DIY leather coat to bag

This DIY upcycling old leather coat leather into a bag is part of my passion for upcycling, weather is old leather coat into a leather bag or an old pair of jeans into cushions, I love giving old garments new life.

I have been wanting to share something with you for a long time!, actually I have made this DIY upcycled leather bag over the summer!. It has been on my to do list for a long time. Yesterday I saw to this picture and decided you might want to have a look at this! I made this bag out of this old leather coat!
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Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. Here is the disclaimer.

If you cannot find an old leather coat you can always use a bunch of leather scraps. It is all about upcycling and keeping the used and discarded materials away from the landfills!
Big leather coat

Well I actually used the back only and one arm for the strap

Big leather coat 2

You must agree with me that although the coat isn’t nice the leather is beautiful!, I love leather! and I feel really strong about textile waste so I made myself this little number! and you know what is the best part?, I used my domestic sewing machine! ha!

Anyway here I explain how I made it, I hope you enjoy the tutorial and inspires you to think of making something out of something you were just about to discard.

Materials and Notions:

You will need an old leather coat or leather scrapsFabric for the lining, I used beautiful quilting cottonbag ringsSewing thread, sewing machine, leather or fabric glue and scissors I used brown paper to make the pattern.
Optional silver pen, sewing machine plastic foot

Cutting the leather

First of all, I had a good look at the coat and decided which panels I was going to use.

Back of the coat

I unpicked the back and made a very simple template for my bag in brown paper, place it on the panel and trace it with a silver leather pen (you can always use any textile markers, just be sure to test them first on a little piece)

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Remember the collar?, I kind of liked it, so I cut it off and used it as the flap for the front pocket

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Sewing and gluing

I sew all the edges so it will have a good finished, noticed my plastic foot on my sewing machine, makes sewing leather a breeze…

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I cut and glued a shape for the front pocket, glued and sewn the flap for the pocket as well, I needed some muscle so I got my crochet magazines to help me!

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Making the straps

Cut a few straps for the rings and the handles, again glue them and sew them,

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I braided the handle strap, it just looks nice!

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Cutting and sewing the lining

I cut two pieces for the lining with the same pattern, I choose this brilliant african women print from Alexander Henry I think… I also put it a very large inside leather pocket

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Putting the bag together

Mark and sew the rings to the bag

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And with right sizes of the bag and lining facing each other I sew them together, remember to leave an opening at the bottom of the lining to turn your bag around.

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And I think that is more or less it!, I am very happy with my bag, I have been using it solid since I made it.

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I love all the raw edges as well, it reminds me of all the processes I had to do to get there. Anyway if you like this DIY please share the love, pin it, facebook it, tweet it… Hasta la proxima!

I have now open my shop selling some of my upcycled and other bags on Etsy, have a look at how many different bags styles you can make!


  1. Great job with the leather bag, I love it. Your post came up as a recommendation as I finished my latest post for a recycled sweater purse. I think we definitely both have a love for recycling, reusing old clothes & fabric……

  2. I am a little confused on this. You said that you only used the back panel of the coat to make your purse, but it looks like you only had enough to cut one side of the purse. What did you do for the other?

  3. You are so smart! I KNEW I was saving his old jacket for something! Could I get you to give me more details on how you did the braided handle? I love it! And your pictures are wonderful. 🙂

    • Thank you!, so nice when people are just nice!, I just pretended I was doing my girls hair! just a simple plait and then folded over and sewn at the ring nothing else really! send me a picture when you done 🙂

  4. Howdy fantastic blog! Does running a blog like this require
    a great deal of work? I’ve very little expertise in programming but I was hoping to start
    my own blog in the near future. Anyways, should yyou have any suggestions or techniques for new
    blog owners please share. I know this is off subject nevertheless I just needesd
    to ask. Thanks a lot!

    • Hi there,
      I am doing it on WordPress, I used to be a software developer but you don’t really need those skills to run a blog, go to and send them an email they might be able to help you. Best Luck! Luz

  5. Hello, 🙂
    You are such a friendly person! What a refreshing thing to see someone who responds to comments and answers questions.
    Your projects are so inspiring! In a world where there are SO many projects/tutorials to choose from (not a bad thing) sometimes the deciding factor becomes the personality of the teacher, how she/he writes. Well, your sweet personality has won me over!

    Thanks for such an inspired tutorial. I look forward to giving some real time to exploring your blog.


    • Hi Heather,

      What a nice thing to say! thank you so much!, I just woke up this morning to read this from you! well you have put the first smile of the day on! 🙂 I hope you enjoy the blog and thanks again.

      Welcome to my little corner.

  6. Hi Luz

    Loved your tutorial, I’m also a re-purpos’er, this is such a great idea. I have lots of trouble trying to sew leather on my machine though, and yes I have used leather needles, did you have any problems and how did you fix them, or any suggestions. I always see some leather items at the thrift store that are out of style, but shy away because of sewing it. Any info would be great.

    Thank you

    • Hi Linda,

      Have you used any teflon sewing feet?, any plastic foot or a walking foot, also you can put some kitchen tower between the needle and the leather, I hope this helps!


    What did U use for a templet?
    The answer to Sandi sept 13 2014 her comment” you said you used only the back panel of the coat to make your purse. It looks like you only had enough to cut one side.what did you do for the other side?
    Sept12 2014 your commen. “I used the lower part of the coat, (NOW THE REST OF THIS TOTALLY CONFUSED ME!!!) Sew the both panels together and I use it as my “fabric” for my other side of bag.
    Could you detail this a bit more? What you mean use it as your fabric?
    March18 2015 did you mean you put a towel between the leather and the needle? If not what is a kitchen tower?
    Lastly what kind of thread do you use?
    I loved your post!!!
    When my husband passed in 1977 I hung on to his leather coat. It wouldn’t fit anyone that I chose to pass it to. I’m so happy I ran across your post!!!
    Perfect!!! my daughter & grand daughter are getting one!!! ???
    If I get this all straight in my head!!

    • Hi Jeannie,

      Sorry for the late reply, being on holidays!

      the coat had a very large back so I used the bottom half sewn together to get the rest of pannels that I needed, I used a leather needle and a paper tower to make the leather glide… does this makes sense?


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