Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Bag - made from a goat's hide

Today I'd like to show you how to make a simple book bag from a goat hide.  After our hides are tanned at Promise Land Tannery, we begin the process of deciding which hide would be best for certain projects.  I've re-upholstered our dining room chairs with them, made pillows, wall hangings, etc.  This book bag was crafted by my husband as a gift for my dad.  I think he uses it as a bag for his laptop computer.

This is a hide from a yearling goat (probably about 8 months old).

First, he measures off 2 straight parrallel lines to make a long rectangle.

Next, using the yard stick as a guide, he cuts the hide along the lines using a quilter's cutting wheel.
(Hides wreck havic on the blade of the wheel, so plan on switching it out after using it for this project.)

Fold and position the hide to make the size you want, making sure the flap is overhanging enough to cover a good amount of books - or laptop computer.

Using a leather punch tool, punch holes about a 1/2 inch apart through both sides.

Here's another view of the holes being punched.

Next, thread leather cording to close the sides together. Don't thread the last few as you still need to attach the shoulder strap.

He decided to use a buckskin hide from a deer that we've had for a couple of years and weren't sure what to do with it.    You could use any type of hide or even a braiding of leather cords.  We wanted it to be comfortable, yet strong enough to hold the weight of books.

The buckskin is long enough to make a substantial strap.

If you decide you don't want the hair, just shave it.  We have an old pair of clippers we keep for just his purpose.

Place the strap to line up with bag and punch holes to match the strap on both sides. 

Then, finish sewing the leather cord through all 3 thicknesses and tie off with a knot.

There it is all finished!  Super easy and very unique.  You'll be the talk of the office!

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