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How to Make a Tote With Leather Handles

Learn how to make a tote bag with leather handles. It’s a quick and easy sewing project that is perfect for carrying your essentials!

These tote bags with leather handles are perfect for any fun outings you’ll be going on. I love putting a couple of essentials in my tote bag when I take my kids to the splash pad for the afternoon.

I love carrying a fiction book about sewing to read while my kids play. Let’s learn how to make a tote bag with leather handles! This is such a great beginner sewing project!

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How to Make a Tote With Leather Handles

The simple design of the bag makes the print and leather show off. I made one bag with a subtle pattern and high contrasting leather, and I made one bag with a busy print and a subtle leather. I love the contrast of leather against the canvas fabric.

This tote bag is so useful! I use it for everything! It’s one of my favorite back to school sewing projects that I’ve done! If you love tote bags you can also make a mermaid tail tote bag!

How to Make a Tote Bag with Leather Handles // heatherhandmade.com

I got these two gorgeous canvas fabrics from Sewing Studio. I taught these bags in a class and Sewing Studio sponsored the class. There are lots of fun canvas print fabrics available. You can use the code “HEATHER” to get 10% off your next order.

I wanted to use a small piece of leather for this tote bag to keep it affordable. I used these embossed Craft Cuts from Tandy Leather because they are pretty and affordable. It does mean you have to have seams in the middle of your straps, but it’s hard to see.

Another bag that is really fun to make is to upcycle jeans into a tote bag or a tote bag with a fold up pocket. Bags are so fun to make! Here’s a great list of DIY tote bags you can make!

How to Make a Tote Bag with Leather Handles // heatherhandmade.com

How to make a tote with leather handles

Supplies

  1. Gather your supplies. 
    How to Make a Tote Bag with Leather Handles // heatherhandmade.com
  2. Cut your canvas 33 inches wide and 18 inches tall. Make sure you cut off both selvedges.
  3. Cut the leather into 1 inch strips.
  4. With WRONG sides together sew around three sides of the canvas leaving a short side unsewn.
    • We are going to sew the bag with a French seam.
      How to Make a Tote Bag with Leather Handles // heatherhandmade.com
  5. Trim seam allowances to 1/8″.
  6. Turn wrong side out and press seams flat.
  7. Sew around the same three sides with a 3/8″ seam allowance.  You now have a nice enclosed seam.
    How to Make a Tote Bag with Leather Handles // heatherhandmade.comHow to Make a Tote Bag with Leather Handles // heatherhandmade.com
  8. Line up the bottom seam with the side seam at the inside corners and sew 2″ in perpendicular to the seam. You will be creating a little triangle.
    How to Make a Tote Bag with Leather Handles // heatherhandmade.com
  9.  Fold the top of the bag once at 1/4″ and then again at 1″.
  10. Press and pin.
  11. Sew around the top edge 7/8″ from the top fold.
    How to Make a Tote Bag with Leather Handles // heatherhandmade.com
  12. Add a tag on your hem if you want.
    How to Make a Tote Bag with Leather Handles // heatherhandmade.com
  13. Change your needle to a leather sewing machine needle.
  14. Take the eight strips of leather. Sew two together on the short side with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Do this to the other six strips.
  15. You now have four strips of leather. With the WRONG sides of the leather together sew two straps together making a double sided strap. Offset the seams so there’s less layers of leather to sew through.
  16. Do it to the other two straps. 
    How to Make a Tote Bag with Leather Handles // heatherhandmade.com
  17. Trim the edges of the straps so that they are all the same length.
  18. Sew the edges of the straps in a square onto the hem of the bag. The straps should be in the middle of the bag and six edges apart.
    How to Make a Tote Bag with Leather Handles // heatherhandmade.com

Have fun pairing leather and canvas for the perfect tote! Happy tote-making and toting all your stuff!

How to Make a Tote Bag with Leather Handles // heatherhandmade.com
How to Make a Tote With Leather Handles

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I am reading your blog and i get the right info about how to make a tote with leather handles. It’s a helpful blog. Thanks!

Wow! this is so beautiful and looking elegant, I watched the video tutorial, Thanks for sharing the tutorial and keep it up. Um looking forward to making it at home.