A man surprised his girlfriend with a DIY handmade Hermes Birkin bag for their anniversary.
Alexander Tsway, a real estate agent from Bellevue, Washington, shared the process of how he managed to create the replica luxury handbag in a two-part Instagram post last week.
In his first video, Tsway says that he looked up how much a Hermes Birkin bag costs after his girlfriend made several jokes about how she wanted a bag from the luxury brand as her anniversary gift.
“When I looked online at the price of a Birkin, I couldn’t believe it,” he says. “One hundred thousand dollars for a bag is crazy, but what was even crazier was instead of paying, I decided to surprise her and make my own.”
During the process of making the bag, Tsway says what he thought was going to be an easy process became a laborious task. He says, “I finally understand why luxury companies charge so much for these handbags.”
Tsway says he went to a local leather store to pick out some “black-dyed crocodile leather” after he found a blueprint for the Birkin bag he wanted to make online. Overall, Tsway says he spent around $400 on the materials and other tools he used for the project.
However, the real estate agent notes in the second part of his video that he was not able to find the same leather material that the company uses for their handbag. Luckily, a local store helped him pick out a high-quality material he needed that only cost $80.
He then traced the cutouts of the blueprint on the leather, such as for the bag’s body, top handle and trim.
Tsway admitted that he made a rookie mistake and wasted some good material when he started cutting the leather, noting that using a kitchen knife was “a bad idea.”
According to Tsway, there are “so many steps involved, and each step can take a lifetime to master” when making the handbag. Some of the steps Tsway shows in the videos include punching a hole in the bag’s body and sewing them together through the seam with a needle and thread.
While he made a few errors while tracing the leather material, Tsway notes that sewing the pieces together made his fingers numb and was the most difficult part of the process.
“This is very challenging because every hole had to be hand punched, and sometimes I had to punch them twice because of how thick the leather was,” he says. “Then I had to push the needle through each hole and make sure they all lined up.”
Tsway eventually finished his project, but he notes that his gift was “one month late” for their anniversary.
After showing the finished product to his girlfriend, the woman can be seen mouthing the word “Wow” as she inspects the bag.