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Hand-stitched leather tote, satchel or messenger bag course


About the Course

Make a hand-stitched leather tote, messenger or satchel for ladies and gents. This popular course has been featured in 'The Guardian', 'The Week' and 'The Lady' magazine. Get in touch to book your place!

A two day course which teaches you how to make your own beautiful leather tote, messenger or satchel. A completely 'hands on' course with plenty of support and encouragement as you construct your hand-made leather bag working from one of our pre-cut patterns - so not too much maths necessary for you to enjoy this course!

And what's more, our course is held in a beautiful 19th century Chapel situated at the foot of the Preseli Mountains in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Everything! There are no hidden extras! All leather and attachments required to make your leather bag are included in the course fee. Two full days of professional leatherwork tuition with course notes and plenty of help and advice in sourcing leather and materials so you can continue leatherwork at home. A spacious work area is allocated to each student along with their own set of tools to use while they're here. A plentiful supply of tea, coffee and afternoon cakes are provided too, so all you’ll need to bring along is yourself and a packed lunch.

To ensure that everyone gets individual attention we have two tutors providing tuition to small groups of 6 only. Please contact us for suitability and more information.

Come along and join us!


Gaynor Davies-Howell at GDH Leatherwork
The Old Chapel
SA66 7HX
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This craft course provider has been awarded Platinum status for receiving 50 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

Suitable for

  • Accommodation offered
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Intermediate level
  • Mothers Day
  • Public transport
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers

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2 full days

Available dates:


A fantastic and hugely enjoyable weekend. Gaynor, Elizabeth and Hannah guided us through all the processes with clear instructions, endless patience and always a smile. The setting, wonderful log burner and of course, the cakes all added to the experience. The final product was a beautiful leather satchel, much admired already....
Thank you again.

In-person course
- - #7166

Thankyou to Gaynor & the team for a wonderful weekend of bag making fun. I had no previous experience of leather work but now am the proud owner of a beautiful leather satchel all hand made by me!
This is an amazing course, set in a beautiful workshop and run by a fabulous team who encourage and guide you through every step of the process. A highly recommended course.

In-person course
- - #7026

Fantastic course and I am so pleased with the bag. Gaynor and team made learning and making easy and fun. With clear instructions, gentle guidance and many patient reminders I made a beautiful Tote bag which has turned out exactly as I hoped. The workshop is so well equipped and the team were very skilled. And then there were the lovely cakes....

Recommend the course to anyone who wants to have a go- they make it so easy no experience needed!

Thank you to all the team.

In-person course
- - #6986

I had a great time on the weekend bag making course. It was fun, very well organised and the teaching was excellent. I was amazed that I had made a beautiful leather handbag at the end of the two days. I would highly recommend the course.

In-person course
- - #6953

What a fantastic way to spend a weekend! The course was amazing with all materials and tools provided and you end with a fabulous leather bag. I was so impressed with the Gaynor and the girls who so helpful and provided good, clear instruction and provided almost one to one teaching. The afternoon tea and cakes were a delight and I met some lovely people. I can honestly recommend this course, you will thoroughly enjoy it and come away with a beautiful bag that you made!

In-person course
- - #6873

I had a really enjoyable weekend on this course, the atmosphere was great fun and very relaxed but with excellent tuition from Gaynor, Hannah + Elizabeth. It was a great introduction to leatherwork and I learnt a lot in two days and have a lovely bag. I'm hoping to return for another course next year.

In-person course
- - #6861

An amazing course! Gaynor, Elizabeth, Sian and Gary have been very warm and friendly. The teaching was brilliant. It is almost unbelievable that I managed to make my own leather bag in 2 days but Gaynor teaches in a very organised manner that fits all types of learners. She is very generous with her knowledge and expertise. Sian and Elizabeth have also been very helpful, they are always there when you get stuck on something.

The course was filled with tea, cakes, fun and warmth. Amazing, amazing venue, format and people! Very highly recommended. It is worth the trip to Pembrokeshire.

In-person course
- - #5193

This was a great course. Gaynor and her assistants were very patient and generous in sharing their considerable knowledge and skill. I loved every minute of it.

In-person course
- - #5151

I cannot fault this course for anything. Not only is Pembrokeshire beautiful and Narberth town excellent, but the staff of Leather Courses Britain are marvellous educators.

We as a group were immediately felt welcome but no time was wasted in getting down to the reason we were there. We got an education in the tools, in the material, and the process. Although I personally felt like I was high maintenance, I was never made to feel like a nuisance. There was nothing but patience from the staff there (and tonnes of cake!)

I learned so much over the weekend- the most important was the realisation that I could continue leather working as a lifetime hobby. Gaynor made sure we all felt capable. I came away from the course with the desire to establish a hobby and a messenger bag I am immensely proud of. I plan on attending another course in the very near future. Gaynor, Gary, Elizabeth, and Sian, thank you!

In-person course
- - #5136

I thoroughly enjoyed this course. Gaynor, Enya and Elizabeth were constantly on hand to guide us through every step of the way. I am really pleased with my messenger bag, so much so that it has become my everyday bag.

In-person course
- - #4140

Fabulous weekend spent with Gaynor and Enya learning how to make a Tote bag. I came away feeling very proud after learning many new skills. I will definitely be back to learn more.
Thank you so much for sharing with me, your skills and knowledge.
You truly are very talented.
See you soon.

In-person course
- - #3812

An entirely brilliant way to spend a weekend – with the bonus of a lovingly crafted bag which will continue giving pleasure for many many years to come. Gaynor, Enya and Elizabeth teach and assist with great skill and humour. The days are pleasantly paced with demonstrations of techniques followed by hands on making of your own bag. All this activity is punctuated with regular breaks for tea and cake. Perfect!
Everytime I use my beautiful bag I marvel at how wonderful it is and volunteer “I made this!” to anyone and everyone! You can see my bag in action here (from about 1 minute in)…

In-person course
- - #3741

A great weekend. All the materials, tools and help and tea and cake you need to make a really nice bag. Very well paced, not rushed so you can take the time to get things as good as you can, and everybody finished - there's nothing worse than leaving a course with a bag (ha!) of bits. Back home and lots of compliments and disbelief that it wasn't stitched by machine... Thank you Gaynor and Enya!
P.S. Gaynor - the bike clip works, keep it short!

In-person course
- - #3695

A most enjoyable 2 day handbag making course. Never realised how long it would take, or how many tools and processes were involved. Great instruction from Gaynor and Enya. Would definitely recommend.

In-person course
- - #3640

From walking into the old chapel at 9a.m. on Saturday to walking out at 5p.m. on Sunday, with a bag I'd made, the course was a joy. Gaynor, Enya and Elizabeth were highly skilled, inspiring, patient, always positive and fun to be with. Tea, cakes and biscuits were on plentiful supply and lunch round the woodburner chatting made for a very rewarding time on all levels. There was a camaraderie and friendship throughout the two days with both tutors and course members.
I would thoroughly recommend a course at Pembrokeshire Leatherwork for something really enriching in a lovely environment
Thank you all!

In-person course
- - #2687

I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and loved the environment, the people and the chance to practice some new skills. Starting with a warm welcome, plentiful hot drinks and the offer of cake and biscuits during the the two days, the atmosphere was relaxed but also very productive.

Gaynor's instruction throughout was clear and her teaching manner calm and encouraging. She was enthusiastic and inspiring offering guidance aimed at both completing the project chosen for the weekend, but also developing the skills and knowledge to enable participants to continue at home.

I am delighted with the bag I made and looking forward to using it. I have no hesitation in recommending this course.

In-person course
- - #2645

I had such a great weekend on the course and already want to make another bag! Gaynor, Enya and Elizabeth were great company and wonderful teachers. Gaynor was very helpful with encouragement and information about how, as a beginner, to continue leatherwork at home after the course. Gary and Enya both drove me to and from my B&B or the train station, which was a generous and very welcome benefit that meant being in the middle of nowhere without a car wasn't complicated. I would thoroughly recommend this course for anyone good with their hands and keen to work with leather. I came away feeling very pleased with myself! Thank you.

In-person course
- - #2318

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In-person course
- - #2004

I came on the course as a birthday treat for a friend but it was a total treat for me. The teaching was excellent. The team were all so friendly and supportive. I love my bag. When I got home my friends couldn't believe I had hand stitched it and done it all in a weekend. I recommend it as a rewarding and enjoyable experience. thank you

In-person course
- - #2003

Enjoyed every moment of making my beautiful handbag. The course was extremely well run, was fun & a lovely atmosphere. Excellent tuition had an amazing 2 days & learnt so much.

In-person course
- - #2000

I attended this course back in September and it was fantastic. I learnt so much in the two days and made a beautiful leather tote bag. Gaynor and Enya were really knowledgeable and gave great tips and advice, highly recommend this course for anyone interested in leather work.

In-person course
- - #1890

Thanks to Gaynor and her wonderful girls we gained the skills to make a beautiful bag in just two days.
The studio is wonderful and very inspiring, we laughed, learnt, and ate cake as well as acquiring so many skills!
I would recommend this course to anyone with good basic craft skills, Gaynor is excellent at letting each student work at there own pace with just the right amount of input to keep your confidence going.
We are counting the months until we can come back for the next course.

In-person course
- - #1852

I really enjoyed the weekend. I had no prior experience of working with leather, although I have done dressmaking and a little upholstery, so I was a bit concerned that other students would have had more experience than me. But I thought that the standard of teaching was very good, with allowances being made for the differing standards of competance of the students. Gaynor was especially skilled in helping me find alternative ways of doing some of the work when I found it difficult due to arthritis in my hands. She was also very positive and encouraging, which made for a lovely atmosphere. I would love to do another course - Perhaps a one day "Make Another Bag" course?

In-person course
- - #1833

An excellent course for anyone wishing to make there own
Leather bag Gaynor and Enya helped and guided your through the intensive two day course and were always on hand if you needed a little extra help, you come away with your own handmade bag and new skills.
I would highly recommend this course to anyone wishing to get started with leather work.
Thanks again to Gaynor, Enya and Elizabeth for all your help.

In-person course
- - #1777

What an excellent weekend. Everything was perfect - great bunch of people. I would definitely do one again.

In-person course
- - #1740

I enjoyed this course so much!

We were patiently guided through the skills needed to make our bags, from the cutting and hammering (noisy but fun!) to the hand-stitching and burnishing, with good humour from everyone involved.

I'm now telling anyone who will listen about my new bag and the fun I had making it.

Thanks to Gaynor, Enya and Elizabeth!

In-person course
- - #1737

I thoroughly enjoyed the course. The instructions were excellent and at the right level. The materials were of a fabulous quality. I really cannot say any more I was so thrilled with the course, I cannot stop talking about it and it has given me the impetus to continue with leather hand sewing.

Enya and Elizabeth were a delight to meet and so healpful.

In-person course
- - #1736

I had such a great weekend doing the course. Who knew so much went into making a leather bag! Quite an eye opener . Beautiful leather, good instruction (thanks Gaynor and Enya), I've come away with a bag for life that I made!!! What could be better than that?
If you enjoy learning new skills and have a free weekend I would recommend that you gave this course a go, you won't be disappointed.

In-person course
- - #1640

I was so pleased with my bag that for the first two days after the course I couldn't bring myself to use it in case it got damaged - I am delighted to say that it seems quite resilient! The instruction provided by Gaynor and Enya was excellent and despite the fact that we worked quite hard none of it ever seemed like a chore - plus there was a very regular supply of tea and cakes - always a bonus!

In-person course
- - #1638

I had a fantastic time on the course; Gaynor and Enya were excellent teachers and I’m so chuffed with the beautiful bag and new skills I got from the weekend. The workshop is set in a beautiful chapel which made it such an idyllic spot to work in. Couldn’t recommend it highly enough!

In-person course
- - #1635

Great course, well taught, well equipped and generous workspace, enjoyable atmosphere. Full marks all round!

In-person course
- - #1621

I really had the most brilliant time. I could never have imagined the amount of work and the different techniques needed to make a tote bag! Gaynor was an excellent teacher. Her obvious expertise and good sense of humour plus such attention to detail (and our safety with the sharp equipment!) made the time fly by. I am now the proud owner of a fabulous leather handbag which I actually made myself. Thank you so much.

In-person course
- - #1620

Have just completed the 2 day course with Gaynor. Cannot praise the teaching and course enough. It was excellent. Made a wonderful tote bag, and learned so much. Would strongly recommend any one who is thinking about doing this course, go ahead. You will not be disappointed.

In-person course
- - #1619

I recently took the leather working make a bag in a weekend course, and thank you Gaynor and Enya for a fantastic weekend. With a great sense of accomplishment I left the weekend with a messenger bag that I had made from scratch. The course lets you tap into the experience that only comes from working with leather full time and Gaynor and Enya were always pleased to answer any question, and share their knowledge with us all. If you have ever wanted to work with leather and don't know where to start, then this is a great place to learn practically and ask anything you can think of. I now have the basic skills to make my own items, so thank you both.

In-person course
- - #1581

Excellent course, fantastic location and wonderful tutor. Really enjoyed the course and looking forward to the next one

In-person course
- - #1539

Gaynor and Enya are terrific teachers, and the two-day course is very well structured. I still find it hard to believe that I made such a beautiful hand-stitched tote in just two days.

I came away knowing that I can now do simple leatherworking (as long as I practice soon so I don't forget too many things). I'm about to start making a little pouch like you'd use for a mobile phone (after I've practiced my stitching), and I've promised my husband a hand made belt, but that will have to wait until I feel confident enough to order the leather.

I keep looking around rooms to see if there's anything that could be improved or mended by a hand-stitched leather strap or something.

In-person course
- - #1538

This was a fantastic course in a great location with very accomplished and friendly instruction. As a complete novice I was able to produce a bag that I am happily using and that has already received some great comments. No amount of 'googling' or 'youtubing' is a substitute for the type of hands-on experience that this course offers, and the opportunity to ask questions as they occur to you is invaluable. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to others. Thanks Gaynor and Enya!

In-person course
- - #1381

I attended the two days bag making course with Gaynor and had a great time. It was hard work and fun. The instruction was first class and injected with good humor that made for a really pleasant experience. The location of the workshop is lovely and a pleasure to experience. I was pleased with the finished bag and the many learnings that I can now apply to my own leather working endeavors. Altogether a great course and thorough grounding in basic skills that I would recommend to anyone thinking of learning leather work.
Thanks for all your patience Gaynor and Enya.
Don Harding.

In-person course
- - #1338

Excellent! I did this 2 day course on Monday and Tuesday of this week and have come home with a stylish, classic leather bag that I can tell from the quality will last me years, maybe decades. I chose the red messenger bag with havana straps and enjoyed the whole process throughly, Gaynor is a great teacher and knows her subject well, giving lots of extra tips and information as we went. I loved the hand-stitching - it's been a long term ambition to learn this technique and I'm delighted with my new skills and elegant new handbag. Thank you Pembrokeshire Leatherwork!

In-person course
- - #864

I would definitely recommend this course. Gaynor was an excellent teacher and very patient. I learnt a huge amount in the two days i was there. Gaynor was also a great help in sharing her knowledge of the best places to buy tools and leather. I've already ordered my first batch of leather!

In-person course
- - #695

What a wonderful course, and an amazing location!

In two days I learnt a phenomenal amount and came home with a beautiful leather bag. Gaynor was an excellent teacher, really knowledgeable and willing to answer all of my questions as we went along. Despite being a lot to learn in two days the course was well paced and there were plenty of tea and cake breaks!

The workshop is in an old chapel which meant that even on the two hottest days of the year it was lovely and cool, perfect to work in.

I would recommend this course to anyone interested in leatherwork.

In-person course
- - #519

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