Upcycle: Leather belts, purses and jackets! | the ReFab Diaries
Thrift stores are full of old leather belts, jackets and purses that are so far out of style/size/this decade (!) that no one really wants them. So they're often insanely cheap and begging to be upcycled or refashioned.

Here's my challenge to you:  I've gathered 23 upcycled leather projects for you. If you leave this post without being inspired to dig out that old leather jacket, or rush out and thrift one of those poor old leather items, I'll bite down on something!

Old belt + button and applique = classic cuff.  Just one of many inspiring leather upcycles at Studio Waterstone.

Old belt + old books = a PURSE! Yup, don't be fooled. The books have been hollowed out to create a purse

Old leather belts + old leather belts = bookshelf! Awesome concept! I think it would look great created with joined, mismatched old belts.  Via Apartment Therapy.

Old leather belts + dull container = vase! I love the juxtaposition here - so simple. Somehow very feminine. And very easy to recreate! Via HomeJelly

Old leather belt + repurposed hardware = dog collar! Let's not ignore the obvious. Your old belt can very easily be Scout's new collar. Instructions at Readymade.

Old dog leash + new hardware = skinny belt! Fun twist on the theme right? Instructions at CraftSnob

Old leather belt + paint = drawer pulls. I love the white-dark-wood combination. Complete DIY at Bunches of Joy. Also take a look at the lovely rustic version at The Improvised Life

Old leather belt + old pillow slips = new tote. Again, the simplicity of this idea is awesome! Via Sunset Girl Design 

Woven rug + old belt = tote. Complete how-to at We Can Redo It

Woven placemat + belt = cute messenger bag.  Instructions at Sincerely Kinsey

Old leather belt + spraypaint = new neon cuff! You need to see the before on this one (think purple leather)! Head to Boat People Boutique for instructions.

Old polo shirt + belt = new bag! How great is that! Thanks to FabYouBliss for the how-to

Old drawer + old belt = rockin' new shelf. I LOVE this. thanks to Clones n Clowns 

Old belt = new camera strap! Instructions by Wilma 

Or make a neat, simple wrist strap version ... instructions stored on Flickr

Old belt + hardware = new necklace. Go make it

Old belt + keychain hardware = new luggage tag! Such a smart re-use. Instructions at ManHandsLizzie

Lots of leather scraps + instructions = new headband. Get the how-to at MissieKrissie 

Old leather belts + time = new napkin rings. Instructions at craftaholicsanonymous 

Ok - not leather. I have seen a leather version of this somewhere, but I love the whimsy that results from using colorful fabric belts. Via theFashionSpine

Old purse + old book pages = tiny book pendants.  This is a detailed tutorial - I'm in awe. Thanks to Awesome Sauce & Asshattery (get's my vote for blog name of the month!)

Old leather jacket + fabric scraps + buttons = belts and cuffs! Head to Delia Creates to see everything she made from one jacket. And get all the instructions too.

One more cuff from Studio Waterstone. Look closely - it's the zipper surrounding from a deconstructed bag / purse.

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  1. So excited to see this! I had to cut a pair of old boots off my legs last winter because the zipper was completely stuck and I didn't really want to wear them for all eternity. I saved the boots because the leather was still nice, figuring that something would eventually occur to me. This round-up gives me tons of ideas. THANK YOU again, Lady Candice!

  2. Thanks so much for the shout out! My hubs thinks my tutes are too detailed, it's great to know my analretentiveperfectionism is appreciated =O)

    1. Oh good - you saw it! For a project like this, I think detail is reassuring ... very much appreciated :)

  3. Oh my goodness! Why have I never thought of buying an old purse just for the leather before? So brilliant!

  4. So many great ideas! I can't believe those stack of books becoming a purse. I also use recycled belts as straps on my iPad bags I make out of old jeans. I lucked out and found a red Pierre Cardin belt, which I added to this bag:



  5. This re-use of old leather belts is not only innovative but very creative. These designs are not only useful, but shows ingenuity and creativity.

  6. These are such great ideas! I've tried them as bag straps but these are novel :-) thank you for sharing! Agy

  7. Oh my god!! those are very creative ideas for recycling belts. I never thought that this would all be possible. Thanks for sharing this! Good job! - moonshineleather.com


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