Imagine, wouldn’t it be great to show off your very own, handmade, hip and trending bag made of leather? But how do you make one? Once you figured it out that the basic leather DIY’s are not that provocative for you and you would like to step up to the next level you will need some basic tools to start.
Measure and Cutting Tools
If you want to be sure you cut and draw straight lines you could use a ruler. Look for a metal one since you don’t want to cut into a plastic ruler and ruin your leather.
To scratch your design on to the leather you might use any kind of sharp object though mostly people use a scratching awl.
You should never cut your leather with scissors unless you have special leather scissors. Because most scissors will only scratch the leather, especially thicker leather kinds. I think more people will have a Stanley knife rather than special leather scissors, though be sure the Stanley knife is still sharp. You could also use a rotary cutter.
To prevent your workbench or kitchen table in my case, you will need a cutting board of plastic or wood. Your diamond chisel is sharp and you want it to fully perforate the leather and therefore it will perforate your workbench as well. You could cover this board with some leather.
Alright, we finally came to the sewing tools. First of all, you will need some needles and (waxed) thread. There are two types of needles you can get. The first one is one with a sharp triangle tip. With these needles, you can separate the fibres of the leather so you don’t make blunt holes in it. This way the fibres will embrace the thread instead of cutting the fibres and weaken your piece of leather. The other type of needles is blunt ones. You can use the Diamond chisel to separate the leather like the triangle tipped needle and sew the leather with the blunt tip needle.
The diamond chisel/pricking iron is the next tool you can use. There are other options but with this tool, you are sure that every hole is even and the lines you perforate are straight. You can choose the spacing between the teeth of the chisel as you prefer. The chisels come in different amounts of teeth. Why? Well, you save time with multiple teeth although you will need a fewer amount of teeth for example round stitching. (7,8 or 9 stitches per inch – SPI)
As the third tool, you will need a mallet to punch the diamond chisel into the leather. You should search for one with a rubber end. This is because of the recoil of the punch and to avoid this you should absorb this energy with the rubber end.
This is already a big list. Although if you want to finish also the edges there are a few items you can use.
- Edge beveller to round up your edges what makes it feel more comfortable in your hand.
- Leather burnisher to burnish the leather edges
- A block of beeswax to finish your edges and make them waterproof for an even longer lasting product.
There you are, that’s all you need to start some DIYs with leather and style. As you can see there are a lot of objects you might already have at home. The only thing that stops you from beginning is a piece of scrap leather and a great idea. How did your first project turn out? I love to hear how it went!