The Easiest DIY Leather Handbag You’ll Ever Make

Lisa Miller-Mecham
by Lisa Miller-Mecham
8 Materials
90 Minutes

Ever thought of making your own handbag? For those who have never tried to sew a DIY leather handbag, now is your chance! This tutorial offers a super simple step-by-step guideline on how to make your own DIY leather handbag. There’s no need to purchase a pattern, I have it all covered for you. Print out this simple PDF DIY leather handbag sewing pattern, get your materials together, and let’s get the show on the road!

Tools and materials:

  • Printable pattern, get it here
  • 1/2 yd faux leather, canvas, leather, suede, vinyl
  • Heavy-duty polyester thread
  • Leather sewing machine needle
  • Walking foot
  • Pre-made Purse Handle or a handle from another bag
  • One 12" Purse Zipper
  • Quilting Clips
How to make a leather handbag

Cut your pieces

Cut your pieces using the above-mentioned PDF pattern. You should have one pocket piece, one gusset piece, one front and back piece, two purse top pieces as well as 2 ring tabs. 

Easy DIY leather handbag


To sew leather with a basic, at-home sewing machine, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Here are some great tips! Always use a walking foot, it has an extra set of feed docks that are easier on your machine. Also, extend your stitch length. Every hole, you make in leather is permanent, it’s best to keep those holes to a minimum. Use a leather needle, and as always, before sewing, test out your stitches using upholstery thread on a scrap piece of leather.

Make a DIY leather handbag

Add your pocket piece

Line your pocket piece up in the center of your front purse piece. Pin in place and make sure your sewing machine’s settings are all the way you want them. Adjust your needle and stitch length, so that the needle is as close to the raw edge as possible. Topstitch all the way around. 


Here, I pinned the pocket in place, but it’s more advisable to use fabric or quilting clips. These don’t create puncture holes in the leather.

Make a leather handbag

Install the gusset

When you start pinning the gusset to the top and back pieces, start from the top. This will ensure that everything is lined up correctly. Use quilting clips and make sure everything is held in place. Once the front of the bag is done, flip the bag over and repeat this process. Now, sew the gusset to the bag, using half an inch seam allowance. 

Sew a leather handbag

Sew the purse tops 

Now, sew the purse tops to either end of your zipper. When sewing the zipper, put the right sides together so it has a really clean finish on the top ends. 

Sew a DIY leather handbag

Make snips

To eliminate bulk from the curves, snip the curves of the bag. Turn your bag inside out and make sure to snip small pieces, keeping a distance from the seam itself. Make sure you trim all four curved edges before turning your bag inside out. 

Leather handbag sew-along

Add purse straps

Your bag is starting to take shape! Doesn’t it look great already? Now it’s time to add your purse straps. Cut out two ring tabs and slide them through a purse handle. Here, I already pre-made the handle but you are welcome to upcycle and use a strap from another bag that you don’t use. 

Sew the ring tab

To sew it in place, slide the ring tab by folding it in half and aligning it up with the gusset of your bag. From here, sew a little square on that tab. 

Attach your zipper

Add your zipper

You could leave your project just like this and have an open, authentic tote bag. Or, you can finish it off and add a zipper; turning it into a lovely purse. The choice is yours and this step is optional. 

Clip the purse top

Line up your purse top on the inside edge of the purse, right on the edge, on your seam allowance. Use quilting clips when doing this. This pattern is perfect as it allows you to sew smoothly, without giving your sewing machine a hard time by going through so many layers. 

Stitch and assemble

Stitch as close to the top edge as possible. Keep in mind that the stitches here will be visible; so aim for a neat and straight stitch throughout. 

Chic, DIY leather handbag

Yeah! We did it! How lovely is this practical leather purse? It’s awesome, functional, and so chic! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you flaunt your new bag! 

Suggested materials:
  • Pattern   (
  • Faux leather
  • Heavy-duty polyester thread
See all materials

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