Cowboy boots have never been more fashionable. It’s easy to add a touch of style to any outfit with a pair of perfectly worn, vintage boots. But if you really want to stand out in a crowd, it’s time to get crafty and creative by turning that boot into an oh-so-modern purse with a Western twist.
For this project, you will need the following supplies:
One foot of leather fringe
Leather purse strap
Decorative trim or piping
Leather glue (available in leather-working stores)
Leather puncher (available in leather-working stores)
Leather lacing (available in leather-working stores)
First, scour thrift stores and vintage shops to find the right boot for your purse. Are you a jeans-and-tees gal? Perhaps you’d like a simple, classic, brown Western boot. Consider yourself a trendsetting fashionista? Maybe a brightly colored, embroidered pair will suit your fancy. You might even have the perfect old boot right in your own closet.
Obviously, boots usually come in a pair, but you only need one to make your purse. Don’t just toss the extra boot—ask a friend if she would like to work on this project with you, or surprise her with a purse just like your own.
Once you’ve found the pair, cut off the foot of one of the boots. We will use only the top part of the boot, which should look like a tube of leather at least six inches long. Cut the leather fringe to the width of your boot, and insert it at the bottom of the boot, in between the two halves. Using heavy-duty leather glue, glue the fringe to the inside of the boot, closing the bottom of the purse. Allow this to dry per the directions on the bottle of glue.
Note: There are other methods of joining leather, but glue is by far the easiest. You can also sew the purse shut, using a leather hand-sewing needle and waxed, polyester hand-sewing thread. However, it is difficult to sew through three layers of leather. If you decide to try this, make sure you have a strong thimble handy.
Next, use the leather glue (or hot glue, if you prefer) to add coordinating trim or piping to hide the cut edge of the boot, where the fringe comes out of the bottom of the purse. You can also add trim, lace, rhinestones, and fake gems to the body of the purse, using leather glue or hot glue. Allow the glue to dry completely.
Now, take a strap from an old purse, or buy a strap from a leather-working or craft/hobby store. Use the leather puncher or another strong, sharp object to punch one hole on each side of the strap (tap the puncher through the leather with a mallet or hammer). Punch corresponding holes on each side of the purse. Make sure that these holes are big enough for the leather lacing.
Line up the holes in the strap with the holes in the body of the purse, with the strap on the outside of the purse, and work the leather lacing through both layers. Wrap the lacing around the strap and tie in a strong, tight knot, with the knot facing the inside of the purse. Finally, cut off the lacing close to the knot—and now you’re ready to two-step your way out the door!Line up the holes