Turn Your Old Leather Jacket Into a Chic Bucket Bag

If you've been wanting a trendy bucket bag, but you don't like the expensive price tags on those you find in stores, we've got some good news: You can create your own chic bag from an old leather jacket that's been collecting dust in your closet. Using a handful of accompanying items — including contrasting wooden beads for a cool detail — you can sew together your new favorite accessory for a fraction of what a labeled alternative would cost. And when you're finished, you can sling this versatile bag over your shoulder knowing that you made exactly what you wanted.

Image Credit: Beth Huntington

Things You'll Need

  • Pre-loved leather jacket

  • Freezer paper

  • Marker

  • Sharp scissors

  • Leather hole punch

  • Wonder clips (or large paper clips)

  • Leather needle (110/18)

  • Leather cord

  • Wooden beads

Image Credit: Beth Huntington

Step 1: Create the Pattern

Use freezer paper to create your pattern with the same dimensions as the photograph below.

Image Credit: Beth Huntington

Step 2: Cut the Back Off the Jacket

Cut the lining from the jacket, and then cut the back off the jacket to create a piece of leather that is big enough for the pattern piece. The seams on a jacket can create some interesting lines on your bag.

Step 3: Cut the Leather Using the Pattern

Use the paper pattern as a guide to cut the leather. Instead of using pins to hold the pattern in place as you cut, opt for pattern weights instead. This way, you don't put holes in the leather.

Image Credit: Beth Huntington

Step 4: Mark Holes

Place the pattern on the back side of the leather and mark the holes with a marker.

Image Credit: Beth Huntington

Step 5: Punch Holes

Punch holes in the leather according to your marks using a leather punch.

Image Credit: Beth Huntington

Step 6: Fold the Leather in Half

Fold the leather in half with the right-sides together and use clips to hold it in place. This seam will become the back of your bag.

Image Credit: Beth Huntington

Step 7: Sew With a Leather Needle

Sew a 1/2-inch seam allowance with a leather needle (110/18). Be sure to remove the clips as you sew.

Image Credit: Beth Huntington

Step 8: Clip Bottom Edges and Sew

Fold the bottom piece up and clip the two opposing sides with the right-sides together. Sew with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

Image Credit: Beth Huntington
Image Credit: Beth Huntington

Step 9: Clip and Sew the Third Side

Clip and sew the third side with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

Image Credit: Beth Huntington

Step 10: Turn Right-Side Out

Turn the bag right-side out. Push out the bottom corners with your finger.

Image Credit: Beth Huntington

Step 11: Thread Leather Cord

Thread the leather cord through the holes starting in the front.

Image Credit: Beth Huntington

Step 12: Attach Beads

Thread the beads onto the ends of the cord and tie a knot to hold them in place.

Image Credit: Beth Huntington
Image Credit: Beth Huntington

Step 13: Pack, Cinch and Go

Now you have an on-trend accessory that you can take with you anywhere!

Image Credit: Beth Huntington
Image Credit: Beth Huntington