Who knew that you could make a bag from a sofa? Well you can! If you have one you don’t want that is (otherwise don’t do it, you might regret it). About 3 years ago we decided to get rid of an old leather sofa we had in our loft. It was an ugly black beast and we were just going to sell it. But, due to structural changes we’d made to the house the only way we could get it out was to axe it apart! In doing so, I discovered that the reverse of the hideous black was this really lovely soft blue suede. so I stuffed it in a black sack and stored it. For three years. Waiting for inspiration. And then in a moment of chuck-it-or-use it I decided I should turn the leather into a bag.
Upcycling eat your heart out! Here’s how I did it – if you have a spare sofa lying around (or maybe just some leather) give it a go. As with everything I make…. this was so easy!
You will need:
A leather sofa. OR a piece of leather measuring 31x64cm plus extra for straps and buckle
A sewing machine and possibly a leather needle (but I didn’t use one…)
Rotary cutter & mat (recommended) or fabric scissors
Silver fabric paint, e.g. Dylon
1) Take your rectangle of leather and fold it in half lengthways. Place under a cloth and press gently with an iron to form a strong crease along the bottom (note when I did this there was a faint whiff of dead animal… maybe attempt after breakfast!).
2) Sew in a straight stitch (with a 1cm seam allowance) along each side of the bag. It is unlikely your two edges will be completely aligned, so use a rotary cutter to slice off the raw edges off the bag. I left 5mm from the seam. You could use scissors here, but the cutter will give a much neater finish. Straighten the edge along the top of the bag in the same way.
3) Using the cutter again, cut 2 strips of fabric measuring 3x65cm for the straps. Press as before. Pin each strap in place on the inside of the bag and then sew a line along the top of the bag to secure (not necessarily all the way to the end). For strength, sew over this line twice.
4) Sew a button between the straps on each side of the bag. cut a small strip of leather measuring 3x13cm to form the fastener. Round the edges with scissors. Measure and cut two slits the size of your button at each end of the fastener. Paint with silver paint and leave to dry – mine took three coats.
5) Place masking tape on your bag to create a template for the painted pattern. I opted for simple triangles along the base of the bag. Paint inside the template with the fabric paint and allow to dry.
6) Remove the masking tape and press as per the paint instructions. Attach the fastener to each button.
Finished! Take out and tell every single person who will listen about your bag that you made from a sofa. Get funny looks. Explain the whole process. Get bored looks. Feel happy regardless.