How to Make a Fringed Leather Bag

How to Make a Fringed Leather Bag

DIY fringed leather bag tutorial
I’ve been promising a fringe tutorial for what feels like forever, and I just got my sewing machine back from a tune-up, so it was time to give it a go. I was inspired by some DIY fringe ideas I rounded up here and here, but the bag ended up as kind of a cross between this one and this one. It might be my perfect summer bag, just refined and simple enough to be able to go easily from music festivals to brunches and everything in between.

DIY fringed leather bag tutorial DIY fringed leather bag tutorial

DIY fringed leather bag tutorial

Leather (medium weight)
Leather cement/glue
Sewing machine
Leather sewing machine needle
Cutting mat
Rotary cutter
Magnetic clasp
Seam ripper
D-rings, 1-inch wide
Bulldog clips
Bag strap or chain (You can buy one pre-made, or recycle one from an old bag)
Swivel hooks and split rings to attach them, if your bag strap doesn’t have them
DIY fringed leather bag tutorial
1. Measure and cut four pieces of leather.
Bag body: 18.5 inches by 11 inches
Fringe: 9.5 inches by 11 inches
Two strips: 1 inch by 4 inches

2. On the 11-inch wide edges of the body piece, insert the magnetic clasp. On the back/wrong side, measure to the center (5 1/2 inches) and 1 inch down from the top edge and mark with chalk. Place the metal backing piece of the magnetic clasp so it’s centered and the bottom is on the 1 inch mark, and mark the holes with a bit of chalk. Use a seam ripper to make small holes and insert the magnetic clasp prongs through the hole from the right side of the leather. Cut a small square of interfacing with holes for the prongs, and place this on the prongs, followed by the metal backing piece. Fold the prongs inward to secure. (This video shows the whole process of inserting a magnetic clasp, if you’re at all confused.)
DIY fringed leather bag tutorial
Repeat on the other short edge of the body piece.

3. Take one of the edges that you just added the clasp to, and fold it down by 1 inch. Mark where to fold to with chalk. Spread glue on this surface (especially the edges), fold down, and press firmly. Repeat on the opposite edge. Wipe off any excess glue that seeps out. Put heavy books on top of the folded edges, and allow to dry.
DIY fringed leather bag tutorial
DIY fringed leather bag tutorial
4. While the glue on your bag body is drying, cut the fringe. I just eyeballed the fringe size, but the only tricky part is that you need to try to keep the fringe fairly straight, meaning perpendicular to the top edge/parallel to the sides. You can do it with scissors, but you’ll get much better results with a rotary cutter and cutting mat. Leave 1/2 inch uncut on the top edge.
DIY fringed leather bag tutorial
5. Glue the top uncut edge of the fringe to the bag body. I was going to do mine straight across, but then I decided I liked it better in more of a U-shape, so that’s how I glued mine. It’s up to you! Put some heavy books on top of the glued area and let it dry.
DIY fringed leather bag tutorial
DIY fringed leather bag tutorial
6. After your glue is dry, sew a line of stitches across the top edge of the fringe.

7. Fold the bag body right sides together, and tuck the fringe inside. Line up the top edges, and clip together. (After I sewed my edges together I cut off one fringe piece from each side because they were sticking out funny, so I recommend that you do this before you sew.) Sew the sides of your bag together, then turn it right-side out.
DIY fringed leather bag tutorial
8. Now we’re going to add the holders for the bag strap. Take the two small strips, slip each one through a D-ring, and fold the leather in half. Sew a line of stitches as close to the D-ring as possible, then sew the strip onto the top edge of the bag body, on the side seam.
DIY fringed leather bag tutorial
9. If necessary, assemble your bag strap by using split rings to attach swivel clips to the strap. Clip it onto your bag.
DIY fringed leather bag tutorial
DIY fringed leather bag tutorial

DIY fringed leather bag tutorial

Wear everywhere, all summer long.

Subscribe to DIY in PDX

Want to make sure not to miss a post? Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

8 thoughts on “How to Make a Fringed Leather Bag

  1. Wow! I love this your amazing!! Thanks for sharing this awesome purse tutorial.
    Kim from This Ole mom

  2. I love this simple design. Your instructions and pictures are very good. I’m going to make a slightly smaller version for my grand daughters in suede. Thanks for posting this, it was exactly what I was looking for, 🙂

  3. GREAT pattern and instructions! Do you know anyone that has or have you tried making this pattern out of vegan leather, vinyl, or kraft-tex??? I’d love to try it but want to know if anyone else has and if they have any tips. 🙂 thanks

    1. Suzy, I haven’t made this particular bag out of vinyl or vegan leather, but I have sewn with it. I’d say the conversion would be easy, but you’d have to find a material with a good reverse side for the fringe, since you’d see the wrong side. Often the wrong side of vinyl is pretty ugly (it’s even white sometimes), so the trick would be finding the right material.

  4. Love this tutorial! I made this bag in red leather and I love it. I added a zippered divider pocket. I want to make another one that is larger. I would love to send you a pic if you send me your email. Thanks!

    1. Just saw your photos on twitter. It looks really great, and thanks so much for sharing! How smart to add a zippered pocket, too.

Comments are closed.

Back To Top