18 Nov

Making a leather bag with Kenkäpaja Pihka

Wouldn’t it be awesome to walk on the streets wearing shoes or carrying a bag YOU have made? Well, thanks to the bag and shoe courses held by Kenkäpaja Pihka  it is possible! And the best thing about this is that you don’t need to have any former experience. So when the lovely girls of Kenkäpaja Pihka invited me to their course, I was excited but also worried. Could I really be able to make the bag myself?


Let me explain. I’m no craftsman. Not even a little. Last time I tried to do something handcraft-related was in primary school and let’s just say I wasn’t the brightest star of that class.

However, I have always admired those people who have the talent to do something with their hands. In my work, I get to meet talented people who, in addition to designing their products, actually make them. Like Kenkäpaja Pihka’s Roosa Mattsson, Sofia Salmi and Maisa Salonen. This Tampere-based company designs leather products such as bags, shoes and accessories – all handmade! Their designs are based on ecological values, ethical production and unique results. The products are long-lasting and high-quality for sure.

 Inspired by the talented women of Pihka, I decided to grab the bull by its horns and go find out how to make myself a beautiful Agata bag ♡


The course was held in the heart of Helsinki, in a lovely ethical lifestyle store Nudge. Our course table was located in the middle of the store so everyone, who visited the store that day, could see what we were doing.


In the beginning I was just fussing around with all those weird tools (there were so many of them!) but after a while I was able to sit down and focus. First I chose the colour of the leather, then cut out the form and started to sew the sides together. The leather was surprisingly easy material to work with, not as stiff as I had thought. And what a great smell!


It was actually very delightful to do something by hands and see how a piece of leather started to transform into a beautiful bag. I made a few mistakes, yes, but with the help of Pihka, they were all pretty easy to fix. I didn’t reach for a perfectly made bag anyway.

It’s made by me and I’m very proud of it!


I must admit, it really wasn’t as hard as I had first thought. Pihka’s Roosa and Sofia were helping us all the time and guided us through the process with clear instructions. They answered our questions patiently, even when I had to ask the same question three times to remember what I was actually supposed to do.

The atmosphere was friendly and warm – all the participants were helping each other. Basically we were all working independently, but there was always someone who was doing the exact same thing as you and was able to help. Go peer support!


It’s sometimes good to step out of your comfort zone and do something totally different. We did it, look how proud we are! Maybe I’ll try the shoe making course next, who knows?

THANK YOU SO MUCH Kenkäpaja Pihka for an awesome and inspiring experience! I can easily recommend it to everyone.


Are you interested in participating Pihka’s courses?

The next courses will be held in January 2017. Click here for more information. Be quick, there’re only a few places available and the courses have been popular! A course would also be an unforgettable Christmas gift, am I right?

Kenkäpaja Pihka in Weecos  ✕  Kenkäpaja Pihka  ✕  Kenkäpaja Pihka FB

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