DIY Leather Handle Box

DIY Leather Handle Box

Have you seen the $3 natural wood boxes in Target’s dollar section? I discovered them the other day and had to buy all of the boxes that were left. I can see a million applications for these basic boxes, so I had no choice!


One of them is now a little utility box that I can put random things in. I have my dedicated art space, but sometimes I need to do work in the kitchen or the living room, so I see myself using this box often.

Besides the box and upholstery tacks, I’ll bet you already have all of the supplies on-hand for this project. Let’s get started!


  • 1 natural finish box (Target, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby)
  • masking tape
  • brush
  • paint
  • scissors
  • leather belt or thick scrap (3-5 oz.)
  • upholstery tacks
  • hammer

Get creative! If you don’t have standard craft paint, leftover house paint will work. I used a scrap of thick leather for the handle because I had that on hand. You could use an old belt or sew something up with some high quality felt.


If you want to go for a dipped approach, You’ll want to tape off the paint area. I wanted something a bit off kilter, so I didn’t measure. Press the tape down firmly so paint doesn’t get underneath.


Apply paint in perpendicular strokes, starting from the middle of the tape line, outward. Using these motions, you’ll avoid getting paint underneath your tape. Your line will look nice and sharp.


Remove the tape just before it’s completely dry. Look at that crisp line!


Cut your leather scrap or belt down to size. With the 6×6 inch box, I cut a 13×1 inch strip of leather with little notches at the end. The notches add a feminine touch.


Measure where you want the upholstery tacks to go. You can eye ball it, but I would recommend measuring so your box isn’t uneven when you pick it up.


Punch the upholstery tack through the leather first.


Then place the tack on your center line and nail down.


Voila, you’re done. I imagine if you did blunt lines, it would read more masculine and you could do a manly gift basket with cool shaving supplies in there or a waxed apron or something.

I’d say this is pretty gender neutral, so you really could put anything in it or gift it to anyone.



Melissa Esplin -

Melissa Esplin

Becoming a mother has dramatically shifted Melissa’s focus, but some things have remained the same: she absolutely loves being creative with designcalligraphysewingdecorating and anything that keeps her mind and hands busy. is her declaration to all things creative that, “I Still Love You.”

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Alicia DiRago is the founder and CEO of Whimseybox. She has led DIY events across the country and been featured in the Wall Street Journal. Alicia is a lifelong crafter and former chemical engineer obsessed with making everything from bracelets to (homebrewed) beer! You can find her personal DIY, fashion and design blog at


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