Video: How to Make a Raccoon Fur Bag


raccoon fur bag

Finished bag made from a tanned raccoon fur
Photo by Fala Burnette, Wolf Branch Homestea

For nearly 7 years, my husband and I have enjoyed tanning hides and furs in our spare time, responsibly putting part of a harvested animal to good use. I often encourage those who are thinking about small predator management, such as the trap and dispatch of a nuisance raccoon who may be lurking near a chicken coop, to learn about tanning and not let the hide go to waste. The question remains of what to do with the finished hide, and it opens the door for many interesting craft projects.

Raccoon furs are often turned into the old fashioned mountain man/pioneer style caps, but what else could be done with them? We tried using a bottled tanning formula last year for a raccoon hide, and decided to make a small carrying bag for the woods from it.

The accompanying video is a look at how we approached making our bag; I wanted the tail to remain on, so I folded the hide almost in half, and draped the tail over as a way to close the bag by tying a piece of lace around the tail to hold it in place. The item requirements included: one raccoon fur, lace/strap material (I used some previously tanned deer hide leather, braided), a pencil, scissors, a small utility knife, artificial sinew, sewing needle, awl, and a hammer. Because of the tools used, younger folks need to ask for an adult’s help in making this project. Please use caution when handling tools.

I started by folding the bag as I wanted it to look, making pencil marks where I needed to trim off the excess hide. It is important when using the utility knife to carefully cut from the underside (“flesh” side that is tanned) and not use scissors or cut from the outside. This helps to preserve the length of the fur, which helps cover your edges. I then turned it inside out, lining up the edges and carefully using the hammer and awl to make matching holes through the fur. Once the sides were sewn together, it was time to turn the bag right side out again.

Fala Burnette
5/25/2021 8:25:12 PM

@Fleur - I understand where you are coming from, and maybe you won't directly see this but maybe someone else will. Everyone has the right to their opinions on these things 100%! One of the biggest things I like to do is encourage people to tan, because it reduces waste. There are many people out there who will hunt, raise animals for food, protect livestock and poultry by trapping. What I hope to see is people who do these things will be more responsible with their harvest and repurpose the parts that would ordinarily be wasted. This is why we like to get deer hides (not something we ourselves took) from other hunters who normally throw them out and tan them, to bring new purpose to that and to be respectful to the animals. Raccoons are not only a predator of poultry, but they also raid wild turkey nests. Again, everyone has the right to their opinion on this and I respect that, and just wanted to briefly state where I come from on it myself.

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