All posts by Donna B

New Stamp

Made a crude sketch of the iconic courthouse and had it made into a leather stamp…some tests with temperature, foils and different types of leather.  More practice needed  🙂

It works with archival ink too! I will have to take more pics.

Many thanks to Chris P., John B., and Evelyn S. over at!  Each of them (and likely others behind the scenes) made the time to work with me to make my idea a reality.  I highly recommend them.

My first local arts and crafts sale

Lots of foot traffic, good feedback and possible leads – great experience – worked three months to get the projects done (not all are pictured) and most were new designs.  Now time to decompress and enjoy retirement!

New envelope card holder/wallets; plain and stitched.

Minimalist style card holders.

Stainless steel wire earrings crafted with scrap leather and new and upcycled costume jewelry.

From One Artist to Another

For an artist friend and mentor.

Split black chaps leather (remnant) with angled slit pocket.

The back.

Rounded corners are preferred to slip into a pants pocket.

Only two interior pockets on this one.

Filled with my business cards of course!  Hand stitched with red linen thread.


The edges are finished with red colored edge paint and burnished.

I enjoyed making and sending this to my Artist friend and mentor – a California (style) watercolor artist.

A Thank You

Front with angled slit pocket.

This  was to thank a family friend who knows of my hobby and generously donated an old handbag with nice hardware I can upcycle into a new bag.

I split a remnant piece of black chaps leather for all the visible parts.  The pocked backs (not visible) are recycled garment leather (from a skirt); hand stitched with sage green linen thread and finished with gold edge paint.

Interior has three pockets.
Profile – finished with metallic gold edge paint and burnished.









The Cana in Dusty Pink Textured Leather

Front view.

The main difference between the front and the back is the front view has my logo; it was more difficult to add my logo on this textured leather.

Back view

Other than that, the front and back views of this version of the Cana are basically the same.

Inside view of the bag.


The interior is recycled leather (I use the terms upcycled and recycled to describe items I reused) – in this instance, the interior or “lining leather” was once a pair of leather pants.

Zippered opening.


As with the original Cana, this bag is all hand stitched with linen thread, the edges are colored with leather edge paint and burnished.

Side view.

Practice, practice, practice – I need to continue working on my stitching skills.

The Cana

This was an experiment…a reverse engineered handbag fashioned from recycled leather…a couch!

The name of this bag is a play on words…kanape’s; it means sofa in Greek.
This bag has a nylon zipper, is hand stitched, and all edges are hand finished.
Side view.
The Cana Interior
The Cana inside back with a zippered pocket.  The inside is surprisingly roomy too.


The interior fabric was leftover from a dress and the zipper recycled from a skirt.  I bonded clear vinyl to the back side of the fabric and used water repellent spray on the printed side.  What an exciting way to recycle!  🙂

More Tools

This little beauty is a skiver and can be used to split leather too.  A shout out to Dan at Campbell Randall and his team for crating this baby up so she arrived ready to go.  🙂


I said I needed to “up my game”…

I considered taking courses at a local college or tech school, but found a one-year program offered by an individual; I took the beginner course and successfully completed the first six projects.

Yes, there are seven items here…the first is a sample to learn basics like cutting, gluing, stitching (each piece is hand stitched) and edge finishing.

This is the back side of the first project, a slim card wallet (of buttery soft leather).  Look closely and you can see the stitching lines around the outer edge are not quite straight.  An even closer look and you may be able to see the creasing iron marking.  My plan is to incorporate creasing and the edge finishing techniques I learned into wallets and leather handbags.