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Design your own leather goods

Leather crafting is romantic and nostalgic. The moment you have an untooled piece of leather in your hands, and you smell it, you’ll be transported back to a time of rustic cowboys and the great plains. It’s not a difficult thing to do, you just really need to follow a few easy steps. First you need to buy your leather. You’ll likely have to buy online, but there are places to buy leather, just maybe not that close to you. When purchasing leather, the good stuff is often sold by the square foot, and the cheaper stuff is often sold in bags or strips. If you’re just starting out and you want to get your practice in, you might as well save money and for the cheap stuff. The strips are great for braided bracelets and belts and you can also tool your own little sculptures. The quality of leather probably won’t matter to you, especially at the beginning. Just make sure to look for any glaring imperfections such as scarring or bug bites.

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For making bags and belts and other similar things, you’ll want to buy a softer leather. Textured or thicker leathers are generally best for making furniture, and isn’t great for tooling. If you’re just a beginner and still a little wet behind the ears, you’ll want a set of tools, but you don’t’ need to get professional quality tools. Starter kits have pretty much everything you might need, and it’s also best to experiment and see how you work and what comes easiest to you before you commit to forking over serious money for serious tools. Once you start getting the hang of it, you could consider getting modeling tools such as a stylus or a modeling spoon. You’ll also definitely need the right kind of surface to model on. You definitely shouldn’t use wood. That’s porous and has too much texture that will influence your work a marble or granite surface is best because it can really take a beating.

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It’s not hard to find a set of tools, but if you’re having trouble you might want to check out either grommet hole punch or to get an idea.

Once you have your tools and your materials, you’re ready to start working. There’s definitely a number of skills you’ll need to learn, but none of them are super difficult. A lot of it is just weird terminology that means simpler things. For example, when a direction tells you to case your leather, that just means to wet it.

Working with leather is easy and easy to learn. You won’t become a master overnight, but you’ll become competent in no time at all. Once you’re comfortable working with it, you can start making gifts for everyone on your holiday gift list. You’ll have a blast making them, they’ll mean more to your friends and family cause you made them, and you’ll save money too!

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