How to Make a Cowboy Boot Purse

Recycle a favorite pair of boots into a fun and funky bag with these simple steps.

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Note: It's best if the boot material is well-worn, because it will need to be turned inside out and stiff material can be hard to work with.

Materials and Tools:

old soft cowboy boots
measuring tape
upholstery needles
awl (optional)
grip-style leather punch
waxed polyester thread
10-inch knife-edge bent trimmers
beads: semiprecious stones, glass beads and any high-quality bead
32-gauge pliable wire cord
crimp tubes
2 o-rings
wire cutters
crimping pliers
piece of jewelry such as an earring
hot-glue gun and glue
button and button loop (optional)
leather or beaded fringes or trim for the bottom (optional)

Steps:

1. Measure and indicate a 12-inch mark from the top of one cowboy boot. Use the trimmers to cut off the tops at the 12-inch mark. This can be adjusted to include any decorative stitching or pattern on the boot.

2. Turn the boot top inside out.

3. Pre-punch holes into the boot leather for hand-sewing or for sewing with an awl. The size-0 punch (5/64 inch) performs well on most leather boots. Punch holes through both sides of the bottom of the boot top, next to the cut line. Space the holes about ½-inch apart at the most. Punch holes for the purse's bottom fringe or trim at the same time so that the holes match up.

4. Thread the needle with at least 2 feet of waxed thread. Beginning at the left, overhand-stitch (by bringing the needle from the underside of the leather to the top side) through the punched holes. Then take one stitch backward. If you're right-handed, take a stitch to the right. Then bring the thread under the leather to your left and bring the needle back to the surface of the leather one stitch length to the left of the original beginning point. To keep the seam smooth and free of puckers, avoid pulling the thread too tight. The top row of stitching should depict a uniform row of abutting stitches; the stitches on the underside will overlap.

5. To sew the fringe or trim to the inside of the boot, hold the trim in place while sewing and don't use pins to secure, as they will produce holes in the leather. When complete, tie the remaining two threads together in a knot to secure.

6. Turn the boot top right side out. Punch two holes where the boot slopes down (center), one in the front and one in the back. Stitch on a button and button loop if desired.

7. To make the beaded lasso handle, cut a wire cord to the predetermined size for a long or short lasso handle. Arrange the beads in a pleasing design and string on the wire strand.

8. Attach an o-ring at one end with a crimp tube and leave a 2-inch wire tail. Attach a second o-ring at the other end with a crimp bead and run the tail through about 2 inches of beads. Cut off the excess tail. Attach an o-ring and lasso to the boot tabs.

9. Attach a piece of jewelry, such as an earring, to the front of the purse with hot glue.

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