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How to make a rabbitskin bag

Rabbitskin bag
Made by Valerie Hadden; photo by Valerie Hadden

What would you put in a rabbitskin bag? How would you use the powerful fertility magick of the rabbit? Rabbitskin can be used for luck (as in carrying a rabbit’s foot), sexual/reproductive fertility, or creativity in other areas of your life. Here are some tips on sewing a bag out of a rabbit pelt.* Handle the pelt gently; rabbit leather is thin and tears easily.

Carefully set aside all loose fur and pelt scraps for later use, or to donate back into the ecosystem. To respect the spirit of the rabbit, avoid discarding any part of the pelt.

Cut a rectangle from the pelt, big enough for both the front and the back of the bag. If you wish the bag to have a flap closing the top, allow for this when cutting. Depending on the shape of the pelt and the size bag you desire, you may wish the pelt to fold at the bottom, or at one of the sides, of the bag. In the first case, you will sew both sides; in the latter, the bottom and the side that is not folded.

Using heavy thread and a leather needle, use a running stitch to sew the bag by hand, leather-side-out.

Sew a bag from heavy cloth, such as cotton canvas, of a size to fit in the pelt bag. Turn the pelt bag fur-side-out, hiding the seam. Leaving the cloth bag seam-side out, insert it. Sew the two together around the top and tack them with two or three stitches at the bottom.

Add any desired embellishments. The bag shown has a flap secured by an elk-horn button, and a red cord handle.

*This Examiner apologizes to anyone who is offended by the idea of using fur. She encourages everyone to learn about how the rabbit was treated in life and whether its meat was also used, in keeping with honoring the rabbit’s spirit.

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