How to Make a Leather Bag

Are you trying to make a leather bag? Find out how in this guide!

Understand the Function First

So you’re planning to make your first leather bag?

Before thinking about the leather color, type, stitch types, cool logos, and zippers, think about the bag’s overall function. Remember that any type of design for a product is a failure if its unable to perform its desired purpose.

There are a lot of beautiful designs out there. Some designs are full of rich leather which would look great in an Instagram photo. However, if those products can’t meet the customer’s expectations, they’ll never sell.

Here are some questions to ask when inspecting the function of a piece:

  • What’s intended to be used with the product?
  • In one sentence, explain the value of this product.
  • If it’s made out of simple cloth, would you still use the product?
  • How will your user interact with the product?

When answering these questions, place yourself in the shoes of someone viewing the design for the first time. Make sure that it works without a needed detailed explanation. Doing so will make it easier for others to use your leather bag and enjoy it.

Imported Leather

Most suppliers tend to quote their leather quantities based on their origin. While it’s not that simple, it usually looks like this:

  • Italy (High Cost)
  • Hong Kong (Mid Cost)
  • Mainland China (Low Cost)

Can you trust that the Italian leather is made from Italy?  Not unless they can show you a Country or Origin certificate.

Pull Reference

Remember, leather goods have been relevant for hundreds of years. And there are some companies that have heritage reaching that far. Therefore, you should pull reference, so you know how your design is different and similar to everyone else.

To start, go to the small and start with department stores. After that, look into some boutiques. Search for your favorite brands and find new ones along the way. Then you can have a comparative conversation with your design team. Speak on how you want to differentiate the product but keep it similar to the reference.

Make a Sample

The first rule to understand is that the first sample won’t be perfect. Embrace that.

The second rule is to use cheaper pieces of leather or a non leather material. The sample is the core of the design process. Think of it like clay. You’ll be molding, adding, removing, and messing around with an unfinished piece. Don’t worry about the finished product. The question you want to answer is “Can I build the leather bag that I want to make?”

Tweak the Design

After creating your sample, you still have to test your design continuously. Try creating another sample of longer or wider length. Carry it, wear it, put things in it. Does the bag hold its shape? Are the zippers working properly and even through the corners?

When tweaking the design, check for every possible issue. Once you’ve completed a few extra samples, choose the design that your target audience will support the most.


When you have a good design idea, it can be frustrating when your bag doesn’t look like it at first. But stay diligent. By continuing to design bags, you’ll increase the quality of your results; leading into better bags. Try for additional help on leather goods. Conclusively, understand your leather goods and continue designing to make the best bag possible!