Leatherwork(out)

I bought a piece of scrap leather from Hong Kong a few months ago with the plan to make a bag from it. It’s about a foot wide and a foot and a half long with a snake (maybe? Or some other animal…) print embossed on one side. I got the idea from Glastonbury festival when I went in 2013- I spent most of my time in the craft field and spent one enjoyable afternoon making a small leather purse. The method they used was pretty simple. Cut the leather to size, fold into thirds (an envelope), bash on a popper and a few rivets et, voila! A bag!

Since it seemed so straightforward, I decided to have a go at home! The first hurdle- getting the right tools. I picked up a few things from eBay to help me out- a pack of rivets with a mini anvil and hammering tool and a pack of snaps which also came with it’s own tools. All very handy and less than £15 for everything and enough stuff to cover a few projects.

I decided to keep the bag very simple (for a first attempt!) and made a simple clutch bag with 2 poppers and rivets down the sides.

It was not as easy as I remembered! It was really hard work punching out the leather holes for the fittings and hammering them all into place! I found myself working up quite a sweat! Plus it took a while to mark out all the spots for the rivets and to get the hang of knocking them in straight!

That being said though, apart from my apparent lack of upper body strength, it’s relatively easy to do. No sewing required just some ability to measure, cut some straight lines and hammer…

Rivets in place
Rivets in place
And hammer away!
And hammer away!
Finished product (and tools)
Finished product (and tools)
Jess getting her pout on with her new bag...
Jess getting her pout on with her new bag…

All done without any sewing! Which makes a change… It’s nice to step back from the sewing machine and do other things! It looks pretty impressive too- as long as you don’t look too closely at how well aligned and pressed the rivets are…

I’ve got some good ideas to do a riveted quilted bag/ purse thing. Just got to work up the body strength to get that project going!

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