Adventures in Leather - Volume 1



Be kind … this is not my forte’ by a long shot. :smile:

Finally managed to run hubs off for long enough to try playing with some leather (he has a super sensitive schnoz). :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

So trotted out a couple of designs…I’ll need to get some fittings in before I can show a couple of them, but I managed to finish a couple with the supplies on hand.

First up…a bracelet or two. I’m not much on jewelry, but leather cuffs are kind of cool, and I got to thinking that if a living hinge works on wood, it can be made to work on leather as well, turning an unyielding leather into something elastic.

Depending on how much you stretch it, you can get a couple of different effects, so they’re shown below. You can sew these closed, and then stretch them to fit over your hand and they pop back down in a kind of neat way.

These are done out of the thin Proofgrade leather - I think they would hold up a little better in something thicker, but i didn’t have any thick PG on hand.

Leather Bracelet LH 3

(Nice thing about them is…one size fits most, and you can vary the number of panels you use to make them fit anyone.)

Second project…my nieces and nephews are getting to the age where they’re impossible to buy for, and everyone just gives them money and gift cards for birthdays and Christmas. I wanted to do a heavier weight money/gift card jacket to give them - they could double as a money clip when they’ve spent the dough, or something to tuck into a pocket.

Went with a generic theme on some heavier leather that I picked up for :glowforge: prep - figured I might as well use it.

leather gift card and money jackets 1

Anyway…that’s it for now. Nothing fancy…I’m definitely not up to bags and briefcases yet. (Think I’ll need to work my way up to those…like after about 20 years.) :smile:

Edit: Got the findings in - these are a few other cuffs using the same base designs:


Wow! They look good!


I went and spent a bunch of money at Tandy for a bunch of tools, notions, thread, dyes, etc. It’s all speculative at this point because I won’t proceed to the bigger stuff (bags, etc.) until the little projects turn out half way decent.

So I figure nobody will want the first waffles and they’re the expensive ones because after that the supplies are free because they’re leftover from that disastrous first project. :wink:


So impressive!


You know…I did too, months ago, and now the only thing I can find is the thread and that piece of leather! I cleaned up and put everything away, and now I can’t find a blessed thing! :roll_eyes:


There you go, pushing the envelope again. What a (dangit, I’ve run out of superlatives–need @dan_berry to set me straight) idea for the living hinge! The gift card holders are my favorite though–love the design, the stitching, the finish–everything!


Very interesting result on the bracelets! Great experiment! thumbs up


These are awesome!
I’m really impressed by the bracelets/cuffs. Those are seriously cool with the living hinge concept.


Why is it that leather is so intimidating? I feel the same way. Asked for some leather working tools and some leather for Father’s Day LAST YEAR and I’m just now getting around to making something with it. I made a case for my wife’s iPad mini and I can wait to see what all I can make with leather on the forge.


Nice! I’m still not brave enough to attempt leatherwork. My experience doesn’t extend beyond making a harness leather apron for grinding that I sewed a pocket on. It ain’t pretty.
That and the handle wrap for the Bat’leth are the only attempts to wield leather.


In my case the price factors in strongly… (and the smell, but no way around that.)

I hate to screw up a prototype when all I’ve got is a couple of small pieces on hand to work with. And there’s a learning curve on the stitching and a whole lot of skill involved in leather work that I don’t have…

So yeah, I tend to treat it like it’s radioactive. :laughing:


I understand all of that. I don’t have my forge yet, so I did it all by hand. The saddle stitching was not as hard as I thought it would be originally. I just used a clamping setup, but I need to make a stitching pony for future use.

I hate screwing up any material. Feels wasteful. But sometimes, you just have to try something. I did find that a bar of glycerin saddle soap does a great job for slicking the edge of the leather and giving it a finished look. You just wet the edge, and then rub on some of that saddle soap and it is very nice.


I love all of those…but then, I love all the stuff you do. Those living hinge bracelets make me think of those Chinese finger things (can’t think of the name of them), where you put a finger into each opposite ends and cannot pull them out. Haha!


These are WAY cool! Must put on to try list! I’m at the Leather Gas Flap stage… Bags, Wallet and Briefcases will be 40 years for me… bahahha! :rofl:


You and me, both. I can cut a shape…and make it fit.
Leather coaster, anyone? I can make that.


Chinese finger catchers was what we used to call them. This is different, but it might be a fun thing to try to build one of those… :smile:


@Xabbess @Jules I’m Chinese and I have no idea what this Chinese finger thing you ladies speak of? I’m missing out!


This is what they are - I’m not sure if they came from China or not… that’s just what everybody called them:



Those are Chinese handcuffs.


They call it a Chinese finger trap. I’m not sure it has anything to do with China other than they were made there back when the main imports from China that people were familiar with were doodads like this (60s or probably earlier).