When I sent my friend Lily a Skillshare video tutorialÂ on how to make a leather bucket bag, I didn’t expect her toÂ actually want to make it with me. I just figured it was a fun idea that belonged in the “someday” pile. She thought I was serious and enthusiastically agreed to get started with me.
Even though the teacher of the DIY said making the bag would be simpleâ€”and it should’ve been because her steps are relatively easy to followâ€”for newbies like us, the process turned out to be a long one.
The first step was to buy theÂ leather. I went for a light yellow, and she chose the navy. We bought the leather hole punch, the special glue, and threads to match the colour of our leathers. Everything else we had, except for the sewing machine, which we managed to borrow. When we got it, we spent some time watching more online tutorials to learn how to use the thing. The machine needle broke because my leather was too thick, and the glue turned out to be defective, drying into one big elastic blob. If you’re an amateur at sewing, and punching holes into leather gets you sweating, making your own bag will help you appreciate the craftsmanship of expert bag makers. And the cutting and sewing partâ€”let’s just say we had some missteps.
Now that I’m proudly showing off my bag around town, I like to joke that it’sÂ held together by paper clips and superglue. I’m not exaggerating. After we punched extra holes in the front of the bags where we weren’t supposed to, we filled them in with gold buttons, holding each into place by inserting a paperclip at the back. (I think we can all agree that the happy accident made the bag all the richer for it.) That big hole I couldn’t sew to a close at the circular bottom of my bag? Three binder clips are in place to prevent small items from falling out. When the sewing machine refused to sew through the thick leather of the straps to the body of the bag? Super glue did the job.
I’ve received a few requests from friends to make them bucket bags too. Sorry guys. My yellow bag is one of a kind. The leather will set you back only about $50 to $70 (at least in Toronto), but the real cost is the time and energy put into it. I’m proud of my bag because I made it, and it’s got flaws only I can appreciate. It only took us, what, three months from buying the leather to conception? If you want your own, you better have the patience to make one ðŸ™‚