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In-person course

Make a leather bag in a day workshop

Handmade chestnut leather bucketbag

About the Course

Join Esther Keen from Leather Needle Thread in Bristol to make a leather bag in a day. There is a choice of bucket bag or tote bag and a wide choice of beautiful coloured vegetable tanned full grain leather as well as metallic leather.

Learn how to craft your own leather bag using a semi industrial sewing machine. You will be able to mix and match leather colours and tweak the designs to make the bags more your own and to emboss the bag with your name or any other words you like. Your bag will be unlined and will be made from beautiful vegetable tanned leather.

You will learn how to:
cut leather from a pattern
prepare and glue leather ready for sewing
sew leather with a specialist industrial sewing machine
set rivets
emboss leather to personalise it with your name or initials
fit buckles and other fastening
use a variety of traditional leatherwork tools

This is an intensive days work, and it is a great introduction to working and sewing with leather. At the end of the day, you will have gained so many new skills, and you will have made yourself a beautiful new leather bag!

The courses run from 9.30am to 3.30pm including a 30 minute break for lunch.

Please contact Esther for more info on how to book and dates and timings of the courses.

Esther Keen has been a leather worker for over 10 years and studied bag design and construction at the London College of Fashion before going on to work in the industry as a leather worker and sample maker.

Each workshop has been thoughtfully designed to enable leather craft beginners and people who have a little experience with leather and sewing to hand make beautiful, functional leather bags and shoes in just a few hours using simple techniques, and a few key leather work tools.

Carefully sourced full grain vegetable tanned leather means that each piece handmade in a Leather Needle Thread workshop will be full of integrity and long lasting.

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?

All materials are included. There is a wide choice of beautiful full grain vegetable tanned leather as well as some metallic and mineral tanned leather.
There will be a choice of brass, chrome, copper and antiqued brass fittings to embellish your bag.
You will learn how to work with a range of high quality leatherwork tools.

Also included is tea, herbal teas and coffee.


Esther Keen at Leather Needle Thread
Studio 1
9 Bath Buildings
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What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 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

  • Corporate days out & team building
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Intermediate level
  • Public transport
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers

Available as a gift

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6 hours

Available dates:


In-person course
- - #27626

Really enjoyable day.
I found Esther a great teacher and am absolutely thrilled with the bag I made and would love to do another of her courses.
I would definitely recommend this 'Make a leather bag' workshop.
Thank you Esther.

Response from Leather Needle Thread:

Hi Jan,
Thanks for such a great review! It was really lovely to meet you, I really enjoyed helping you make your beautiful new bag.
Best wishes, Esther

In-person course
- - #24892

I thoroughly enjoyed the course and was delighted with my bag. The course was very informal and Esther was a great teacher who adapted her tuition to the individual needs of her participants. I am not someone who sews but was pleasantly surprised by how I managed (under Esther's watchful eye) to create my tote bag with such ease.

Response from Leather Needle Thread:

Hi Anne, thank you so much for your lovely review! It was so nice to meet you and I hope you get many years of pleasure from your beautiful hand made bag! Best, Esther

In-person course
- - #19252

This was a great workshop that taught me lots of new skills and gave a great sense of achievement at the end of the day. There was a choice of patterns for bags to make and Esther ensured that we were able to customise the bags to make them individual. I would heartily recommend it.

In-person course
- - #17697

I couldn't recommend this workshop more highly. I had a great day and LOVE my new bag. It's very special to find a teacher that has that magic mix of qualities; friendly, informative and fun.
Definitely good value for money, I learnt new skills, met new people and had a relaxing and fun day and have a leather handbag that I will use forever!
Will be booking on another workshop soon!

Response from Leather Needle Thread:

Thanks Emily! I'm so pleased you enjoyed the course and love your bag! Was really nice to meet you!

In-person course
- - #15702

What an amazing day! Esther was very well organised and flexible enough to enable all of us to make a bag using our choice of pattern, colour of leather, handle type, etc. I learnt such a lot and am extremely proud of the bag I brought home. Thank you Esther for your tuition and encouragement - I have recommended you to a couple of friends. Kate

Response from Leather Needle Thread:

Hi Kate,

Thanks so much for your lovely review. I hope you are enjoying your retirement and your bag!

Best wishes, Esther

In-person course
- - #15613

Enjoyed the excellent 'Make a leather bag in a day' workshop. I learned many new skills and now feel confident working in leather at home. Plus, I made myself a beautiful bag! Thank you Esther :)

Response from Leather Needle Thread:

Hi Kath,

thanks so much for this lovely review!

Cheers! Esther

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