How can I reuse or recycle an old leather jacket/coat?

We’ve had an email from Linzi:

What can I do with an old leather jacket? It’s really dated now.

If it’s really dated, keep it – it’ll probably come back into fashion next week ;) More seriously, someone might want it for a vintage look – or for a fancy dress party – perhaps offer it to a charity shop, ideally one with a “vintage” section (or a charity shop chain that has vintage shops – like Oxfam or BHF).

Any suggestions for reuses if it’s not suitable for passing on? We’ve already covered scraps of leather and a leather/suede purse – some of the reuses/upcycling ideas for those may apply to the jacket too — make it into a purse, bag or belt, scraps can be added to glove palms or tool handles to improve grip and bigger jackets could be made into cushion covers or to cover basic storage boxes to make them more stylish. A couple of weeks ago, we also mentioned Mes Footwear – a footwear company in Newcastle, who turn old jackets into new shoes. My father-not-in-law has made numerous pairs of bellows in his time and uses scrap leather from sofas for that – would a back of a leather jacket would probably work in the same way.

Any other ideas that make particular use of it being jacket shaped now?

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8 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle an old leather jacket/coat?”


  1. Chris says:

    That’s a tough one. I’d probably do the charity thing.

  2. TeresaW says:

    Why not make a leather bag or may be a leather teddy bear?
    Leather baby shoes? Leather elbow patches on Jackets?
    Leather coats/jackets for teddy bears or dolls?

  3. JEFFERY says:

    I DIDN’T WANT TO PART WITH MY LEATHER BOMBER JACKETS I’VE
    HAD SINCE I WAS A BOY . . BUT I OUTGREW THEM .
    I had “nose art” ( a painting ) air brushed on one of them
    by a guy who normally does Tee shirts at the mall . . . and then
    had it framed . It hangs in our rec room and everyone thinks its
    “COOL” ( it cost 20.00 for the artwork )
    The second one was turned into a lap top computer case.
    ( aboot repair shop cut it down and crafted it . . . pockets
    and all into a “flight jacket” for my APPLE . My slick old bomber
    had weatherproof leather and was just the ticket for this case !

  4. Max Marbles says:

    Louisa, Old leather is a relative term. I restore books and recondition their leather covers. There is tons of life in”old” leather if it was tanned properly and has avoided the nasties of water, fire and abuse. How ever it is recycled or purposed it should be maintained.

  5. ElleC says:

    Check out this website for how to make an iPod or iPhone case

    http://justsomethingimade.com/2009/12/simple-leather-ipod-touchiphone-case/

  6. Olia says:

    You can reupholster a chair with it, small chair or just a seat.
    Also, leather can be turned into manly lamp shade.

  7. You says:

    Re-create the road warrior movie jacket and sell it



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