How to Recycle Leather

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How to Recycle Leather

Instead of tossing an old leather purse, belt, couch, or even skirt into the rubbish bin, consider the possibilities of repurposing and recycling old leather goods. Leather is a recyclable textile, and since it is a sturdy, long-lasting fabric, it can have a second life in a number of ways.

For crafters, leather is a material useful for making craft pieces or even functional items in a number of ways around the home. Before tossing out a genuine leather article, repurpose it into something else instead, and live life in a greener, more planet-friendly fashion. For scraps which lack the quality needed for repurposing, donating leather is a valuable option.

Repurpose Leather

Use large or small pieces and bits of leather to create something entirely different. Get creative with leftover or old leather and turn it into something one of a kind and totally unique by repurposing it into something new.

Leather Belts

There are many ways to repurpose worn out or vintage leather belts, or belts which do not fit any longer. Connect several leather belts to make an outdoor rug, or use leather belts to hold together wood piles. Create a one-of-a-kind outdoor chair when wrapped around a metal chair frame, or decorate any number of household items, from clocks to plant pots.

Leather belts accent and hold back curtains, make cool hanging book holders, or they hold a wooden rack for wine bottles or other items. Cut up leather belts and make funky bracelets, or use leather belt buckles to make rustic earrings. Thin leather belts make fashionable rings, and they can be embellished with studs or hanging charms.

Large Leather Scraps

Cut an elaborate necklace from large pieces of leather for a true statement piece. Do this with a rotary cutter and fixed blade knife. Make big leather scraps, such as couch or jacket leather pieces, into cool pillows, handbags or small pouches, or hair bows, or cut the pieces to make earrings. Cut leather pieces into thin strips and braid them to make a belt or bracelet, or use leather squares to make coasters, a mobile phone case, iPod sleeve, or a wallet.

Leather scraps make lovely tote bags that are easy to sew together with a thick gauge needle. Wrap light pieces of leather around basket handles for decoration, or cover a journal with leather for a rustic diary look. Leather pieces make small clutch purses, funky pockets to sew onto plain T-shirts, or fringed anklets to wear with sandals or heels.

Leather Bits

Another cool way to recycle leather is to use tools such as a letterpress to personalise luggage tags, coasters, cuff bracelets, home decor signs, or door hangers. Create tooled leather with initials, a favourite quote, or a song lyric using a swivel knife and stamps meant for pressing leather. This creates a permanent crease in the leather in the shape of designs, letters, or numbers, and offers a unique option for decorating small pieces of leather and using them for crafts. Leather stamps come in many sizes and designs.

Donate Leather

Find a home through donation for unwanted leather items. Contact organisations which offer recycling and find out where to donate leather goods for recycling. Some local organisations may take leather shoes for charity donations or leather furniture for those purposes as well. Thrift stores and other organisations that help low-income people often take donations in the form of any type of item as long as it is in fair condition. Some recycling centres offer assistance for textile recycling.

Leather Repurposing Ideas

For leather that still looks good but is not usable in its current form, such as a leather miniskirt that no longer fits, or an old leather couch, consider the wide array of options for repurposing. Aside from traditional repurposing ideas such as jewellery making, there are many unique ideas for creating new goods from vintage and old leather pieces.

Repurposing Idea



Leather butterflies, hearts, or stars

Use a template to get the perfect shape

Cut the leather using a fabric die cutter machine

Add to hair barrettes, bracelets, or clothing for embellishment

Leather photo frame

Stretch thin leather pieces over an existing frame and use a hot glue gun or heavy-duty stapler to affix the leather to the back of the frame

Frame photographs

Leather flowers

Cut flower shapes of different sizes out of thin leather

Soak flowers in water

Punch a hole in the centre and use snaps to put the flowers together

Glue on barrettes, shoes , or bags

Create a brooch

Studded bracelets

Cut leather into long strips

Hammer studs into bracelet

Hammer in snaps to secure the bracelet

Mix and match different colours to add style to a look

There are so many ways to use leather, even if the pieces are small. Leather adds a luxurious touch to clothing, purses, tote bags, jewellery, and accessories.

How to Buy Leather Recycling Supplies on eBay

Get ready to craft some amazing leather items using old leather scraps or belts. Search on eBay to find the tools you need to get the job done, such as a hot glue gun or leather stamps. Purchase items from a Top-rated seller who has excellent feedback, and look for a seller offering many items, such as studs or snaps, for a lower price.

Look at your outdated leather items as creative materials. Large pieces of leather make amazing home decor items, such as pillows, while even small bits of leather adorn shoes, bags, hair clips, and endless other items. Leather items make great, customised gifts, and offer the perfect way to help the planet and be chic at the same time.

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