Every student returning to school needs a good backpack, or messenger bag to carry books, notebooks and other supplies from school to home and the library. This week we’ll focus on leather bags that you can make at home with online tutorials, leather hide, and hardware.
This post from Instructables guides the user step-by-step through constructing a leather briefcase from scratch. The writer shows you all the tools you’ll need and even how to line the bag. One especially nifty feature of this briefcase is a hidden compartment at the bottom to stash a key or cash.
This leather tote will stand up on it’s own. The simple, timeless design could be constructed in a neutral color with a smooth finish or in a metallic or embossed leather for extra pop. The tote can be worn across the body and should last for many years. Here is another tote bag tutorial, combining leather and canvas. The author uses a Ikea pillowcase but you could sew your own case.
This photo shows a simple leather rucksack, or string bag. It is another classic bag that almost anyone can make. This photo shows that it is just a front and back rectangle, sewn together with four holes punched in the top. Simply measure your laptop or books to make sure you are leaving enough space before you cut out the pieces. This shows the same bag but in black as well as a natural tan.
This backpack is more complicated and features zippers and extra pockets. The creator uses it on the Barcelona subway and calls it an anti-theft pack, since you need to take the backpack off to get into the inside. Use a very thin leather to make this bag.
After you’ve chosen the design you want to make, keep in mind the thickness and type of tanned leather you want to use. Chrome-tanned leather provides some measure of water resistance. To keep your leather bag in good shape, you’ll want to have the materials and know-how to care for leather. Leather bags need to be cleaned, conditioned and protected against the elements and you’ll need a separate product for each step. As always, happy crafting!