Painting Leather Handbags-Video

If you are thinking of letting your well-used handbags go because they look bland and you have lost interest, I found a video for those who like to be creative. You don’t have to be a professional to start painting leather handbags but be open to the idea. You can give your bag a complete makeover decorating it as shown in the video or touch it up to your liking.

Natural Full Grain Hand Tooled Cowhide bagTurquoise Full Grain Hand Tooled Cowhide PurseThe video features ‘tooled leather’ handbags which is leather that has been worked on, having a design like initials, a pattern or any type of decorative look to it. The leather is soft and easy to work with. Along with painting and decorating a handbag, you can also use a wallet or belt. This can be for a man’s bag, wallet or belt as well but adding an initial or favorite symbol they like. If you don’t have a tooled leather bag you can find one online or at a thrift store. There are many sizes and styles available along with colors to choose from.

Martha is well-known for many things including cooking, entertaining and crafts. In this video from one of her previous shows she has guests who show how to paint tooled leather bags and other items. Featured are older bags and giving them a makeover with paint and decorations. The video is just over eight minutes long, and has a short article written with a list of materials needed and the steps which I added here for your convenience. Leather bags are one of the best quality materials being strong, sturdy and enduring long time usage and weather changes. Following the instructions in the video properly will leave you with a long-lasting new-look for your bag.

The materials needed and steps are listed below and they use specific brands for what is available where they live. Lumiere paints by Jacquard can be Lumiere paint available by the company where you are living. When you go to the paint store in your area, they can find it for you or recommend one. The epoxy listed you can do the same by finding the brand available to you along with the E-6000 glue and you can also do a Google search before heading out to shop for these products. For your color choices, make sure you have them ready before shopping and buy water-based for both the varnish and paints.

Painted Leather Handbags Materials and Steps


Below are the finished products of two tooled leather handbags. They are quite embellished and colorful giving ideas for how you can decorate your own.

One Blue and One Brown Painted leather handbags

I hope you enjoyed this video and will have fun painting and embellishing your tooled leather handbag or which ever item you decide. It’s a great gift idea for anyone of all ages. I have other do it yourself projects and one is Making Your Own Handbag where you can make a quality messenger bag for both women or men. It’s easy to follow the tutorial and it’s only about thirty minutes!

Click on Women’s Purses and Handbags for information about them, to read and shop for men’s click on Men’s Bags and Accessories. The option to shop for both are to the right on my sidebar where I have several merchants listed.

Unless otherwise stated, the bags for this article I chose from various merchants for the specific style I needed to write this article.

Contact email: [email protected]com


  1. Trace Bently


    You share the leather bags information is really awesome. I read your blog and I am happy with your blog. I am glad to find it. There are so many developers working on this part but this is one of the best innovative post ever. Thanks for such post.

    1. Patsy


      Hello Trace, you are welcome and thank you!

      I’m so happy you found and enjoyed my article, I like to find different things to share. This video is excellent for doing a make-over on everything you saw, and it seems easy and fun.

      I checked out your website and am looking forward to seeing more later.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, I appreciate it!

  2. Glenys


    HI Patsy,
    What a great idea. My Grandmother has some old handbags and belts. I didn’t know that the name of this style of clothing is called “tooled leather”. It is wonderful to think that you can freshen up these dated designs just through the simple use of color. It is great that the paints are fairly cheap and come in so many colours.

    I was wondering if you have ever done something like this yourself with any of your old handbags?

    1. Patsy


      Hi Glenys, you are welcome.

      Thank you for visiting my website again, it’s nice to see you back.

      Your Grandmother’s items must really be nice, the styles for handbags and belts were different than they are now. It would be great to freshen them up, giving them a make-over.

      I have not done anything like this before. I love doing crafts it’s been a long time, when I’m not so busy I can do this. Having said that, I will find something to use for the project so it will be ready to go!

  3. Amy


    Hi Patsy! This is the coolest idea I have ever seen! I have a trunk of old pocketbooks that I cannot bear to get rid of, and this is such a great way to repurpose my old bags! I’m thinking that I would have to lightly wipe off the dust and mildew if any, with a cloth with some natural cleanser? Also, the bags I have are worn on the edges, and I am wondering if the paints will adhere differently on the worn edges — enough to make a difference? I also love this idea for evening bags for summer — a hand bag that has a kick to it would make a great conversation piece! Thanks for the great info!

    1. Patsy


      Hi Amy, you are welcome.

      Giving the pocketbooks a make-over sounds like fun! To clean any mildew mix rubbing alcohol with water, one part water to 2 parts alcohol. Dip a cloth in and wring it well. Dab over the mildew spots.

      I don’t know if the paint will adhere to the worn edges but it’s worth a try. Make sure the area is dust free then paint it, giving a couple of coats and see if that works.

      I agree, decorating this way is a great conversation starter. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Abbee


    Thanks for sharing these tips for making gorgeous upgrades to old purses! I found a beautiful tooled leather bag at a thrift store, but it looks a little dirty around the clasp. Do you recommend cleaning the bag before adding paint, or is it better to just paint over the darkened spot with a darker color (without cleaning it)? If it ought to be cleaned, what leather cleaners would you suggest?

    1. Patsy


      Hi Abbee, you are welcome.

      It’s great that you found the tooled leather bag at a thrift store.

      Regarding the darkened spot, it depends on the type of stain and how long it’s been there. If it’s on an older purse it may be ‘set’ and not come out. In that case you can wipe down the bag with warm water and dishsoap, then wipe the surface with another clean cloth. If you start to paint it with a light color and it still shows through, allow the paint to dry and use a darker color painting over it instead. You can also embellish that area with decorations as shown in the video.

      If it’s a newer stain and not set, try the warm water and dishsoap method. For something like an ink stain, you can dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol, don’t ‘rub’ it but blot it gently until the stain is gone. Wipe it with a clean damp cloth then dry it with a towel.

      For an oil or grease stain, use baking soda or corn starch by sprinkling it on the spot and rub gently with a damp cloth. Allow it to sit over night, the soda or starch will absorb he oil. Wipe it off with a soft cloth.

      I hope one of my suggestions to clean that dark spot helps, otherwise you can paint over it. I would give it a wash over since it came from the thrift store to remove any dust or dirt.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

  5. Kristen Kirkland


    Wow Patsy! Great idea for those worn out bags in our closets. Especially nowadays in the age of DIY. This is awesome and it has inspired me to gather a couple friends to set up a “girls night” with a bottle of wine and decorate handbags. Thank you so much for posting this and I can’t wait to see more, great job!

    1. Patsy


      Hi Kristen, you are welcome and thank you!

      I enjoy writing my DIY aritcles I have a few, and I’m glad you like this one.

      It’s something I haven’t needed to do and it’s a great idea to get a few friends over and share this project together. Sounds like fun!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment!

  6. Igor


    Hi Patsy!
    This is another very interesting and creative topic and great post. Very practical and useful advice. There are so many nice bags which need “restoration” over the time. This post will help definitely anyone to do such decoration in a much better way.
    Well done, keep up the good work.
    Best regards!

    1. Patsy


      Hi Igor, thank you!

      I’m glad you find my article interesting. Restoring an older bag is possible, and I was glad to have found this video and information to be able to do it.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment!

  7. Jessica Gruenberg


    What a unique way to spice up an old bag! Thank you for the craft idea!

    1. Patsy


      Hi Jessica, you are welcome.

      When you have an older bag you don’t want to let go of, this is a fun way to give it a makeover keeping it around for much longer!

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