Leather work

A gallery of some past leather working projects.

Most of these have been detailed in previous posts but with the continuing requests for information, I decided to make a “best of” gallery here with links to more detailed information if it exists.  I hope to continue to add to this page as the leatherwork is popular and is just about my favorite craft.  Nearly all of my projects are made from high quality, natural, vegetable tanned leather.  I really like the natural look so I don’t generally use a lot of stains.  However, since most people seem to like the stained look, I now use some dyes by request.  I also am experimenting with some natural ways to dye leather for effect other than just waxing and waiting for it to age.

DSC_0044 DSC_0042A laptop case made from natural, full grain shoulder leather.  Vegetable tanned and full of character.  It’s about 8 oz thickness and so provides some real protection for the computer. I’m pretty happy with the minimalist design and I love the brass button closure.

DSC_0039DSC_0040A small toiletries bag made from a wax-impregnated leather.  The design is essentially that of a very small 18th century portmanteau.  Included here are some of the basic tools-of-the-trade for scale and perspective.  I think leather work is appealing to me, in part, due to the honest simplicity and lack of power tools.  Most projects can be accomplished with a sharp knife, straight-edge, awl and some stitching needles.

DSC_006316″ open top Carry-All.  Described here.  I really like this design and I’m hoping to make some more to put up for sale in the coming year.  This one is dyed “tan” and is actually slightly darker in real life.

DSC_0062DSC_0061DSC_0059DSC_061318″ traditional haversack.  The original post is here.  This is a big traveler’s bag and is very sturdy.  It has a large main compartment and three pockets.

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DSC_0168framewithstraps

Student success.
Student success.

ShoesHD

Handmade Shoes

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Quiver

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SHOES

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mocs

Awls

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ruck

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18 Replies to “Leather work”

  1. I think I’m in love with your philosophy, dedication, and design. I found your page through the vardo project but am snooping around on all your other projects and I am IMPRESSED. Keep up the amazingness!

  2. Wow! Impressive work. I’ve been wanting to make ghillies (or the like) for me and my family. Do you know of a source for patterns and instructions? I’ve found a few patterns on google but no real details on how to modify for sizes and foot shapes. For a few sites that make them they ask for a few measurements including from the ankle around the instep so I assume there is some kind of formula? Thanks in advance!

    1. Thanks. There isn’t much to it beyond what you see. Have a look at this Instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/Viking-shoes/
      She does a nice job. There are few tricks to getting the fit right but there cannot be a universal pattern for something like this. Start with your foot outline and work up from there. That solves everything. Here are a few images from a couple classes class I teach: https://paleotool.com/2014/09/26/project-mayhem-shoes/ Maybe it will help a little. I will try to make an instruction post sometime soon and put up on the blog. My advice is to just dive in.

  3. George, it’s Michael from Dirt Time. What is your e-mail address? (You can write to my e-mail, if you wish to keep your e-mail private). Aloha, Michael

  4. This design would make for some perfect canvas shopping bags, minus the shoulder strap since you really don’t need that from the shop to the car. Plastic has got to be one of the most horrible and destructive inventions of history, right along with the atomic bomb and the internal combustion engine
    https://paleotool.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/dsc_0063.jpg?w=636&h=1024

    I saw this and thought right off, “This is it!” See, I’ve been needing a shoulder bag/haversack and have bought about seven or eight over the last twenty years or so, but no one makes anything To fit. It has to be as close to 3 x 6 – 7 x 12 inches. Your design lends itself to size modification, crafted from 16 oz undyed canvas and waxed and would withstand anything a natural or urban environment would throw at it. I’d reconfigure the flap though to make it more shower proof.

    Again, the perfect design of footwear I’ve been looking for. The wrap around design makes measurement and pattern drafting a lot simpler. Add saddle skirting leather soles, flesh stitched so the stitching won’t get prematurely abraded away, and you’d have some footwear that could be re-soaled until the uppers fall apart. I’m so glad I found your pump drill instructable.

    1. ahem. “…as close to 3 x 6 – 7 x 12 inches, AS POSSIBLE.” I hate it when things are composed in my head and never make it to the fingers.

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