Easy DIY Leather Tote Bag

Item # X-HT-300616

If you're a new leather crafter but aren't sure what to make first, this project is for you! In this short video, we’ll show you a simple leather tote bag pattern. This easy DIY bag is the perfect introductory project for new sewers and leather crafters, and you can make it in just a few hours.

This leather tote is easy for beginner leather crafters to make.

Because it's so durable, leather is a great choice for high-use items such as backpacks and tote bags. You can enjoy years of use from a high-quality leather bag. And with the right care and maintenance, your handmade leather items will look just as good as the day you made them — if not even better.

We used 4 to 5 oz. vegetable tanned leather for our bag. Nicknamed "veg tan," this leather gets its name from the treatment process it undergoes, which uses natural tannins from plants and trees. This tanning method results in a very light-colored leather. However, veg tan will darken with use and acquire a unique patina over time. If you'd like a bit more color right away, you're in luck: Veg tan readily accepts leather dyes and paints.

This veg tan leather tote has enough room for all your daily essentials.

This tote bag project is a great way for you to practice basic leatherworking techniques. In the video, we’ll walk you through how to mark and cut leather, sew the body of the bag, and add straps. You’ll also get to try your hand at creating polished edges and installing rivets. What are you waiting for? Watch the video below to get started!

Was this your first leatherworking project? How did your tote turn out? Tell us all about your experience with this project in the comments below. And if there are other leather crafting projects or techniques you’d like us to cover, share those too! We’re always looking for new ways to help you become a better DIYer.

Materials & Tools List:

  • Natural Vegetable Tanned Leather Side 4 to 5 oz. (#123698)
  • Otter Wax Saddle Soap Leather Cleaner 2 oz. (#123759)
  • Double-Cap Rivets Antique Brass (#122576)
  • Sailrite® Standard Fabricator® Sewing Machine Package (110V) (#400500)
  • Size V-92 UV Bonded Polyester Thread (#123337)
  • Size #20 DI Leather Sewing Machine Needle (#100799)
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" (#102400)
  • Sailrite® Scratch Awl (#123270)
  • Sailrite® Straight Leather Knife (#123323)
  • Sailrite® Flat Head Leather Utility Knife (#122558)
  • Sailrite® Multi-Size Leather Slicker (#123330)
  • Sailrite® Leather Edge Beveler 5-in-1 Set (#123299)
  • Hole Cutter 1/8" (#121386)
  • Sailrite® Leather Strap Cutter (#123268)
  • Sailrite® Double-Sided Leather Strop (#123283)
  • Sailrite® Double-Sided Cutting Mat 36" x 24" Extra Large (#123113)
  • Smooth Leather Foot Set for Sailrite® Fabricator® (#400212)
  • Sailrite® Cutting Block & Die Holder (#121597)
  • Sailrite® Bakelite Mallet 13 oz. (#123309)