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

upholstery samples in leather

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 Belt Dresser Mat

leather dresser mat

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

Looking to protect the top of your dresser from things that scratch and scuff? Stringing together a series of leather belts from the thrift store is a great way to create a durable and stylish dresser mat.

This is an old project of mine from the earliest blogging days and I took down the tutorial ages ago. But my husband still uses this on top of his dresser!

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.

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.

Mason Jar Lantern

diy lantern with a mason jar and leather belt

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods.

There are loads of craft projects to make with mason jars, and there are quite a few you can make with leather belts. So, why not combine the two into a DIY lantern project like this? And while it’s not a hangable lantern and should instead sit on a table, it’s still a fun upcycling project that is easier to make than you may think.

This, too, is an older project that I removed from the blog years ago. I tend to do that when a tutorial doesn’t interest many people.

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.

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.

When I had an active Etsy shop, I made a LOT of these leather cuffs and sold them all. But I never published a tutorial on my blog; should I do that soon?

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

leather scraps at a creative reuse center

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

ideas for leather crafting

Photo source: Sadie Seasongoods and Pillar Box Blue.

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.


  1. Your commitment to repurposing leather is commendable! It’s wonderful to see someone creatively utilizing worn items or scraps, giving them a new life. Leather crafting is indeed a skillful way to minimize waste and turn something old into something beautiful and functional. Looking forward to hearing more about your leather crafting adventures! Happy Boxing Day! Visit Melody Jacob blog.

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