For Spring 2013 Chanel showed a number of butterfly motifs on their accessories: and this sweet quilted leather bag was no exception. From the Pick Your DIY pinboard that we set up for the Pick Your DIY Bloggers Collaboration Week, the Chanel butterfly bag image (pictured above) received a ton of likes and repins. So here is how to make an approximation of it:
Tools: marking chalk / leather glue / clothespins or binder clips / shears for leather / sewing machine (optional) / sewing machine needle for leather (optional) / matching upholstery thread (optional) / hole leather punch / hammer / hard surface to hammer on (I’m using my jeweler’s block) / teardrop leather punch
PREP YOUR PARTS
1. Trace the pattern pieces onto the leather with the marking chalk. You can download my pattern template for free here.
2. Cut out the pattern from the leather.
3. Notch at a scant 1/16″ any sharp corners, and around acute curves (especially for the butterfly’s body piece).
4. Dab glue on the wrong side of the leather of the body, close to the edge.
5. Fold the edge under, and secure with clothespins until dry.
6. For the butterfly antennae, cut two strips of leather about 1/4″ wide by 6″ long.
7. Dab glue on the wrong side of the leather of the antennae, close to the edge.
8. Fold the long edge of the antennae to the other long edge; hold with your fingers until the glue sets. (I found it easiest to put the glue on for only about 2″ or so, fold, set, and repeat down the length of the antennae pieces.)
9. For both sets of wings of the butterfly, spread glue on the main parts of the wing (the undersides), leaving space at the edges.
10. Glue both matching pieces together.
11. Open up the edges and put glue around the edge too.
12. For the antennae attached to the top wings, glue the antennae pieces as marked on the pattern, inserting between the wing sandwich.
13. Tuck one edge under, to the inside of the wing sandwich, doing the same for the other wing piece too.
14. Finally, spread a little glue between the tucked-under edges, and press together to create a finished edge.
15. Allow to dry with clothespins securing the fold.** (**Note: to make a much smoother finished edge it probably makes the most sense to sew the pieces together [right sides together], and then turn right-sides-out. I showed this method of gluing them so that people without sewing machines could also make them this way.)
16. (Optional) On a sewing machine with a leather needle and heavy-duty upholstery thread, topstitch around the edges of the butterfly wings to create a finished look to them.
PUNCH THE HOLES
17. Mark where you want your holes to go with marking chalk. I just winged it (see what I did there? and made my hole placement imprecise.
18. Use the round hole punch to punch holes in both the top wings and the bottom wings.
19. For the flower in the center of both the wings, use a teardrop-shaped leather punch and a hammer on a flat, strong surface.
ATTACH THE PIECES
You could, in all honesty, just glue the pieces together and have a pretty good approximation of the Chanel bag. But in order to make the DIY look really finished, I’d recommend sewing for these last steps. If you prefer to glue, just follow the instructions in Step 20)-23), and 25) only.
20. Glue the top wings to the bottom wings, and allow to dry.
21. Place some glue on the back of the butterfly body, and glue the wings to the back of it. Allow to dry.
22. Stretch the antennae from the wings to the butterfly head, pulling taut so the upper wings lift slightly. Secure with glue and clothespins until dry.
23. Trim the excess antennae length.
24. On the sewing machine, topstitch around the edges of the butterfly body to secure all the pieces.
25. Glue the bottom wings of the butterfly to the bag where you want them to go. (Make sure they will accommodate your hand sliding through.)
26. (Optional) For a stronger hold, sew the bottom wings to the bag along the topstitching line from earlier.
You’re done! Rock your new butterfly bag with something breezy and white to evoke the refined Chanel aesthetic.
Happy Spring – and Happy DIY’ing!
Resources for The DIY Chanel Perforated Leather Butterfly Bag:
Butterfly Pattern – download here.
Leather – leftover from a leather jacket I thrifted at the Goodwill Outlet for 89 cents a pound. You could also use vinyl or pleather.
Rotating Leather Punch – available here.
Teardrop-shaped Leather Punch – this was hard to find. You can try finding something you like at Tandy Leather, but I just couldn’t find a teardrop-shape there, so ended up getting one from Goodsjapan on Ebay. (Size No. 1)
Glue – I started off with my favorite Loctite Vinyl, Fabric and Plastic Repair Adhesive, but ran out of it halfway through the project. Instead I finished it with E6000, with the precision tip (available at Jo-Ann’s or Michael’s stores).
Jeweler’s Bench Block Anvil – bought at a jeweler’s supply in Hawaii. You can buy one here.