DIY Designer Wallet From Designer Bag

Why do people drop hundreds of dollars on designer goods? The easy answer is that, in theory, the goods are worth the expense. The materials, craftsmanship, and attention to detail are all top-notch and culminate in the finest finery money can buy.

So, would you spend hundreds of dollars on a designer wallet? If you have leather crafting skills and a thrift store nearby, you could just follow [Corter Leather]’s example and make your own. He found a diamond in the rough—a genuine, well-loved Louis Vuitton bag languishing in a secondhand shop. The leather bottom and handles were dry and worn, but the signature LV canvas was still in great shape. Never crafted leather? If you can’t get free scraps for practicing, then deconstructing cheap, used stuff is the next best thing.

To isolate the canvas, [Corter] carefully removed the bag’s handles, bottom, liner, and zipper and then popped the rivets and peeled the backing from the fabric. He drew up a pattern in Illustrator that pays homage to the illustrious designer’s wallets and cut the pieces out of 3oz vegetable tanned leather using card stock templates.

[Corter] brought his A-game to the details. Every visible edge is painted Italian red, which he applied with an awl for a crisp line. The larger pockets have hidden stitches that keep cards from drifting to the bottom and throwing off the shape. No need to open your wallet to see how he did it—just watch the video after the break.

Though it technically isn’t a real Louis Vuitton, a thief wouldn’t know it until later. Maybe [Corter] should add a pickpocket alarm.

Via [r/DIY]

13 thoughts on “DIY Designer Wallet From Designer Bag

  1. “The easy answer is that, in theory, the goods are worth the expense. The materials, craftsmanship, and attention to detail are all top-notch and culminate in the finest finery money can buy.”

    What’s the correct answer though?

    1. The luggage is worth the expense, most high end handbag companies made their name on luggage that would withstand porters heaving it around or being at the bottom of a cargo hold. You can get the same performance out of polymer hard cases or corduroy semi-hard luggage for much cheaper but some people want leather.

      These days it’s almost purely status and the borderline myth that hand stitching is better than machine stitching. The differences between a $200 handbag and a $2000 handbag are slim.

  2. I’d love to make my own wallet. Between annoyingly thick ones and those silly clips there is a definite need. It needs a radical re-think, some new materials and a few clever tricks.

    1. Upholstery sewing machines are very expensive and heavy. Even stitching a couple layers of denim is beyond many home sewing machines
      If you want to make pouches and bags you’re better off hand stitching (speedy stitch is a decent sewing awl), unless it’s your main hobby or for supplemental income.

      1. Funnily enough. if you get a good’un, an old hand-cranked one can often cope better with lots of layers (I’ve done 8 of denim on a 1920s Singer…) and/or tough material than a modern consumer machine. Combine that with a special needle for leather (slices rather than trying to punch through) and you can machine-sew a good tough seam easily. It might not look quite as nice, but it can be good (and you can design to minimise exposed seams… or handstitch some ornament at a late stage).

        Then again, if you work with cloth, the range of fancy stitches on an uppermidrange new electric machine is incredibly handy. Many people have both a fancy modern job and a tough antique to meet both use cases. The fancy modern stuff can include ornamental stitching that can tie a pair of wires down and decorate the garment at the same time – beats conductive thread for many uses…

  3. I used a similar approach when my Buick had some rips in the driver’s seat – bought a leather jacket at a thrift store, cut it up, and cut pieces that matched the damaged sections, then sewed the thing back together by hand.

  4. “He found a diamond in the rough—a genuine, well-loved Louis Vuitton bag languishing in a secondhand shop.”

    Yeah right. I live in Asia. There are FAKES that even better than the real-thing, well-loved or not. This is NOT usually the case, but if you know where to look and what to look for…

    1. Dooney and Bourke are nowhere near the quality they used to be. Solid leather has been replaced with thin leather with a lining. All the hardware and fittings used to be solid brass, now they’re using other metals and brass plating.

      My sister’s (now ex) husband used to work at a store that sold those bags and he’d use his employee discount to buy them dirt cheap when discontinued models were on clearance. Then she’d sell them for a nice profit on eBay.

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