|Time required||Complexity||Tools & Supplies|
Common for leathercraft
Take your leathercraft skills to new depths with our latest tutorial on creating an intricate and captivating octopus bag charm!
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, this project is sure to offer a unique challenge and result in a stunning accessory.
Drawing inspiration from our successful tutorials on the fox, raccoon, dolphin, manta ray, humpback whale, and other octopus bag charms, this project offers a distinct and playful twist. So get your leatherworking tools ready, prepare your piece of leather and let’s embark on this exciting journey together!
- 1mm stitching prong
- 10mm, 5mm, 3.5mm hole punch
- Scissors or X-Acto knife
- Applicator for the dye
- 2 leather stitching needles
- Hammer or mallet
- Edge slicker
- Cotton rag
Bill of Materials
- 2/3 oz veg tanned calfskin
- Piece of black & white leather scrap for the eyes
- 1 key-ring
- Leather dyes
- Leather finishing product
- Leather glue
- Polyester stuffing
The pattern PDF is available for purchase on etsy.
Printing and cutting the pattern
You can get the pattern here if you haven’t already.
Print it on US letter or A4 paper depending on the version you downloaded and cut-out the pieces of the project.
Make sure that the pattern is not resized by checking your print settings. You can check if it was printed properly by measuring the reference found at the bottom of each page.
Keep the assembly diagram to help you position the pieces later on during the stitching process.
Print on card-stock paper to make it easier to trace the shape on the leather.
Tracing the outline of the pattern onto the leather
Using an awl, trace the outline of the pattern pieces onto the leather.
Most pieces have to be traced twice as one side is a mirrored version of the other. For those, turn the pattern element over to mirror the piece the second time you trace it.
Don’t forget to mark the positions of the holes that we will need to punch through later on.
- A x1 regular and x1 mirrored (pattern turned over) without the eyes the cheeks and the mouth
- B x1
- C x2
- D x1
- E x1 regular and x1 mirrored
- F x1 regular and x1 mirrored
- G x1 regular and x1 mirrored
- H x1
Checklist of all the pieces to trace:
Punching the stitching holes
Use stitching prongs or a hole punch to punch the stitching holes for all the pieces using the marks that you left earlier as a guide to position them.
You’ll also need to punch two holes for the eyes on both pieces A.
Cutting-out the pieces of the project
Using a pair of scissors or an X-Acto knife, cut-out all the pieces of the project.
You can use a 15mm hole punch to separate the mouth if you have one.
Dyeing the leather
Dyeing can be achieved through different methods. I will refer you to this Youtube Playlist in order to learn more about the subject from much more qualified craftsmen than I am.
For this project I used different saturation of crimson red, using the most concentrated hue for the cheeks and the least concentrated one for the mouth.
Once the leather is completely dry, apply a coat of oil to re-hydrate it and protect the dye..
Try to be swift in your motions once the oil is on the leather to avoid creating darker spots. If this happens not to worry though, just leave it half an hour under the sun (rough side up so that the top grain doesn’t tan). The heat will help the oil spread out evenly in the fibers of the leather.
Making the eyes and gluing them to the face
Punch in two dots in a piece of black leather scraps with a 5mm hole punch. Punch a 3.5mm hole within each one of those black dots.
Punch in two dots in a piece of white leather scraps with a 3.5mm hole punch.
Insert both white dots in each hole of the black pieces and secure them by applying glue to the back.
Wait until the glue is dry before proceeding to the next step.
Insert the two eyes into each eye socket of the face A and
Apply some pressure with your mallet or else to level the eyes with the surrounding piece of leather.
Secure by applying glue to the back of each piece. Wait until the glue is dry before proceeding to the next step.
Burnishing the edges
Burnish the edges of the mouth (B), the cheeks (C) and the appendages (D, E, F, G), the key-ring tab (H) as well as the edges of the face (A) that won’t be workable once the appendages will be stitched using the method of your choice.
I usually apply some tokonole to the edge and use a wood edge slicker to create the friction necessary for burnishing.
Never apply too much pressure on the edge during this operation. Indeed we want to prevent any mushrooming from happening especially when the edge is damp. It’s all about speed and friction to create heat, not pressure.
Stitching the cheeks and the mouth to the face
Stitch in both cheeks (C) and the mouth (B) to the face (A).
Stitching it all together
Use the assembly diagram to help you position the pieces.
Start by stitching the right half the appendages (D, E, F, G) between the front and back of the two face pieces (A).
Add the key-ring tab at the top of the octopus.
Add-in some stuffing as you progress with your stitching.
Finally stitch in the second half of the appendages (G, F, E) and close the bag charm. Congrats, you’ve made it!
Burnish the edges newly created by the superposition of the face front and back pieces that were just stitched together to blend all the layers smoothly together.
Apply the conditioning product of your choice on your creation and rub vigorously with a cotton rag to polish it and give it a nice shine.
I use a leather balm that I make by gently melting together “au bain-marie” 1 part beeswax and 6 parts olive oil. It’s great for nourishing and waterproofing.
I hope you enjoyed following along this tutorial. Please consider posting a photo of your creation in the comments below. It would mean a lot to me to see my little projects out into the world as you make it your own.
Any feedback/question about this tutorial or project idea that you’d like to see posted here is and always will be more than welcome.
The following online content provided some assistance and/or inspiration during the making of this project: