So I’ve been thinking about trying make a handbag lately. This might be an overly ambitious project, so I decided to start small with supplies I could find at the local craft store and make a studded suede wallet/pouch. (Uh, use caution when googling ‘leather stud’…) If you’re constantly switching your things from one purse to another like I am then you understand the need to keep organized. Small pouches can hold makeup, business cards, pens and notepad, your iPod or whatever else is floating around your purse.
The size of my pouch was determined by the size of the piece of suede I used so play around and see what you like, especially if your piece of leather is a different size. I’d like to make more, some larger (perhaps a wallet) and some smaller (for business cards). This is a great way to recycle leather from an old jacket or bag, too.
Download the pattern. Print it, cut it out and trace it on your piece of leather. Cut with sharp scissors.
The leather cement I used did an excellent job, although I’m sure that one of the many other glues and epoxies I had would have worked, too. If you aren’t sure about your glue, practice on a test piece. If you used a pen to trace the pattern on the leather be sure to check that the pen marks will be on the inside of the bag before you start gluing.
There are tons of ways to decorate your pouch, or you could leave it plain. Wouldn’t a bunch of plain pouches of different sizes in different colors be cool? If you decide to use the studs then layout your design in advance before you start cutting. If you’d like, put masking tape over the leather and mark where each stuff will go. You can make your cuts through the masking tape and then peel it off before attaching the studs.
Or you can wing it like I did. I just pressed each stud into the leather to leave a small indentation and then used my X-acto knife to slice through the suede. Depending on the thickness of your material it might take a bit of force to make the slit. Use a sharp blade and cutting mat and be careful!
Bending the backs of the studs down can be hard on the fingers. Use a thimble if you have one, or something metal like a screwdriver.
That’s it – an easy afternoon project!