WTF is Leather Crafting [Ultimate guide + Essentials]
What is leather crafting?
Leather crafting is the practice of making pieces of leather into works of art, using simple tools and techniques such as shaping techniques, coloring, stitching techniques and stamping.
I am an artsy person that looking for a new craft. So I asked around and wondered what would be a suitable thing to fulfill my passion when a friend of mine came up with Leather crafting.
After browsing the web for a week, lots of videos and research I’ve become interested in this craft and so I decided to compile it down for you.
Great beginner projects
Not everyone is an ancient leather master but we all need to start from somewhere. There are loads of useful and/or beautiful projects out there. People are doing custom leather bags, boxes, holsters and organizer thingies.
It’s very simple yet elegant and very nicely explained step - by - step, from start to finish.
There’s a big community of leather workers and you can talk to them over here.
What are the most essential tools you need to start leather crafting?
My list of things is pretty short and inexpensive, since I’m a beginner. Here are a few things you might wanna consider when getting started.
Good quality leather and thread
It’s pretty obvious but to start leatherworking you’ll need a good quality piece of leather. I’d suggest vegetable-tanned leather since it’s the most malleable and it’s very good for leather stamping and carving.
Leather glue is good to have for projects when you want to attach layers but it’s not necessary if you’re going to stitch them.
It’s pretty important to have a good surface to work on. Self-healing mats are just that, really durable surface to work on combined with rulers and straight edges that will benefit your workflow greatly.
Leather cutting tool/Knife
You can always start off with a good utility knife. If you replace their blades regularly they will be plenty sharp enough to cut through even the thickest leathers out there. Plus, they are pretty inexpensive and great for many other uses.
Later on you can upgrade to X-acto knives, they are pretty good for smaller, more exact cuts, and rotary cutters. Believe it or not, they are pretty widely used among most of the fabric stores.
A wooden or rubber mallet is also a must have when we’re talking about leather stamping.
Are pretty useful for creating the holes for your stitches.
If you plan to hand stitch your leather project you’ll need a needle, one that’s strong enough to go through thick leather.
These are the most important when it comes to aesthetics of your project you can create literally endless patterns, textures and characters. Leather stamping is pretty self-explanatory and it lets the leather come to life.
Here is another great source for your essentials.
Dragon Scale Stamp
It’s pretty simple yet really beautiful. The dragon scale stamping tool is my new go to when it comes to stamping leather. It’s actually been used by a lot of people thus proving its versatility.
This stamp can be bought here.
I was recently inspired by this one project by two young boys and their dad who used this stamp to create amazing leather armor.
The Dragon scale stamp is unique by itself and has a few variants. The most commonly used one is the 8x11mm one. All of which you can find here.
It's very high quality cut using a CNC machine, made out of brass with a durable steel handle.
I’ve shown you the craft, the tooling and what people are doing. Hopefully, it’s been useful and informative.
Is leather working the craft for you?