Make your own simple leather clutch bag

make your own leather clutch DIY

I’m so excited about sharing today’s post with you. As soon as I saw my husband’s old leather waistcoat destined for the charity shop, I’ve been wanting to try this DIY leather clutch bag.

But leather can be intimidating. According to some of the sites I visited, you needed all sorts of fancy leather-appropriate kit. Like needles, sewing feet, and scissors. Sounded like too much work. So I put this project to one side, and tried to forget about it…

Make your own leather clutch form a vintage waistcoatBefore and After - Turn an vintage waistcoat into a DIY clutch bag

Luckily, the other day Liz over at C&CΒ put out a call for some leather tutorials for her leather week, and well, it felt like it was time to get to grips with this particular DIY project.

And I’m so glad I did. This was super easy. And actually I didn’t need any fancy equipment apart from leather needles for my sewing machine (which apparently punch through leather better than regular needles).

Since this project, I’ve been keeping a beady eye out for leather jackets, waistcoats, and what-nots in my local thrift stores and charity shops. If I’m lucky I might build up the courage to try something a little more complex. Any suggestions…?

Detail turn a black vintage leather waistcoat into a black DIY clutch bag

Make your own leather clutch bag

You will need:

a piece of old leather (like a waist coat)

seam ripper



leather needles for sewing machine (I bought mine here)

something to keep the bag closed (snap closure, ribbon, velcro)

Step by step how to turning a waistcoat into a clutch bag

1.Β Rip your waistcoat apart at the shoulders and side seams, so you end up with two side sections and a back section.

2. Remove any bits that get in your way (like belts or buttons).

3. Keep the back section for this project (you can put the side sections away for another projects) and straight stitch over the uneven edges left by the seam ripper to make it all tidy. I used pins to keep the lining straight.

4. Turn the back section so the leather is facing down. Fold up the bottom third. Pin and stitch up the sides (just the bottom third from the fold to the bottom).

5. Turn your creation right side out. Ta da! You have a purse…

6. … but you may want to keep in closed somehow. I used a spare snap closure I found lying around, but you could useΒ Velcro, ribbon, a zipper. Anything really.

  1. Reply
    Nikki Banham-Hall

    El this looks brilliant! I love it!
    See you soon

    Nikki x

  2. Reply

    Ahh this is so fabulous! And super handy too. It looks great!

    Love from the NaNa girls xoxo

  3. Reply

    I've always steered away from leather because it seemed a bit intimidating, so I'm glad to hear it's not so bad. The clutch turned out great! I love how a touch of leather can add some edginess to an outfit. Have a great weekend Elena! πŸ™‚

  4. Reply

    That's great! I love how you positioned the tag on the flap. I cut up a leather jacket that got a hole ripped in the sleeve, so I need to do something with that.

  5. Reply

    Wow, great job on that clutch! I've been on the hunt for more leather, too. I'm off to check out more of your blog – so fun!!

  6. Reply

    So very cute and stylish!

  7. Reply
    McKenna Ryan

    So cute and creative! This is wonderful. Have a lovely weekend. xx, McKenna Lou

  8. Reply

    Looks amazing! I've been putting off sewing myself a new leather bag, since I'm not a fan of sewing bags in general, but you put me in the mood. Itchy fingers!

    xo Hanna at Pearls & Scissors

  9. Reply
    Brittany @ Canvas & Slate

    oh my! that clutch look amazing. awesome job!

  10. Reply

    I love this DIY! Thank you so much for the idea – I don't have any old leather vests, but I'm going to start looking for them in thrift stores.
    This clutch is amazing, I can;t believe it was DIY'd from a leather jacket)) I thing I'm going to add a handle to it)
    Thank you once again! So happy my friend showed me your blog)


  11. Reply

    You did a great job! I've never sewn with leather before. I've tried vinyl but it didn't go that well. Thanks for the tip on the leather needles!

  12. Reply
    Alessandra Less

    awwwwwwww… amazing!!!! you're super!

  13. Reply
    Alessandra Less

    ps. ruby woo lipstick from mac.. oh yes πŸ˜‰

  14. Reply

    So clever! I'd never think to do something like this, well done!

  15. Reply
    Knuckle Clutch

    No doubt,Leather clutches are really ravishing,adorable as well as durable but the only thing i doesn't like about this stuff is that these are neither environment nor animal friendly.Isn't it..?

    1. Reply

      True. I'm not sure I would go and buy leather for this project, but since it was already in the house… waste not want not, no?

      x Elena

  16. Reply
    Clutch Bags Australia

    Too beautiful and stylish clutch bags. I love it.

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