Desk Tidy Instructions
1. Check that you have everything in your kit.
- Pre-cut and Punched Leather Pieces
- 3 x Canvas Cloth for burnishing & protecting
- 2 x Binder Clips to help you stitch
- 2 x Colours of Handmade Waxed Thread
- 1 x Keyring Loop
- 2 x Sewing Needles
You will also need:
- Small pair of scissors
- Your quality time, 2-3 hours
- A small pot of water
2. Measure the thread
Your Desk Tidy has 4 different stitching sections so you will need to cut 4 lengths of thread. Start by choosing the thread colour that you would like to stitch with, then cut four lengths, each measuring 40cm. Find a ruler to measure the thread and cut the 4x40cm lengths.
Did you know?
For any hand-sewn leather project, you will need a length of thread that measures at least three times the length of the stitch section.
3. Burnish the outer edges (the edges with no stitch holes)
Burnishing leather is the process of sealing and smoothing the rough, raw edges of a leather item to produce professionally finished edges.
Start burnishing by using your fingertip to gently wet the outer edges of your Desk Tidy (these are the edges without the punched holes). Be careful not to get any liquid on the leather surface. Using one of the canvas cloths provided, rub the outer edges until smooth and shiny.
Use a cotton bud for extra precision when wetting the edge so as not to damage the leather surface.
4. Thread the needles
A. Thread the eye of the needle with the thread measuring 40cm.
B. Pull through 6-8cm of thread and then pierce the thread.
C. Pierce the thread again at 1cm distance along the long piece of thread.
D. Holding the needle tip, pull down the entire thread. This is called locking the needle.
E. Follow steps A-D with the other end of the thread and second needle.
5. Fold so stitch lines match and clip in place
Fold two of the stitch lines (which are perpendicular to one another) so that they join together. Align the stitch holes and then hold in place with the binder clips, using the cloth to protect the leather.
6. Sew sides together
Pass one needle through the top hole (indicated) and pull the thread through until you have an even amount on both sides.
7. Create a simple secure bar tack stitch
By bringing the right hand needle up and over to the other side, pushing the needle through and back to the right side, create a loop of thread.
Pull this firmly closed and repeat on the other side
8. Use saddle stitch
A. With your left hand, take the needle from one side of your Desk Tidy and pass it through the next hole. You will be stitching along the piece towards yourself.
B. Pull this needle through, leaving a loop of thread about 10cm long on the side.
C. Take the second needle and push it through the same hole as the first. Avoid piercing the thread as you do this and pull the other thread tightly to the side as this will help.
D. Pull both needles away from the leather to form a tight stitch. Repeat this for every stitch hole.
9. Secure the thread
Once you've reached the end you will need to secure your thread. To do this you can use back stitch. Change direction of the stitch and stitch back 3 stitches, then cut the thread as close to the hole as possible and tuck away any visible ends with the back side of your needle.
10. Repeat steps 4-9 On three remaining corners
Did you know?
Leather craft requires skill with both hands. Using your non-dominant hand creates stronger connections between your brain’s hemispheres and increases brain function.
11. Final burnish the joined edges - (same instructions as previous)
12. Mould desk tidy
Gently mould the bottom of the Desk Tidy to give it a more square base (if desired).
Finished Desk Tidy
Ta-daa! Congratulations, you have now finished your personally crafted .Ar:ti|sans Desk Tidy! What will you choose to do now with your Desk Tidy? Maybe you could gift it to a sewist friend to store their threads, use it on your desk to hold paper clips or on your bedside table for jewellery.
We would love to see your creation and what you do with it! Share it with us and our crafting community so we can celebrate your leathercraft dexterity. Tag us @artisans.life on Instagram (using the hashtag #artisanslife), tell us what you enjoyed most about the making experience.
P.S. Did you recognise our Keyring Kit wrapped in your thread? Now you can practice your leathercraft skills further by crafting your very own leather keyring! Click here to access the Keyring Craft Kit instructions blog.