Everybody needs a hobby. They give us that moment in the day where the noise of the world around us fades to a murmur and there is only us and our passion. Hobbies that inspire us become talking points for who we are, they’re little bite sized windows into our values and desires. Everyone’s had that moment when somebody asks, “So, what do you do for fun?” It's a chance to express something you do that is unique to you.
So Why Leather?
When looking to start a creative hobby, especially one related to fashion, you want a guarantee that it can hold your interest and feel relevant years down the line. You want to be able to master every aspect of the skill, but still find more to learn, or to make.
Leatherworking is an ancestral skill. It has been with us since the Pharaohs and is with us now in the limelight of the modern catwalk. The history of leather will endure alongside us as it always has. Leather is timeless, both in style and utility. Whether it's the flexible soft sheen of a bespoke leather wallet or the durable and unstoppable pair of rugged leather boots, leather is up to any task you set it.
Renowned as a mark of quality, its timelessness has kept leather fashionable no matter what. Its history, durability, flexibility and style all stem from its inception as a natural material, developed and mastered from the earthy real world, rather than a shallow and synthetic, “here today, gone tomorrow” fabric. When somebody chooses leather, everybody knows what that means.
The Art of Making
Unique is a term that defines leathercraft. From the leather itself, the subtle dimples and blemishes that frame its character, to the individual stitching and molding done by hand for a genuinely precious, luxurious leather wallet, every aspect of leatherworking is original every time. A craft mastered across generations, each person who takes up the tools will put their own spin on it. Those tiny alterations, the light, deft touches that are an artisan’s unmistakable signature; these are the flourishes that make leatherworking, especially DIY leathercraft, truly individual.
The experience of leatherworking is as important as the end product. It is a test of your dexterity, but more than that, it is a chance for personal growth. Leatherworking is an opportunity to become more in tune with the world around you, to reach out and get that hands on feeling for the objects in your life. Look around your room now. What could you make, given the tools? That bookshelf? Your desk? What about the screen you are reading these words on? These things would mean more to you if you knew what it was to feel their components at your fingertips, to know how the many intricate parts connect to form the whole. It is a personal connection to our world that is so hard to find in the modern day, but that was the highest form of interaction for our ancestors. It imbues the creation with a personality that comes from you alone.
When Christmas or birthdays roll around, regardless of the glitz and fun of the occasion, what most people are really after is that connection to their friends and family. They are moments in the year that let us reach out and express what we mean to each other. The best gifts are an extension of the giver, proof that they have held you in their mind and given you something that could only come from them. This is why a handmade, personalised gift is often the one that people hold most dear. When you look at an object and know the effort, the sheer mastery that went into creating it for you alone, it holds a special place beyond consumerist desires. It is original. It has meaning. Your relationship to this person has meaning.
The Most Malleable Material
So what to make? Where to even begin, given how endless the possibilities are? The fundamentals are often a great place to start when taking on a new skill. However, leather is such a flexible material that even limiting yourself to fundamentals still leaves so many options. Here’s a few, just to get you started:
An old-school keepsake on all the best keyrings, it's a comfort in the palm wherever you go.
Do leather wallets even need an introduction? The age-old design screams classic.
Crossing into new territory, spruce up your indoor greenery with a natural, stylistic flourish.
Like the wallet before it, the security of a leather card holder can’t be beat. It just feels good in your pocket, doesn’t it? For an amazing experience of crafting a leather wallet with your own hands. Check out our Leather CardHolder Kit
Decadent but handy, it's the perfect gift for those friends who leave eight hours early to catch a flight. Yes, them, that person you just thought of. They’d love this. Love a hand-made leather item, .Ar:ti|sans Leather Passport Holder Kit gives it all.
Truly ancestral, leather jewellery is a wonderful way to express your creativity and give a vibrant boost in a fast fashion world.
Cord holder/ leather Cable organizer
The perfect way to neaten up your workspace and remind you of all the crafts you can get back to after you clock off.
Simple but effective, utility is the name of the game. There’s nothing better than reminders of your leather hobby popping up in everyday life.
Leather personalised gifts
Take a leather product and give it that personal touch. Whether adding a photo to a leather keyring or embossing a name into a wallet, it's that extra mile that’s the work of a moment.
The Tools of the Trade
If you feel ready to get started, then all you need now is the tools. Invest in these and you’ll have a skill for life. Get the tools and you can learn leathercraft the practical, DIY leathercraft way. Here’s a starting list:
- Needle and thread
- Diamond chisels
- A ruler
This is the core of your kit. There’s tons more to know or pick up. To guide which more specialist tools you might need, you should dive in and get excited about what to make first: What are you waiting for!
Workshops and Blogs
This is a list of places you should go for advice on ‘how to leather’, helping you get to grips with this new and exciting talent. Your eyes should always light up if you spot “leather courses London”; you don’t want to miss these opportunities for growth!
- Craft Courses
- Leathercraft Workshop Days
- The London leather workshop
- Gold Bark Leather: Beginners Guide
- Fine Leatherworking
- Stock and Barrel
There’s always more to uncover when you have a leather hobby. Keep your mind open, your fingers dextrous and your inspiration flowing, and you’ll be creating elegant, bespoke leatherwork for yourself or the people you care about. What are you waiting for? Go for it!