DIY: How to Make a Wallet Out of an Old Cowboy Boot!

We are thrilled today to share with you another lovely tutorial from the talented Alicia Jepsen of Jepsen LeatherGoods LLC.  Last month she offered up instructions on how to make a leather passport holder (which we loved), now this time she's making a wallet out of a cowboy boot!  Yup, that's right, a cowboy boot! So fun, yes?

What You Need:
  • one cowboy boot
  • waxed linen thread (~70” long)
  • scratch awl
  • stitching awl
  • cutting mat
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • rotary cutter
  • seam ripper
  • 2 craft needles (~2 3/8” long)
*Many of these items are available from your local craft store.
 Time: ~ 2 hours (plus overnight drying time)

1.  Cut the top part of the boot off.  

2.  Wash the top part of the boot with dish soap.

3.  Hang to dry overnight.

4.  Use a seam ripper to remove the pull straps.  

5.  Cut up along the side piping. 

6.  Remove the piping strip.

7.  The disassembled boot should look like this.

 8.  Use the ruler and rotary cutter to cut a 4” by 6” rectangle out of the front piece of the boot. Start with a horizontal cut just above the vamp.

9.  Use the ruler and rotary cutter to cut a 2” by 4” rectangle out of the back piece of the boot. 

10.  The three pieces should look like this. 

11.  Use the scratch awl to mark a dot every 1/4” all the way around the larger (4” by 6”) piece. Your dots should be 1/8” in from the edge. 

12.  Mark dots, in a similar fashion, along three sides of the smaller (2” by 4”) pieces. 

13. Pierce the dots with a piercing awl. Tip: put the leather on an old phone book to allow the piercing awl to go through the leather easier.

14.  The three pieces should now look like this.

 15.  The most common way to sew leather is saddle stitching. Watch a short video tutorial here. To start, thread a needle on both ends of a 70” piece of thread. 

 16.  Line up the large leather piece with one of the pocket pieces and insert a needle four holes in from pocket’s edge.

17.  Pull the thread through the hole so you have equal lengths of thread on each side.

18.  Insert the needle in the next hole and pull through the hole.

19.  Insert the other needle into the same hole and pull through the hole.

20.  Pull each strand tight to set stitch. You should now have equal lengths of thread on either side of the leather. 

21.  Continue stitching all the way around, making sure to attach the other pocket when you get to the other side. 

22.  Backstitch over your last stitch and pull each strand of thread between the two pieces of leather. 

23.  Tie the two strands with 2-3 overhand knots and cut the excess threads.

 24.  There you have it! Enjoy!

Copyright 2011 Jepsen LeatherGoods LLC Madison, WI 

Jepsen LeatherGoods LLC was born of owner and lead maker, Alicia Jepsen, in 2011. Led by the simple desire to create products that you only have to buy once in your lifetime, they began selling quality leather accessories handcrafted in Madison, Wisconsin. Each item is individually cut, dyed, and stitched by hand. They use only the best full grain vegetable tanned leathers and durable waxed linen thread. Full grain leathers have not been sanded or buffed to remove imperfections. This means that each piece is unique and carries its own distinct characteristics.

Jan Halvarson


Michelle said...

That's amazing!

Fiona Cartolina said...

Luv this tutorial!
Lots of Calgarians move to nelson so there are always cowboy boots in the thrift store here
(FYI, I like that this was a long tutorial because I loved anticipating the finished piece way down on the page.)

Julia Bolchakova said...

Although it's very impressive, but for a person like me, who is not used to deal with leather, it is probably easier to make a wallet out of a cow... :)

Anonymous said...

how fab is this?! love it!

Valerie said...

I feel bad for the poor cowboy who only has one boot now.

Unknown said...

very nice. Have a wonderful day

Melissa Blake said...

oh, that is soo neat! Thanks for sharing!

DASI GLAM said...

I've never had cowboy boots but if I did I would certainly make this wallet. Great tutorial.

Anonymous said...

Is the "recycled wallet" supposed to
be more interesting somehow than the
gorgeous grey cowboy boots? I transform all kinds of things.... but sorry, this simply does not make sense....going to label this project "downcycling".

gabricci said...

Valerie, I agree with you. This tutorial would have been more fun if it was about making a wallet from an old and/or unused leather purse. These are more widely available in thrift stores and places like my closet!

Anonymous said...

RE: "downcycling" and a lack of cowboy boots - not 'round here!

I was looking for a way to use the 5 (yes, uneven number) cowboy boots that I wore out - holes in the soles, or heels so wore out they hurt my back.

Thanks for the tutorial!

Unknown said...

Stupid. Why ruin a good pair of boots? If the sole or heel is shot, then take 'em to the shoe repair and get new soles or heels or maybe both.

Zech and Brianne Browning said...

Wow! I'm amazed at the amount of negativity! I, for one, appreciate you sharing your talent and knowledge. This is something unique and, should I want to create a leather project like this, would appreciate the step-by-step instructions! THANK YOU for sharing! I sure hope the unuseful critiques/comments don't make you reluctant to share your projects in the future! And.... I also hope readers learn to use discretion when posting! If they are unhappy with their reading content, they can certainly choose to move on to something which pleases them! :)

Unknown said...

Thank you SO MUCH for this. I lost my Grandpa years ago and have had a pair of his boots in a keepsake box since then. This is a PERFECT way to honor his memory, keep him close, and actually put some use to the boots (instead of having them collect dust).