DIY leathercraft is a beautiful art you can master to create luxurious pieces. But as much as it is beautiful, it is not perfect.
With tools and materials adding up, leathercraft can definitely become an expensive hobby. Sometimes, even the most straightforward detail can become a daunting task. And, the most painful thing is ruining your leather on the final stages of crafting.
Here are some valuable tips and hacks that you can apply to your leathercraft to make it more budget-friendly, accessible and of course to help you correct your mistakes. Check out the hacks below:
DIY leather projects require various tools depending on the size and complexity of the item you are crafting. These can add up and become incredibly expensive overtime to buy tools for every single thing.
So, to keep things minimal, there is always a way around corner punches, to simply use a knife. The first thing you want to do is mark your corners, grab your knife and line it up to the mark, then gradually refine your edges with many miniature cuts. Corner punches can make your process quicker, but if you are on a budget, knives work perfectly fine.
Threading a Needle
As you experience leather-working, there is one frustrating thing, threading a waxed poly cord on a needle. There is always a wax buildup inside the needle holes, and a standard hand-to-eye combo is not cutting it anymore.
The quickest way to solve this is by using a Thread Zap. This small tool is a time-saver because it is used to gradually heat up the wax on the insides of the thread-hole to melt it out and it clears up the eye of the needle so that you can put in your waxed thread.
Another use of thread zap is to finish off the leather stitches. Most people generally use a lighter, the problem with that is the flame is way too close to the leather, and it can potentially burn and ruin your leather. With the zapper, it is more precise and safe to finish off your threading work.
Gold Foil Hack
When it comes to leatherworking on a budget, you do not need an expensive machine for gold foiling. All you need for this is a heat gun, some gold foil and your maker’s mark or stamp made out of metal. Make sure it is metal because you will need to heat it very hot.
To get started, all you need is to get the heat on the metal stamp for a while, then put it on top of your gold foil and then press it with an arbour press or if the stamp is small, you can use the handle that comes with it. This will save you quite a bit of money that you would have spent on a gold foiling machine.
Hammering Stitches Tip
If you are wondering why your leather accessories are perfectly made by the books but still lacks the finesse. Then, it is probably because you have not hammered it down yet.
The holes made by the pricking irons or the needle raises the holes slightly. In order to fix that, hammer down the stitches to give it a beautiful aesthetic look. This tip will give your leather a totally different vibe.
Repairing Scratch Tip
There are times when you are about to finish off your beautiful leather item, giving it some finishing touches, buffing them up nice and good, then accidentally, there is a scratch. Now you are just sitting there in hopes to reverse time, but wait we have a simple tip for you.
If your leather is waxy and buffed, then does not fret, there is a fix for it. Take your heat gun out and gently heat the leather around the scratch mark. Gently massage the area until the scratch is gone. Just like magic.
Note: Please remember this fix does not work on all types of leather.
Punching Stitching Holes Tip
This tip requires you to use soft wax when punching stitching holes in your leather. First, cut out your pattern and use a masking paper tape to hold it in place. After that, simply get a soft wax candle and apply the wax directly on the masking tape.
The reason to do this is when punching a hole; the wax will help the tool to come off easily. This will make your work more proficient and easy to handle.
Apply The Coating
After you finish up your leather project, always make sure to apply a protective coating to it. Use an oil-based coating to ensure your item stays new and fresh for a long time. The coating might seem like an extra task, but little things go a long way when working with leather.
Final Take on DIY Learthercraft!
We believe that leatherworking is an art that anyone can get started on. For beginners or novice craftsmen, we bundled up a special leatherworking kit to ease your journey. Find exclusive patterns and tips from master leather artisans from the UK. Simplify your leather journey today with Artisan’s Leather Kit.
If you want to hurdle over choosing tools, our Artisan’s Kit has everything you will need for this DIY project and will even come in handy when you want to craft something else.
>>> Crafted By: Catherine Williams <<<