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Picture of Leather Backpack

I made this leather bag because I love how leather looks and feels but I've only ever done small and simple leather work before. I really wanted something I could use day to day. I based my design off of this instructable. This was a pretty big undertaking, which for me was an issue because there was a time constraint, but that would be the most overwhelming part. The skills and process can seem arduous but mostly it's just time-consuming. The end product is wonderfully useful and looks great. I am very proud of my work and am very excited to share my process. If you are interested, there is this instructable class to help you with the basics.

Step 1: Gathering Materials


  • leather (for my specific design at least 1 1/2 shoulder pieces, I used 7-8 oz weight (similar to this) but you could go lighter, the sewing will be easier)
  • waxed thread
  • neatsfoot oil
  • buckles
  • brass rings


  • leather
  • sewing needles
  • leather punches (rake punch)
  • mallet/hammer
  • pencil
  • chalk
  • box cutter
  • scissors
  • super glue
  • clamps (various sizes)
  • pliers
  • tape
  • measuring tape
  • square
  • rags
  • eye dropper
  • cardboard
Cherzer4 months ago
The bag looks great! I have yet to try anything this large, but seeing all the steps and photos, it has inspired me to take a stab at the bag that I’ve been procrastinating on for a couple of years because I’m a chicken and leather I still expensive. I think I’m going to follow your lead and make a prototype and practice swatches first. :)
pegbird5 months ago
Beautiful job!! Great work!!
caitlyn.tittle (author)  pegbird5 months ago
Thank you!
WalterG185 months ago
Very nice ! Now I have to try it myself. Great inspiration.
caitlyn.tittle (author)  WalterG185 months ago
Let me know if I can answer any questions!
caitlyn.tittle (author) 5 months ago
If you liked my bag please vote for me in the upcoming leather contest! Thank you guys!
weismonger45 months ago
How much would you charge me to make me one? I love it, you should sell this commercially. Thank you, Judy
caitlyn.tittle (author)  weismonger45 months ago
Hello! I would definitely be open to making one for you, you can email me at and we can talk about details! So glad you like it!
taricp355 months ago
You did a great job!. Pro tip! - Never use a metal hammer on your tools. Over time you will damage them causing the ends to mushroom and split. It is best to use a mallet. (Can be poly, rawhide, or even a wooden mallet, but never metal.) Again you did a great job!
caitlyn.tittle (author)  taricp355 months ago
Thank you! I had heard it was recommended but never knew why. As a beginner, I appreciate all the help I can get!
seamster5 months ago
Well done and incredibly impressive work!!
audreyobscura5 months ago
This came out beautifully!
caitlyn.tittle (author)  audreyobscura5 months ago
Thank you!!
Auroris5 months ago
This is so cool and detailed. You have to join the "Leather Challenge"
caitlyn.tittle (author)  Auroris5 months ago
Thank you! and I was accepted into the challenge this morning!