Make It For Less: Anthropologie-Inspired Leather Handle Bowls for the Perfect Hostess Gift — Apartment Therapy Tutorials

There’s a reason so many people love Anthropologie – the store smells amazing, the clothes are to die for, and the home decor is so, so good. Sometimes I find it hard to pull the trigger on a purchase though, because it seems like it would be easy (and much cheaper!) to DIY. So when I came across these woodgrain bread bowls with leather handles, I decided to actually try to make them myself and see if I could save some cash. Spoiler alert: I saved big time! Now I know what my friends are getting this Christmas…

See if you can spot the difference between this Anthropologie purchase and my knock-off version.

All the items I used can be purchased new (Target has a a few more affordable wood bowls at the moment), but to keep things really cheap, I picked up a few Monkey Pod bowls at the thrift store for .99 cents each. They only needed a little cleaning and conditioning. While I was there I looked for a leather belt I could use for the handles but came up short, so I picked up some 1/2″ leather strip ($5 with a coupon!) at the craft store while I was there getting the decorative brass tacks ($3) which put me at a whopping $10 total for two bowls. Not too shabby considering I would have spent $96 on two bowls at Anthropologie!

What You Need



  • Scissors
  • Nipper pliers or wire cutters
  • Power drill
  • 1/16 drill bit
  • Hammer


1. Unroll a length of the leather strip and decide on the placement and size of your handles and cut two identical lengths of the leather strip.

2. Place dots on the bowl, and on the leather where you’ll insert the brass tack.

3. Push the tack through the front side of the leather so that the point sticks out of the back. I found it was helpful to use the drill to punch a starter hole in the leather, so the tack would slide through with ease.

4. Assuming the tack will be a bit too long for the bowl you’re using, grab a pair of nippers (sharp wire cutters will work with some effort if you don’t have nippers) and trim the tack down so that it sticks past the leather at about a 1/4 of an inch. Be sure to trim at an angle so you’ll still have a point to drive into the wood.

5. Using a 1/16 drill bit (or the smallest size you have), make a hole in the wood. You’re really just looking to make a punch that you can set the tack in. Don’t drill too far in or the trimmed tack will just fall out and won’t be able to be hammered into place. This make take some trial and error before you figure out how far to drill in and how short to trim the tack, but once you figure out the first hole the rest of them go really quickly.

6. If you’re able to, ask someone to help hold the bowl while you set the tack in the hole and hammer it in. It helps to place your finger on the leather strip to steady it as you hammer.

Monkey Pod tends to be really tough wood, so I wasn’t worried about splitting it while I was hammering away. That said, remember that these handles are decorative, so the tack doesn’t need to go in that far, it just needs to be secure enough to not fall out. If you really want a secure hold, place a little wood glue or E6000 adhesive on the tip of the tack before hammering it in.

7. Finish up the other side and you’re all set!

You’ve got yourself a gorgeous Anthropologie-inspired bowl at a fraction of the cost. These make great serving bowls when entertaining, and impressive, inexpensive gifts. And if someone assumes you paid $48 for them, just go with it!

Have a really great DIY project or tutorial that you want to share with others? Let us know! We love checking out what you’re making these days, and learning from our readers. When you’re ready, click here to submit your project and photos.



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