About the Course
Our Leather Craft Workshop Days are designed to be all about you…. getting hands on and making your very own crossbody bag from a selection of our premium grade leathers.
On our workshops we don't operate with pre-cut bag templates, but we do have suggested largest sizes for each style of bag and this is solely to ensure you will have enough time on your workshop day to actually complete all the preparation, saddle stitching and bag straps.
Approx dimensions are 32cms wide x 23cms tall to fit an A4 folio. You can of course make your crossbody bag smaller if preferred. Please do bear in mind that you will be making every part of your bag from scratch. It's a really great day full of making and requires full energy input!
You can book your workshop day on our website.
Having worked in the industry for over ten years... Leather Craft Workshop Days are brand new to London and started November 2017 and are all geared for people with some or no experience of working with, and Saddle Stitching vegetable or chrome tanned leathers of various thicknesses depending on the course you choose.
The Workshop will run when booked, so may have either 1 person, or up to a maximum of 3 people depending on the number of bookers per workshop.
Please have a look at our website homepage Testimonials feedback, our website Reviews section, our Instagram and Facebook page and our Makers Gallery page which is updated weekly.
This workshop course is also a great introduction if you work with fabrics and want to know more about working with and combining leather with your materials, bags etc.
We also provide you with an info pack giving details on where you can buy your own Leathers, tools and hardware if you wished to take your new skills forward at your own pace.
You’ll be fully guided throughout your session by our commercial Leathersmith, Richard Williamson the founder of RW Works. You'll be shown all about the various traditional leather working hand tools you’ll be using and encouraged to first practice using the various hand tools on off-cuts of leather to build your familiarity and confidence.
There is nothing better than the feeling of making your very own leather goods that you’ll love to use and last you for decades, ageing uniquely over the years.
You’ll be shown how to cut, mark and chisel punch your stitching holes, burnish your edges, set any hardware, wax your thread, and finally hand stitch your item using a traditional Saddle Stitch for strength, one length of thread with a needle at each end.
Don’t worry at all if you’re unfamiliar with any of the above as you’ll be given demo’s of each stage and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you’ll pick it up.
We look forward to seeing you on the day and if you can arrive 5 minutes prior to your course start time, that’d be perfect.
Parking is free in our road and surrounding roads. The nearest public transport is Hanwell Railway Station (8 minutes walk) and 12 minutes ride from Paddington Station. Or nearest tube is Boston Manor or Ealing Broadway Stations.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
We have no hidden extras on our courses. All the leather and any hardware fittings are included in your course cost along with use of all the tools you’ll need to make your very own leather item.
We also provide you with plenty of soft drinks, teas/coffees and biscuits.
If you have any specific dietary needs, please bring them along.
If you don't see a course date that suits you, please contact us via email and we'll do our best to accommodate.
After extensive searching online throughout the south-east I settled on Richard’s crossbody messenger bag course as the best value for money course and I wasn’t disappointed. After a cuppa and an initial introduction to leather making we went straight to work on our bags. I had brought my laptop in so we could match the dimensions as I had aspirations to create a smart satchel for client visits. By lunch we had both started to saddle stitch our bags together, all the while Richard had been dispensing extensive knowledge about the business of leather making as well as guiding each stage of the process. Having attended a number of craft courses I must say Richard does a good job of patiently guiding without interfering with your final product. By late afternoon, we were putting the finishing touches to our bags riveting the strap and buckles as well as polishing off the final bag. By evening I had the finished product, a full-grain pull-up handmade and bespoke leather bag which would probably cost £200-£300 in the shops (and would probably be made from cheaper top-grain or so-called “genuine” PVC bonded leather). I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Richard’s course to anyone interested in leatherwork, his patient tuition allowed me to gain confidence with each stage and I have received compliments about my bag from various friends and strangers about town.
Oliver Ward - - #26230
I have done quite a few craft courses over the years, but this was by far the best course I have ever done. Richard is a fabulous, patient teacher, and a wonderful person.
We started off with a bit of leather making history, and a walk through the different types of leather, before we started to discuss our requirements with regard to bag design. And then the real fun began.
Richard left us alone to do every stage of the process, keeping a careful, watchful eye over us in case we started to go 'wrong'. At no point did I feel that I was under pressure which added hugely to the experience. Each stage of the process was described very well, and we were given the opportunity to practice each stage on pieces of off cut leather before attacking our own bag. Everything you would need to complete the bags was available, as was a huge variety of leathers and threads so that each design is completely unique, which is a real bonus.
The workroom was very cosy, and encouraged a real family atmosphere which made conversation with my fellow crafter very easy. At the end of the day we came away with a bag that could easily be seen on any high street selling for a very good price, and left us with a massive sense of pride and amazement at how well we had done.
I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone, of any ability, with Richard's help you will come away with a bag to be proud of and perhaps a desire to become a bag designer/maker just like I have. Thank you Richard for the best day I have had in many years.
Marc McDonnell-Jenkins - - #25140
Richard is an excellent, patient and knowledgeable teacher whose approachable manner is, I feel, very important for the attendees. I felt free and encouraged to ask any leather craft related questions - without being ridiculed despite my inexperienced. He was very willing to share his leather craft experiences, provided good tips and awareness of potential pitfalls.
I would recommend it to anyone who are interested in dipping into leather works, (particularly those whom might feel intimidated by the skills required). Throughout the day course I felt at ease and was able to produce a bag that I am extremely proud of.
Damon Ma - - #25062
Richard was an excellent teacher. He was super patient and guided me step by step on how to make my bag. He also gave a lot of advice and was experienced to answer all the questions I had.
He was also very accommodating so I was able to customise my bag to suit me. I would highly recommend his workshops. I will definitely continue with leathercraft, and he was so lovely about contacting him with any further questions be it in the near future or a few years down the line. Very genuine and very passionate about leathercraft.
I am so happy with my crossbody bag I made by hand.
Yuen Lau - - #24971
I cannot recommend this course more highly. I received this as a gift and it was brilliant.
Richard is an excellent and patient teacher and I loved that he gave instruction but let us do all the making on our own bags. I am so proud of the product I left with and I absolutely cannot wait to start my next project.
I would call myself a complete novice too so no experience necessary but Richard gave such great advice about buying leathers and tools also so everything I need to keep making at home.
Thank you for a such a great experience.
Kelly - - #24084
I really recommend this workshop and Richard's other courses to anyone who enjoys crafts, wants to learn new skills, and likes leather. It's a full day but you come out on the other side having had a great time and with a very good looking bag that you can personalise to just your taste. Richard is a great teacher who is happy to share his extensive knowledge of leather and leather-goods making, and it's fascinating! The techniques you learn in this workshop can be used to create such a variety of other things, you leave happy and inspired!
Emma - - #24063
The bag pattern is designed cleverly so you can get a professional looking result from your very first attempt. There are options to personalise the look using different leathers and thread, and to customise the size to suit your needs.
Good class size, just three people, so everyone could get some individual attention when required.
Richard was a very patient and enthusiastic teacher and provided lots of information on sources of leather and equipment if you want to continue with leather work.
I had such an enjoyable day and I've have loads of compliments on my satchel, and most people have been surprised to learn that I made it myself in just a day. Highly recommend this course.
Nicole - - #23384
I definitely recommend it.
I knew nothing about leather and in a day I made such a lovely bag that I can’t even believe it. I took the bag to work today and I had so many compliments! All thanks to Richard, to his patience and guidance!
Thank you so much for such a lovely day crafting with leather! I really enjoyed it!
Beatriz - - #23098
I had a fantastic day making my leather bag on the hottest day. But we were in a very cool workshop at the bottom of Richard's garden. A great experience and would recommend this to anybody.
Richard is a great teacher and explains everything well from start to finish. Thank you Richard.
Carolyn - - #23063
Brilliant course! Richard is very knowledgeable and able to help adjust the design to my specific dimensions. Really enjoyed the whole day and really happy with my bag!
Ellie - - #22735
What a fantastic workshop day! I am completely thrilled with my cross body bag. It is even better than I had hoped and I seem to have achieved something of a professional finish. Richard is incredibly knowlegeable, helpful and generous with his guidance - especially as I wanted to make a very specific shape of bag. Richard talked through different types of leather and the processes and was very encouraging as I used all the different tools required. I've come away feeling equipped with skills to make my own leather items in future. It was wonderful to 'make' in Richard's workshop, such a fascinating and inspiring space. Highly recommend this course.
Denise - - #22641
Excellent day of making even if it did mean I ended up making my own birthday present! Richard is a great teacher and covered lots of techniques in the workshop. It meant I produced something with sufficient quality and complexity to make me feel I could take those skills and use them in future projects - in my case I'm inspired to make custom luggage for my motorcycle. If I get out of my depth I can always go back to Richard for further guidance.
james - - #22619
You really have to do this leather workshop!!!!!!. It's so much fun, and you can almost do everything you want. You can really create the handbag that you like and you can choose the colour of the leather too, as the leather is included in the price of the workshop ,which I thought made the price very fair.
Richard is a real master in doing handmade leather items and he will teach you all you have to know. He will also give you good tips and information on where to go and buy tools and leather as well as "a little present".
The place is very, very nice and the atmosphere is really relaxed. I can recommend it to everybody and you don't have to be an expert to produce a really nice handbag. Just try and you will have so much fun that you will want to go to another workshop!!!
Thank you Richard for such as fantastic time and for my bag!
Marta Tejerina - - #22460
Was bought a one day bag making course by my sister and wasn’t really sure what to expect.
Turned out I really enjoyed it and came away with a super bag that my other half swore had been professionally made.
Richard was a very patient teacher who had time for all of us and explained things clearly.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this course, particularly if you think you’re not very practical or crafty - if I can do it, you can, and I’m really really pleased with my bag.
Will - - #22455
I did the cross body bag course at the beginning of March and i have been using the bag ever since!. Very enjoyable learning day and it is great to end up with such a nice and useful project. Richard has a lot of patience and is very clear with the explanations.I would highly recommend the course.
Andrea - - #21108
I went on the leather bag making workshop and I must say....fantastic.
I’ve wanted to do this workshop awhile and finally did. Having the privilege of being taugh by
Leathersmith Richard Williamson, who guided us step by step with the product making, teaching us about different leather hides and what tools to uses. Fantastic guy and teacher with great stories too.
I would highly recommended anyone to take the class.
Ian hylton - - #20549
I had an amazing time at the workshop. Richard is a very knowledgeable, patient and friendly teacher and will do his absolute best to give you the best learning experience. A lot of techniques are covered: cutting leather, saddle stitching, riveting, fitting for hardware etc, as well as basic knowledge about leathers type, cuts and finishes.
The fact that we were able to make a full bag in one day is mind-blowing. One great thing was that Richard welcomes and encourages small variations in design to make sure you get a bespoke and rewarding experience in making a bag that truly reflects your personality. I recommend the workshop to anyone wanting to make things with their hands. Personally, I look forward to the next class. Thanks a lot Richard!
Yoann - - #20521
An excellent day. We got straight into cutting leather with Richard explaining techniques such stitching riveting and shaping. Lots of useful information to get me making other items in leather in future. Useful information too on the tools to buy and from where and the raw materials. Don’t buy any tools until you have been on one of these courses!
Adam - - #20518
I thoroughly enjoyed my day in the workshop with Richard on his cross body bag making course. This was my first time working with Lea at her and I found it a lovely material to work with.
We went through process from cutting leather off hide through to finishing our bags and our finished products were testament to Richard taking us step by step through the day. Feel quite confident I could have a go at home now on my own after having grasped some basics.
Nicola - - #20367
It is my first experience with making something with leather. Richard is an excellent tutor, I enjoyed the introduction to tanning process. It is extremely satisfying to finish a bag within a day, and what I particularly enjoy is that while there are example templates, each person made their own individual bag with different designs. It was really helpful to get an information pack so that we know where to get tools and materials. An amazing day and I fully recommend it!
Andrea - - #20007
I did the cross body bag course and have to say i found the whole experience to be so satisfying...
Richard is a fantastic tutor, very calm patient and knowledgable about his craft, and his enthusiasm for leather work is obvious from the offset.
I have a lot of experience in clothing manufacture due to years of working in the industry and leather goods is an area that has interested my for a while... now that i have done one of the courses i have a huge appetite to continue down this route, so thank you Richard.
I will definitely return for another workshop and couldn't recommend them highly enough.
David Crerar - - #19792
This was my first leather craft/ bag making experience and I found it to be exactly what I hoped for. Richard took us through everything at the perfect pace, was happy to help and answer questions and provide encouragement. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and found the hands on experience of making my own leather bag from start to finish to be invaluable. I would highly recommend this course and Richard to anyone looking to work with leather.
Tote or cross body bag workshop - - #19655
I couldn’t give a a higher recommendation to a course; there isn’t a negative thing to be said about it.
Richard knows his stuff, is a great teacher & to have learned a new skill is a really great great thing.
DEFINITELY sign up if you’ve got an interest!
Ad. - - #19600
I would highly recommend the Crossbody Bag course. Richard is a skilled, knowledgeable and patient teacher who gives invaluable guidance in order for one to make their own bag. This is the second course I have undertaken at his studio as I enjoyed the first one so much and gained so many skills. I now have a stunning bag which I was able to customise and tailor to my own preference. I look forward to using my newfound skills again now I have greater understanding of the craft. Thank you Richard!
Joanna V - - #19453
Richard was a fantastic teacher and explained all the basics of leather crafting with ease. I felt very comfortable asking questions, and the small class size meant we got plenty of attention throughout the day. I was able to make something genuinely amazing on my first try because of how well I was guided through the process, and really feel I have learnt the skills rather than just going through them without a full understanding. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn to construct with leather!
Shaun - - #18645
This course was brilliant! Richard is very knowledgeable about leatherwork and he was a great teacher. We were able to choose from a range of leathers and a variety of bag styles. He then took us through each step, including cutting the leather, burnishing the edges, fixing the hardware, and saddle stitching. I learned a lot over the course of the day and I came away with an amazing bag that I will use for years to come. As the leather and hardware are included in the price, it is excellent value for money. I highly recommend this course with Richard.
Julie Wallace - - #18428
I would 100% recommend this course. I was a total beginner and I learnt so much from Richard who was keen to share his knowledge of leatherwork. A really enjoyable day. Thank You.
Judy Harris - - #17859
A really great day. I learnt loads and went home with a beautiful leather bag! Highly recommended for both beginners and people with some leather work experience.
Alison Butterworth - - #17773
The cross body bag making course was fantastic. Richard was generous with both his time and knowledge. He is such a patient and calm teacher with the ability to coax the best out of you. His style is relaxed but the amount of information and technique that he shares throughout the day is tremendous. Be prepared to concentrate and by the end of the day he will make sure that you will have produced something to be proud of that is truly unique and beautiful. I 100% recommend this course with Richard.
Fiona Walters - - #16870
Really enjoyed making my bag, with a very knowledgeable and patient teacher, there was 2 of us so plenty of time to understand and fully learn the wonders of leather.
Sophie Coughlan - - #16263
This was a brilliant day! Richard was extremely informative and attentive. It is a full on day with lots of concentrating but very satisfying and interesting. Fantastic workshop and a chance to make something truly beautiful and practical. Thank you for making the day so special! 😀
Lucy - - #15653
Richard was such a knowledgeable and
kind person. I had such a wonderful day and certainly one for the memory bank. On the day, you design, cut and make your bag. You have a choice of leathers to choose from. I learnt so much and really didn’t think I would be walking out of there with a bag that I’d actually use and keep for life. I was a complete novice and now I’m totally hooked. I’m going to book another one with my friend.
Time really does fly in this magical workshop.
Yuk-Wah Wallace - - #15566
Can’t recommend this course enough. Richard was very helpful and good at explaining things step by step. He also gave us the flexibility to come out with different looking bags depending on what we had in mind and the leathers that we’re available to choose from.
Tony Murphy - - #15428
The workshop was very informative and useful even to a total beginner like myself. Richard was very patient and knows his craft very well. My leather bag was beautiful which gained so many likes on social media. And I got loads of bag orders too! I would definitely recommend this workshop to anybody.
Lima - - #14688
Richard was so knowledgable and gave a great introduction into the processes of vegetable tanning leather and different types of hides at the beginning of the course that was very interesting. The cross body bag workshop was a great way to learn many different techniques in one day and it was so satisfying to come away with a finish piece I could wear after just a few hours! The workshop was not restrictive and I was allowed to adapt the design of the bag along the way which made it feel very personal. I’m looking forward to practising my skills on my next project!
Gabi - - #14664
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