave the top open so you can get big fingers in (like mine). No need do mark the placement for stitches. When you finish tie a knot and use a match once again this will secure the knot from untying.
Step 8: Lacing for the Top
With the hole punch make 8 holes around the top. Lace more of the lacing for a closure and tie it off. Your done!!
You can bead this or add what ever you like to make it yours.
Go have fun!!
Participated in the