|Time required||Complexity||Tools & Supplies|
Common for leathercraft
Get ready to add a touch of seaside charm to your accessories collection with our latest leathercraft tutorial on creating a starfish coin purse that doubles as a bag charm! Whether you’re a seasoned leathercrafter or new to the craft, this project is sure to offer a fun and satisfying challenge.
Building upon the success of our tutorials on the fox, raccoon, dolphin, manta ray, humpback whale, octopus, and jellyfish bag charms, this unique project is perfect for storing your coins or attaching to your favorite bag as a charming accessory.
So grab your leatherworking tools, your piece of leather, and let’s dive into this exciting project together!
- 1mm stitching prong
- 10mm, 5mm, 3.5mm, 2mm hole punches
- Scissors and 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 + two little pieces of black and white leather scrap for the eyes
- 1 zipper
- Leather dyes
- Leather finishing product
- Leather glue
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.
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.
Roughly cut-out around the pieces of the project and join both parts of the strap pattern piece (D) with some tape.
Taping the pieces of the pattern to the leather
Tape the different elements of the pattern to your piece of leather.
You don’t necessarily have to separate them afterwards like I did. I just find it easier this way to work on them during the next steps.
Punching the stitching holes
Use stitching prongs or a hole punch to punch the stitching holes directly through the paper and the leather.
You’ll also need to punch two holes for the eyes on the face (B) as well as a variety of hole punches for the motifs of the starfish.
Cutting-out the slot for the zipper
With the help of a 10mm hole punch and your X-acto knife, free up the slot where our zipper will be installed.
Cutting-out the pieces of the project
Follow along the edges of printed pattern elements with your pair of scisors or X-acto knife to cut-out all the pieces of the coin purse.
Before you discard the pattern, you might want to leave a mark indicating the correct orientation of the piece denoted A. Each branch of the starfish is quite similar so it’ll make it easier to match it correctly with the backside (C) later on.
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 a golden yellow for the background pieces (A, C & D) as well as the strap of the starfish and red orange for the face (B).
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.
Burnishing the edges
Burnish the edges of the face (B), the zipper slot on the backside (C) and the strap (D) using the method of your choice.
You can also burnish the tip of the top branch of the front and back pieces as the strap will prevent you from doing that later on.
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.
Making the eyes and gluing them to the face
Punch in two dots in a piece of black leather scraps with a 7.5mm hole punch. Punch a 3mm hole within each one of those black dots.
Punch in two dots in a piece of white leather scraps with a 3mm 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 B 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.
Stitching the zipper to the backside
Taper the end of your zipper to adapt it to the shape of the starfish.
It is important to set-up the zipper so that it closes towards the top branch. Otherwise your starfish will appear to have a sort of… shall we say appendage… when the zipper is closed.
Carefully glue the zipper to the back of the piece.
Once the glue has set, secure the zipper by stitching all around it.
Stitching the mouth
Stitch the mouth on the face (B) with black thread.
Assembling the two layers of the front
Stitch together the two front layers of the starfish (A & B)
Stitching the front and the back together
To assemble both sides of the starfish, start by securing the different pieces together by bonding the edges of the front and backside – setting-up the strap in between.
After applying the glue to both sides, you can use needles to help you align the two pieces before pressing down on the edges to bond them to each other.
Stitch along the perimeter of the starfish. That’s it, you’ve done it! (Well…almost).
Burnish the edges newly created by the superposition of the pieces that were just stitched together to blend the two 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: