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Time requiredComplexityTools & Supplies

2 hours


Common for leathercraft

In this leathercraft tutorial, we will be creating a cute and whimsical raccoon bag charm. Using basic leatherworking tools and techniques, I will guide you through the process of cutting, dyeing, and assembling the pieces to make your very own raccoon charm.

Whether you’re new to leathercraft or a seasoned pro, this tutorial is perfect for anyone looking to add a touch of personality to their bag or purse. So grab your tools and let’s get started on making our raccoon bag charm!




  • 1mm stitching prong
  • 1.5mm & 5mm hole punch
  • Scissors or X-Acto knife
  • Applicator for the dye
  • 2 leather stitching needles
  • Hammer or mallet
  • Cotton rag

Bill of Materials

  • 2/3 oz veg tanned calfskin + a piece of black leather scrap for the eyes
  • 1 keyring
  • Leather dyes
  • Leather finishing product
  • Leather glue
  • Oil
  • Thread
  • Beeswax
  • 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.

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.

Some 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.

Checklist of all the pieces to trace:

  • A x1
  • B x1
  • C x1
  • D x1
  • E x1 regular and x1 mirrored (pattern turned over)
  • F x1 regular and x1 mirrored
  • G x1 regular and x1 mirrored
  • H x1
  • I x1
  • J x1
  • K x1
  • L x1 regular and x1 mirrored
  • M x1 regular and x1 mirrored
  • N x1 regular and x1 mirrored
  • O x1
  • P x1
  • Q x1
  • R x1

Cutting out the pieces of the bag charm

Using a pair of scissors or an X-Acto knife, cut-out all the pieces of the project .

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 mixed different shades of black and grey. I added more white pigment for the snout and the belly and more black pigment for the eyes, the interior of the feet and ears.

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.

To make the eyes, punch through some black leather scrap with your 5mm hole punch twice and save the pieces. We will assemble those during the next step.

Punch the corresponding holes in both pieces E.

Use your 1.5mm hole punch and an X-acto knife to prepare the slots that will accommodate that will allow the legs to slot through the body (element J in the pattern).

Preparing the eyes, the ears, the feet and the tail

Insert the two black bits punched earlier into each eye socket in the two pieces E and secure by applying glue to the back of each piece.

Glue the darker part of the ears and feet to their corresponding background piece (G on F for the ear, N on M for the feet).

You can use a needle before applying the glue to help you align the pieces together. Check the assembly diagram to make sure the the stitching holes of the superposing pieces are aligned properly.

Use the same method to glue the pieces P, Q and R to the darker background of the tail (O).

Stitch those pieces together.

Stitching the eyes and the snout to the head

Start assembling the head by stitching together the nose (D), the snout (C) and the head’s background (B).

Then stitch both eyes (E) to the head’s background (B). Do not stitch the jaw line as it will be used later on to connect the head to the back of the raccoon.

Stitching the legs and the belly to the body

The legs (L) are held in place by the stitch line connecting the belly (K) to the lower body (J).

Stitch in the belly to the lower body, using the assembly diagram to help you position the legs and stitch them in as you are stitching the belly.

When this is done, pull the legs through the two slots on the lower body to have them stick out in the foreground.

Stitching it all together

Start by stitching the neck of the head (B) to the lower body (J).

Once the neck is stitched, add in the back piece (A) and continue stitching along the jaw and in the stitching holes that were left free when the eyes were stitched in.

Check your assembly diagram to know where to stitch in the ears (F & G), the fringe (H), the tab (I) for the key-ring, the tail (O) and the feet (M & N).

All of those pieces will be sandwiched between the head (B) or the body (J) and the back (A).

As you are progressively closing both sides of the raccoon, add some polyester stuffing to give it some thickness.

Congrats, you now have a cute raccoon bag charm!

Finishing touches

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.

Final result

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.

Happy crafting!


The following online content provided some assistance and/or inspiration during the making of this project:

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