tutorial

How to Make a Round Leather Handbag

round leather handbagDeveloping the Round Leather Handbag

About a month ago or so I was in the shop on a Saturday trying to come up with something new and different to make.  My hopes were that I would use this time to be creative and develop a new product that would be like nothing I had ever created.  I cut poster board all afternoon working with all kinds of different shapes, proportions, and layouts.  I came up with many different ideas, but none of them seemed to be “that one” project.

It wasn’t a total loss though, because I learned some valuable things in that creative session as I usually do.

I went home that afternoon feeling a little like I had wasted the afternoon.  I told my wife what I was trying to do that afternoon and that I just didn’t have much luck coming up with a “new” project, much less “that one” project.  She casually mentioned doing a Round Purse.  At first I wasn’t sure that this was the project since it seemed too simple.  After visiting about it more I began to think it might make a neat project.  She pulled up tons of photos of Round Purses on her phone and apparently they are really popular right now.  The next day I went back into the shop and designed patterns for one of the easiest purses that I have ever made.  Is it “that one” project?  Probably not, but it is a good project and I had a ton of fun with it.

This project video is my complete process for making the Round Leather Handbag.  The build process is very close to how I make my Rope Bags and so if you are interested in making either one then this video will be of value to you.

If you are looking for a simple project that has room for tooling and artwork, then this is a great project for your shop.  The size of the purse allows you to put some of your scrap leather to work, as well as giving you practice in simple bag construction.  Main Body pieces of this round leather handbag are made from 9/10 oz vegetable tanned Herman Oak leather as well as the shoulder strap. The gusset can be made from any soft 4/6 oz chap leather.  Both of these types of leather are sure to be in any LeatherHead’s scrap bins.

I used a 14″ zipper in the video, but I would suggest using a 9″ zipper instead.  Mine was too long and the shoulder strap loops would have covered the zipper at the location I needed them.  I was able to modify on the fly, but to make it easier on yourself use a 9″ zipper.

There is a complete Companion Pattern Pack available for this video and you can purchase that by CLICKING HERE.  As with all of our companion packs, it has the cut patterns and dimensions for all parts needed to make this round leather handbag.  There are also 9 different tooling patterns included in the pattern pack.  The size of this purse and the panels being free of hardware, this is a perfect project for artwork with plenty of space to have fun.

Apparently Round Leather Handbags are in style so give this project a try.  This is a great addition to your offerings to customers for Christmas Gifts or to make for your friends and family.

Useful Resources

Slicking Leather Edges

How to Oil and Antique Leather Projects

Maker’s Leather Supply – A great place for material, supplies and resources

Leather Machine Co. – The best place for sewing machines and equipment

How to Oil and Antique Tooled Leather Projects

In this video, I show you my oiling and antiquing process for tooled leather projects. The finish that I did on this piece is what we call a “Light Oil Antique” and it is one of our most popular finishes in the shop. We have created previous videos on antiquing and oiling, but this video dives in a little deeper.

Here are links to those two previous videos if you want to check those out. Continue reading

How to Make a Doctoring Saddle Bag

If you have been dabbling in leatherwork for a short period of time, or have been cutting your teeth in the leather industry for decades, then you have had someone ask you to make a doctoring saddle bag before.

These bags are fun at times and other times they can be a very challenging project to complete.  This is mainly due to the particular requests from the dayhand cowboy that is ordering it.  Every cowboy is unique and particular of how his gear is arranged in the tack room, how his horses handle, and how his doctoring bag is designed.  No two cowboys are alike and that can pose a challenge when designing one of these bags.

In this Quick Tutorial Video on our Youtube channel I show you how I approached this particular request we had this week in the shop.  This is by no means the only way to make this type of doctoring bag, but it is how I took a sketch and turned it into a useful tool for my customer.

Check out this video and see if this is something you would like to try and make.  If you like the design that I created here, then you can purchase the pattern pack that goes with this video by clicking HERE. Continue reading