Leather Crafting with Belts, Bags, and Scraps

Leather Crafting with Belts, Bags, and Scraps

Leather crafting is something I’ve played around with for many years now, in part because I hate the idea of any leather going to waste. Whether it’s a worn leather belt, a damaged leather bag, or scraps from an upholstery shop, I just want to see every last bit put to good use.

Leather Crafting Ideas

leather belts from a thrift store

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

Growing up, leather was always a sign of luxury to me. So it still surprises me to this day when I find leather goods at the thrift store- be it belts, bags, shoes, luggage, or even leather bound books. But, there are a LOT of leather items donated to thrift stores and priced very affordably.

Which is perfect for anyone who loves leather crafting or wants to give it a try with these ideas.

Hanging Planter

hanging planter made of leather

Photo source: Pillar Box Blue.

With hanging planters all the rage right now, you might not think of leather as the material for making one. But this one, made from upholstery leather, is easy to make and very durable for your flower pots.

Decanter Tags

How to make decanter labels from a leather belt

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

Perfect for a home bar or bar cart, these leather decanter tags started out as a leather belt. But with some alphabet stamps, a leather punch, and some metal fittings, it’s easy to make an entire set of tags for your bar.

Leather Crafting with Paint

how to paint leather

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

If you’ve never heard of leather paint, then you’re missing out- because this stuff has quite the cult following. Often used to personalize sneakers, these leather paints are also perfect for upgrading a blemished leather (or even pleather) purse from the thrift store.

For instance, this clutch started out in off-white and scuffed up before getting a makeover.

DIY Earrings

diy leather earrings

Photo source: Salvaged Living.

Thin leather- perhaps from a pair of shoes or leather sash belt- is perfect for repurposing into DIY earrings like these. Especially if part of the leather is damaged but the rest of it is salvageable!

Leather Crafting with Scraps

decorating a wool tote with leather leaves

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

Leather scraps in various colors and finishes are fun for scrap buster projects like this- cutting out small shapes for craft projects. From there, the sky’s the limit- you can adhere them to bags, jackets, picture frames, and so much more.

Leather Handles

leather handles on trays

Photo source: Dukes and Duchesses.

When a popular home decor retailer debuts some wooden trays with leather handles, what’s a DIYer to do? Well, craft their own, of course– using leather belts or other sturdy leather straps from their craft supplies.

Fashionable Hip Bag

Hip purse from a small leather handbag

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

A small leather purse from your closet or the thrift shop might be just what you need for this DIY fanny pack upgrade. Plus, with a couple of leather crafting tools, it only takes a few minutes to make.

DIY Leather Pockets

brochure holder for north georgia cabin rentals

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

Leather is a great accent for wood pieces, and this brochure/magazine holder is no exception. Made for a rental cabin in the mountains, these leather scraps were shaped into pockets for business cards and screwed into the wooden holder. Such a great use of scraps and space; plus, it looks great to boot.

Boho Vase

boho vase with leather

Photo source: Pillar Box Blue.

How cool is this leather wrapped vase? Not only does it use salvaged leather from a thrown-away couch, but it also repurposes a plastic bottle at the same time.

Cool Cuffs

leather belt cuffs

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

Find an embellished leather belt at the thrift store or have one you adore but can no longer wear? DIY leather cuffs from belts is such a fabulous way to extend their life in a new, stylish way. Easy to make with a few leather crafting tools, you can showcase the prettiest parts of the belt and custom-make them to size.

I made all of these when I was first starting out my blog! I had a small Etsy shop and sold a bunch of them, but strangely enough, I never created a blog post tutorial for them. Should I go back into my archives and create a fresh post?

Basket Decor

decorating a basket with a leather belt

Photo source: My Repurposed Life.

A plain basket is ideal for embellishing with a leather belt– either decoratively or functionally by using it as a handle.

Mini Book Necklace

mini book necklace

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

Calling all bibliophiles! Is this not the cutest little mini book necklace, or what? And it’s made from an old book and a very small scrap of soft leather- so perfectly sweet and easy to make.

Door Draft Stopper

DIY draft stopper from flannel shirts

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

A draft stopper is a great idea for an older home with drafty doors and windows. Since this one was made by upcycling flannel shirts, leather strips (from a belt or scrap leather) or faux leather fabric are a great way to cover the seams for a clean and polished look.

Sourcing Scraps for Leather Crafting

where to find leather scraps for craft projects

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

Want to try your hand at some leather crafts but don’t know where to find your scraps or sources of leather? Your own closet is a great place to start, especially if you’ve been hanging onto any shoes, bags, or belts that you don’t plan on wearing/using again. Thrift stores are also excellent sources of inexpensive leather pieces to make crafts from.

But some craft stores sell bags of leather scraps, as well as creative reuse centers- which are like thrift stores for craft supplies.

Leather Crafts to Make

leather crafts and projects

Photo source: Shutterstock via PicMonkey.

Now that you’ve seen all these ideas, will you be leather crafting any time soon? There are really a ton of project ideas out there and you only need a few basic leather crafting supplies to get started (like a hole punch, a rivet/grommet setter, and strong scissors or other cutting tool). And since it’s one of those materials that ethically should never be wasted, there’s incentive to be creative and imaginative with whatever you make.

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.

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