DIY // Revamp any bag with leather straps.


DIY leather handled tote bag

I’m always on the look out for simple and inexpensive ways to revamp items I already own once I wear out their traditional look. It’s just an added bonus when the finished outcome of a revamp makes it look even more expensive than it really is, like DIY leather strapped tote bag which only cost me $15 in materials!

Chelsea from Lovely Indeed sent me this darling tote a few months ago, and I’ve been using it for everything. It was just a matter of time before it earned it’s leather straps, here’s how:


  • Small rivet starter kit
  • Scissors
  • Leather punch
  • Tote
  • Leather for straps (bought mine precut at Tandy leather, similar here)

DIY leather handled tote bag

DIY leather handled tote bag

First, cut the existing straps off your bag as close to the trim as you can. Then measure and cut two 22inch leather pieces to use as straps. The width is up to you as far as comfort, mine are cut a 1/2 inch thick.

DIY leather handled tote bag Once you have the desired placement of your straps, use the leather punch to punch through the straps and tote bag. I made two holes for two rivets on each side for added support, but it’s up to you.

DIY leather handled tote bag Next, insert rivets in the holes you previously made according to the instructions on your kit.

DIY leather handled tote bag If you want to make a closure strap, measure and cut a piece of leather that is 1inch wider than the desired with of your closure strap, and insert a rivet on each side.

This way it’s snug enough to keep the strap closed.

DIY leather handled tote bag Cut a piece of leather that’s about 6 or 7 inches long to use as a strap (making sure it’s long enough to safely rest where you placed the enclosure piece).

DIY leather handled tote bag Making sure the leather is facing wrong side-up, use a rivet to to attached the leather strap.

DIY leather handled tote bag Fold the strap over and under the enclosure, and you’re finished!

DIY leather handled tote bag

DIY leather handled tote bag




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13 thoughts on “DIY // Revamp any bag with leather straps.

  1. Becca

    What a great idea! This look gorgeous. I’ve been wanting to whip up a painted tote bag this summer (you can never have enough totes at the farmers market!) and will have to try out giving it leather straps.

    Ladyface Blog

  2. jet

    this is briliant, well done, it rocks!!!
    I have many of those old totes, We received them in the seventies insteade off plastic bags.
    but it wasn’t smart to use by our raining and moistered climate here in the Netherlands.LOL
    But i have still some in my bags to use when my mainbag is filled up with my shoppings.
    Perhaps i must make them water resistable as well.
    thank you for the great tute and the sharing.;-D

  3. shakti

    Too cute! love me some leather straps. The suede side does such a good job of gripping.
    I couldn’t help but notice that the rivet set your using looks a whole lot like mine and I feel I must warn you… be careful about putting a load on them! I’ve had a few pop apart. Not all of them, but enough to make me suspicious of further use. Of course, I’m not Rosie the Riveter so it could have been user error ;)

  4. Pingback: // for life's a DIY project

  5. Pingback: Regalos DIY: 18 DIYs e imprimibles para customizar tote bags | Cosas Molonas | Blog de Inspiración & DIY |

  6. kurt

    nice looking bag! any idea on how thick (3, 3.5, or 4 oz. – 3/64″, 1/16″ or 5/64″) your leather was?

  7. Rainmaker Leather

    Great Looking bag. The straps might benefit from leather that is a little thicker. If you are interested is a variety of leather styles, please visit our website (


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