Inside the Craft Studio

Product Development: Playing with Leather Bags

I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been trying my hand at leather work lately. I admit it – I originally learned to work with leather at summer camp when I was a kid. Still, I remembered having a knack for it back then, and I remembered my basics of how to stamp and tool leather.

So, with a bit of refresher, a bit of leather, and a fair amount of new tools, I’ve been playing around with some new designs. Here are two prototype bags I made recently.

First, my basic design for a bag that can be both a ren faire pouch and a purse. Pretty tooled leaves on the front - though later ones will have a better clasp than my makeshift button one.

First, my basic design for a bag that can be both a ren faire pouch and a purse. Pretty tooled leaves on the front – though later ones will have a better clasp than my makeshift button one.

Then, widely spaced belt loops on the back. See the D rings? They can hide when worn on the belt.

Then, widely spaced belt loops on the back. See the D rings? They can hide when worn on the belt.

Small pocket for cards inside, plus enough space for your essentials.

Small pocket for cards inside, plus enough space for your essentials.

No switching bags when you leave the fair! Just clip on the shoulder strap and it's ready to go as a purse. My dying and riveting techniques still need some practice, but overall I'm please with my first project in a long time.

No switching bags when you leave the fair! Just clip on the shoulder strap and it’s ready to go as a purse.
My dying and riveting techniques still need some practice, but overall I’m please with my first project in a long time.

I came up with this little bag while playing with leather scraps. It was great stitching practice.

I came up with this little bag while playing with leather scraps. It was great stitching practice.

It's just a simple pocket design, for minimalist days. There will be a hidden clasp on later versions.

It’s just a simple pocket design, for minimalist days. There will be a hidden clasp on later versions.

And belt loops! Future ones of this design will probably also be convertible. Or I'll just make a purse version. Decisions, decisions!

And belt loops! Future ones of this design will probably also be convertible. Or I’ll just make a purse version. Decisions, decisions!

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