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Make your very own Tote bag

Duration: 7hrs

Price: £155

Book with: Richard Williamson
at Leather Craft Workshop Days

Deans Road
Hanwell, London
Greater London
W7 3QD

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About the Course

Our Leather Craft Workshop days are designed to be all about you…. getting hands on and making your very own classic Tote bag from a selection of our premium grade leathers. For our Tote bag workshop we're also adding a growing colour range of suede leathers in a good weight so your bag can remain unlined so you get a great look and feel on the inside and out.

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 handles.

Approx dimensions are either 38cms x 34cms or 40cms x 22cms for a wider shape. You can of course make your Tote bag smaller if preferred.

Having worked in the industry for over ten years. Our workshop classes 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 tanned leathers of various thicknesses depending on the course you choose. Classes are kept to a maximum of 3 people on the Tote bag workshop. Please have a look at our website homepage Testimonials feedback, our website reviews page, our Instagram and Facebook page, and our Makers Gallery page which is updated weekly.

You can book your workshop day on our website. 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 demos 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.

A final side note; if you have symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, RSI or Arthritis affecting your grip: on the Tote and crossbody bag workshops it involves pretty much constant use of hand tools for hammering, punching, setting rivets, saddle stitching and manipulating heavier weight leathers, especially on the crossbody bag workshop. All of these processes may potentially aggravate your condition.
An alternative may be to try one of our shorter workshops such as our card holder, clutch/folio or belt workshop to try the making process.

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 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.

Want to review this course?

I attended the make a tote bag workshop and would definitely recommend it to others. Richard is an excellent teacher who is knowledgeable and encouraging. I am really pleased with my tote bag and am keen to further develop my skills in working with leather.

- - #23774

I can highly recommend this workshop.
Richard is a great teacher - patient, kind and willing to share his depth of knowledge and love for Leatherwork.
I wouldn’t be exaggerating to say the whole experience was inspirational & has sown a seed in me I plan to nurture in the future.
All in all a terrific experience!

- - #23205

Excellent workshop.

In a day, I leant so much about leather, tools to use for making leather goods, and how to use them.
I somehow expected that I had to choose leather from very limited range or work on already pre-cut leather swatches, but actually it was much better experience as Richard let us choose the leather type / color and have flexibility of sizes etc.
Highly recommended

- - #22720

A fantastic course, well worthwhile. We learnt a great deal about the different types of leather, techniques, tools, suppliers, and it was a brilliant introduction to the subject. I came away with a very swish tote bag, which no doubt I'll make extensive use of for years to come. Definitely motivated to do more in the future. All in all, highly recommended.

- - #21635

Amazing!! Richard is extremely welcoming and knowledgeable. It was the push I needed to start my dream career. Will definitely be booking more of his courses!! Don't hesitate to book this course!

- - #19748

I had an absolutely fantastic day. From the outset Richard was friendly, willing to help and answered any questions we had. The day started out with choosing the leather we wanted to use. Richard explained how to cut it, the different tools we should use, and the numerous ways we could customise the bag. We learnt how to cut, rivet, hand-stitch and burnish; (I've probably missed a couple of techniques off the list).
We also received a list of places to where we could buy tools and leather for any future items you may want to make. There were endless cups of tea and biscuits too :-)
I would recommend this course to anyone interested in leather or anyone who would just like to try something new; and the best part is that you create a high quality bag that will last for a very long time.

- - #19448

I loved the course. I had so much fun and learned a lot. The end result was also amazing. I would really recommend it.

- - #18608

The great experience. I definitely recommend the course as the real experience is much more helpful than theory in the book. In one day I was able to make my own tote bag without any previous leather craft knowledge. Richard was a great mentor and I was inspired to move on with my idea of designing and making the entire collection of leather accessories myself.

- - #17946

The course was great. Really fun and the bag I managed to make is amazing.

- - #17248

My daughter Lauren and I spent last Saturday making a tote bag. Even though I say so myself, the results were very professional! This was in no small part due to Richard’s instruction and patience. This course far exceeded our expectations. Richard shared his considerable knowledge and experience and genuinely wanted people to continue with leather work after the course. I would recommend one of Richard’s courses to anybody interested in learning a new skill.

- - #17047

I attended Richard’s tote bag workshop along with my husband. I cannot praise it highly enough. Richard is a great teacher, very patient and very generous with his knowledge, he even gave me advice on how to restore a damaged leather bag that has sentimental value for a friend. We both enjoyed the day tremendously! If you are thinking of booking a course with Richard, don’t hesitate, you’ll have a great day and come away with a lovely piece of leather work. When I took our tote bags to work they caused quite a stir and a sizeable amount of envy with several people asking if I would sell them! I can’t wait to go back and make something else and, in the hours we were with him, he has given me the confidence, advice and encouragement to attempt the restoration for my friend.

- - #16782

Just wanted to say thank you to Richard. Made my own tote bag yesterday. Loved Richard's passion and his explanation about the leather and the dyeing processes. I also learnt a lot about the leather tools and what they were used for. We received a key ring and information pack which will be very useful. I will definitely sign up again to make something else.

- - #16475

I was thinking of learning how to work with leather for years! Finally took the plunge and had a lovely day making my tote bag! Exceeded all my expectations. Richard talked us through the whole process from designing the bag to handcutting and hand stitching it. The products we used look and feel amazing. I would definitely recommend this course. I will even maybe join again to make an other unique piece!

- - #15557

I absolutely loved this course. I was a total beginner so didn't really know what to expect but Richard walked me through the whole process, from planning the design, cutting, and stitching, to riveting and burnishing. It was a brilliant day and I walked away with an amazing bag at the end of it. I would definitely this course!

- - #15465

An absolutely fantastic course!! I am so pleased with my bag!! I will come back for more courses. This is my 2nd course with Richard and he is a brilliant teacher. I would highly recommend this tote bag class!

- - #15368

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Course Start Dates

Friday 23rd August 2019
Saturday 21st September 2019
Saturday 12th October 2019
  • Accessible by public transport
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Suitable for events & groups

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