May 28, 2012

DIY: Leather Dye and Studded Purse

I hope you all enjoyed (or are still enjoying) the weekend! I stayed local for the holiday, which of course meant lots of DIY-ing during the summer storms passing through.

There's nothing like breathing new life into tired objects in your closet, right? I got this bag for an absolute song at Banana Republic. Real leather, decent size, mega-markdown... I couldn't pass it up. However, the pewter-like color was lackluster and the bag lacked personality. Using leather dye and studs, I gave this purse a much-needed update. (Cue the makeover montage music!)

Tools and Materials:
Leather dye (I used Angelus brand, but have heard good things of Tarrago)
Leather preparer (Very important! It strips the finish off the leather so that the dye takes.)
Rag cloth
Ruler and paint pen (for measuring and marking stud placement)
Not pictured, but good for saving you fingers: rubber/latex gloves, a thimble and X-Acto knife

Tape off the bag's hardware to protect from the dye (or anywhere else you don't want dyed). If you do accidentally get dye on the hardware, I found a q-tip dipped in the preparer will clean it right off.

Following the preparer's direction, soak the rag with the preparer, and wipe down the entire surface you plan on dyeing. Give it a nice rub-down.

Using the directions included with the leather dye, begin applying the dye with the included brush or your sponge.

Follow instructions for applying a second coat. I found that even after letting dry 48 hours, when I buffed the leather with a dry cloth, dye came off. I may have been over zealous with the dye, so continued to buff with a soft cloth until no more dye came off.

When the dye was completely dry, I measured out and marked with a ruler and paint pen where I wanted to place the studs on the bottom of my bag. I used an X-Acto knife to help get the stud prongs through, and thimble to press and fold down the prongs.


  1. Great idea! I can definitely see myself doing this to thrift store and other sale purses! :]

  2. Wow, the result is perfect!
    I try this but the inicia bag was quite old
    and i did not get studs...

  3. wow!! i love this! so perfect!

  4. Better in Black!


  5. Have never tried leather dye. You are brave.

  6. Great job! It's so much better dyed. I will have to try leather dye soon.

  7. Looks amazing.. Great job x

  8. That looks great! You're making me want to give leather dye a try.


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