An Indian Style Leather Handbag

I've always loved the Indian style, also I've been thinking about making a handbag for my laptop, so I combined the ideas, designed and drafted it, and finally brought these out with leatherwork.

Supplies:

Step 1: Materials & Tools

Main Materials

  • x2 Leather(white)- 26cm*36cm
  • x1 Leather(brown)- 18cm*36cm
  • x1 Indian style button(decoration)
  • x1 magnetic snap(optional)
  • Leather strap

  • CMC

  • Glue/Adhesive for leather

Tools

  • Craft knife/X-acto knife
  • Cutting board
  • Pliers
  • Awl
  • Spacing gauge(optional)
  • Leather chop
  • Hammer/Mallet
  • Needles & Threads (brown & white)
  • Poundoboard (or other pounding surface)

Step 2: Applying CMC

First, apply CMC to smoothen the flesh side of the leather.

Step 3: Design and Some Practice...

I don't want perfect straight lines, so I just drew random lines on the paper and chose one to cut it out. After that I use a cutter knife to trace the same line onto the leather, here's important- don't cut through the leather, but get it half-cut,then tear the pieces apart with pliers so the fibers would pop out, giving a sense of wildness to the handbag.

You can see the difference between a teared-edge and a normally-cut one in pic.3. Also it's a good idea to try and practice on a little piece of leather first :)

Step 4: Then TEAR IT !

Start from a tiny gap, grasp the plier and here we go...

3-2-1-Tzzzzzzzsssss!

The leather's gradually teared apart along the pre-cut line, and you also can see a lot of fibers. I love this cuz you don't know where you're heading to precisely,and what would come out in the next second~

Step 5: Dealing With the Edge

While the first tear provides a general shape for the flap, it's necessary to do some more modification or deal with the details. For example, I used a x-acto knife to make tiny splits so the edge didn't look too dull, I also cut the fibers that were too long so the edge didn't get messy, either

Step 6: Glue Flap&Front

The front of the handbag is simply a white rectangle with two fillets, not so much work for the shape ;D

Align the flap and the front, then glue them together, I used a strong adhesive for leather, it dried pretty quickly and glued well, but was super stinky!!

Step 7: Sewing

Time for sewing~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Step 8: Paper Pattern

Now it's time to make the back of the handbag,just like the front, I also started from cutting a simple rectangle, then two fillets, then a big mouth, which helps fetching the things inside more easily.

Step 9: Glue Front&Back

Firstly I scrubbed the edge so that it got rough and integrated better with the glue, then I glued the front and the back carefully, and finally pounded hard to ensure a firm combination. It just started to look a like a real bag :D

Step 10: H...o...l...e...s...

Leave the bag several hours for the glue to dry completely, then spend the other several hours for punching holes! As for the connection I came up with cross-stitch(not so sure about the name), which meant the holes needed to be circular and the stitch would come out like ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^, here's how I did this.

  • Mark a guideline with the spacing gauge (0.3cm from the edge)
  • Use a chop to locate the holes all along the line
  • Pound an awl to create round holes

p.s. remember to hold the awl straight up, or else you get awful holes like my first ones, I should've practiced first... but as I went on my punching skills got better and better.

Step 11: Burnishing and Painting the Edge

Usually, applying the edge oil/ edge coats is one of the last steps, but since the threads would cover the edge in the circumstance of cross-stitch, I decided to burnish and paint the edge first.

It's a good idea to protect the leather with masking tape before the painting, cuz when you pull it off, you also get rid of the extra paint.

Step 12: ^^^^^^Sewing^^^^^^

Time for sewing again ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Step 13: Finished Sewing!!

It took long long hours to sew, but I was really satisfy with it ! HOORAY!!

Step 14: Fill the Handbag With...

Finally I could try the handbag with my old laptop ,they fit perfectly and the handbag plumped up right away, great!

Step 15: Details & Decorations

So far the handbag functions well, but what about the "Indian" part? Well, white and brown are typical Indian-style colors, so is the silver/turquoise button(mine is faked,hopefully to make a real one someday) and the leather strap,which gives a strong Indian feeling. I also attached a magnetic snap beneath the button so that the brown flap wouldn''t really flap around lol.

And I'd like to thank you for reading this instructable :D

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    alejamoreno

    Question 21 days ago

    What is CMC?