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How to Make a Suede Purse, Leather Hand Purse & Faux Leather Wallet

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Dawn is a Canadian crafter skilled in textile work, weaving and toy making, among other arts.

Suede Pouch Purses, Leather Handbag and an Imitation Leather Wallet

Suede Pouch Purses, Leather Handbag and an Imitation Leather Wallet

You Will Need

  • Suede scraps for the pouch purses
  • Shoe laces and curtain ring for pouch purses
  • Piece of cowhide 12 inches by 8 inches for tan purse
  • Snaps for tan purse
  • Faux leather for wallet approximately 12 inches by 12 inches
  • Zipper and plastic flat lacing for wallet
  • Snaps for wallet
  • Stitch marker - Hole punch - Awl - Leather needle - Waxed thread
  • Rubber cement - Cardboard - Pencil - Mallet - Sponge - Board
Figure 1: Overhand stitch

Figure 1: Overhand stitch

How to Make the Suede Pouch Purse

The pouch purses are very simple to make.

For the round one with the lace:

  • Draw cardboard templates for a round base 2½ inches in diameter, and an oblong 4¼ inches by 2¼ inches.
  • From the different colored scraps of suede and leather, cut one round base piece and four oblongs.
  • Draw around the templates on the leather in pencil to indicate cutting lines.
  • Overhand stitch (Figure 1) the four oblongs together to make a large oblong 8½ inches by 4½ inches.
  • Sew the short sides together to make a tube. Use strong waxed thread and a leather needle.
  • Use the punch to make eight holes about ¾ inches in from one edge. These will take the drawstring laces.
  • Sew in the base piece with blanket stitch and cut a piece of cardboard to stiffen the base.
  • Scallop the top edge of the purse or decorate it with fancy stitching and thread the laces through the holes.
  • If you want, make tassels to decorate the ends of the laces.

For the other type of pouch purse:

  • Cut four oblongs about 2¼ inches by 5¼ inches, using a cardboard template as before.
  • Make up a loop from suede and thread a one-inch curtain ring on it.
  • Sew all the long sides of the oblongs together to make a tube and in one of the seams include a loop two inches down from the top edge.
  • Close the bottom end of the tube and scallop or decorate the top edge as before.
Figure 2: Tan Purse Template. Each square = 1 Inch

Figure 2: Tan Purse Template. Each square = 1 Inch

How to Make the Tan Leather Purse

Use Figure 2 to make up cardboard templates for the two pattern pieces.

  • Place these on the leather and draw around the outlines in pencil.
  • Place the leather on a piece of board, and use either a leather knife or a pair of leather shears to cut out the pieces.
  • Refer to the pattern and mark in pencil the positions for the snap fastener holes, then make these with the hole punch.

Now you can try your hand at some tooling. If you have not done any tooling before, try out the stencils on scraps of leather first.

  • Choose the stencils for the pattern around the edge of the flap and the middle of the flap.
  • Place the back and flap piece on the board, sponge all over with cold water and leave a little while to penetrate the surface thoroughly. (Do not make the leather spongy and wringing wet.)
  • Take your stencil, place the head down on the leather and hit the end centrally with the mallet to produce an accurate impression.
  • You may have to re-dampen the leather in places.
  • Repeat the process to produce a pattern around the front edge.

Applying the Stain

When your pattern is complete, allow the leather to dry thoroughly, then apply the stain to all raw edges and around the edges of the flap and front (see picture). Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

To highlight the central pattern, apply the stain lightly to the raised parts and let it merge into the color of the surrounding leather at the edges.

Once stain has completely dried, assemble the purse.

  • Fix in the snaps.
  • Smear a little rubber cement around the flesh side edges of the back and front pieces, and place the front in position on the back so they stick together.
  • Place the purse on the board and make the stitch holes with the awl, through both thicknesses.
  • If the leather is thick, use a tracing or modeling tool to make a groove for the stitches to lie in, this will prevent them from wearing.
  • Sew the front to the back with saddle stitch using strong waxed thread.
  • At the corner points A and B make holes to take two strengthening rivets or studs and insert these.
Figure 3: Pattern for Faux Leather Wallet. Each square = 1 Inch

Figure 3: Pattern for Faux Leather Wallet. Each square = 1 Inch

How to Make the Faux Leather Wallet

  • Draw up the pattern pieces in Figure 3 to size on card and use them to cut out one of piece 1 and five of piece 2.
  • Mark with a stitch marker or by measuring the positions for the lacing holes on each piece of leather, the smaller holes shown in Figure 3.

It is important that these holes correspond exactly on each piece of leather.

  • Mark the press stud positions, the larger holes in Figure 3.
  • Make all the holes with a punch and fix in the top halves of the press studs on piece 1 and the bottom halves on piece 2.
Figure 4: Assembling the Faux Leather Wallets

Figure 4: Assembling the Faux Leather Wallets

Assembling the Faux Leather Wallet

  • Take two of the oblongs (A and B in Figure 4a) and join them with a zipper stitched in with a saddle stitch.
  • Then join B to the square (C in Figure 4b) with an oblong of stitching.
  • Join the two other oblongs together (D and E in figure 4c) with stitching, making a small stamp pocket. this leaves just the snap oblong unattached.
  • Assemble the purse by lacing A to B, C to D and E to the snap oblong (see Figure 4d).

Thanks for stopping by and happy crafting!

© 2013 Dawn


carin on January 31, 2020:

I luv your work. I also want to start doing bags and purses but with material. I always did upholstery but want something I can do alone

Susan from India on May 08, 2013:

Interesting hub. You have also made it very easy to follow by adding the pics. Thank you for sharing. Voted up and interesting.