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When I sent my friend a Skillshare video tutorial on how to make a leather bucket bag, I didn't expect her to actually want to make it with me. I just figured it was a fun idea that belonged in the "someday" pile. She thought I was serious and enthusiastically agreed to get started with me. So I guess I had to do it.
Even though the teacher of the DIY said making the bag would be simple—and it should've been because her steps are relatively easy to follow—for amateurs like us, the process turned out to be a long one.
The first step was to buy the leather. I went for a light yellow, and my friend chose navy. We bought the leather hole punch, the special glue, and threads to match the colour of our leathers. Everything else we had, except for the sewing machine, which we managed to borrow. When we got the machine, we spent quite a bit of time watching more online tutorials to learn how to use the thing. The machine needle broke because my leather was too thick, and the glue turned out to be defective, drying into one big elastic blob.
Punching holes into leather manually got me sweating. And the cutting and sewing part—let's just say we had some missteps. The process definitely made me appreciate the craftsmanship of expert bag makers.
Now that I'm proudly showing off my bag around town, I like to joke that it's held together by paper clips and superglue. I'm not exaggerating. After we punched extra holes in the front of the bags where we weren't supposed to, we filled them in with gold buttons, holding each into place by inserting a paperclip at the back. (Although I think we can all agree that the happy accident made the bag all the richer for it.) That big hole I couldn't sew to a close at the circular bottom of my bag? Three binder clips are in place to prevent small items from falling out. When the sewing machine refused to sew through the thick leather of the straps to the body of the bag? Super glue did the job.
The leather will set you back only about $50 to $70 (at least in Toronto), but the real cost is the time and energy put into it. I'm proud of my bag because I made it, and it's got flaws only I can appreciate. It only took us, what, three months from buying the leather to conception? If you also have little to no skills and want your own, you better have the patience to make one 🙂