Engraving on Leather?

I have the following leather wallet sleeve that I am looking to engrave but not sure if this is safe for the glowforge and if this will engrave properly. I am looking just to add initials to the center of it. The type of leather is buff clf? Attached is the image.


My understanding is there’s a good chance it is not veg tanned so it would contain some nasty stuff.

Have you considered embossing it instead?

  • Create a reverse stamp in acrylic (or Delrin if you have it).

  • Wet the leather (damp, not dripping).

  • Center the stamp and place a block of wood over it.

  • Clamp with a C clamp for 20 or 30 minutes.

Works like a champ.


Thanks for the speedy reply and I will look into doing this, I have never done embossing before, but would love to give it a try. Does this hold up and last forever?

For the C clamp I am thinking this should work ? ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbbFZ17JSvM )

For creating the reverse stamp you are meaning instead of engraving the letters to engrave everything but the letters so the letters pop out? If so do you happen to know the settings for use on proofgrade acrylic?

Any clamp should work. Technically I use an F clamp but basically that video is what I’m talking about. If you let the leather dry while clamped then it should effectively be permanent. The only issue you might run into is if the wallet doesn’t readily absorb any water due to the finish.

You can see the process I use in this post. You don’t need the acrylic plate I’m using. That’s just to help me with alignment.

No, I mean flip the image horizontally like you are looking into a mirror. If you don’t do this then the letters will be backwards.

For the stamp I created in the above post I did also cut the letters rather than the stamp so that the letters are raised. You can do it either way depending on the look you are going for.

For settings I just used PG medium acrylic and set it to dark engrave. Last night I did two other stamps for a custom job and actual ran two passes on dark engrave because it used thin lines and I wanted to make sure the raised part was deep enough.


Yeah, as above, 90% chance it is chrome tan and a no-no. why not cut a fresh one from veg and engrave it? For that matter, if you particularly like the whole wallet why not replicate it? Would be a great way to learn.


Any ideas of affordable places to purchase veg leather in bulk, thinking about working on a few projects.

The forum is riddled with url’s but Tandy is the most common. You can buy whole or halfs as well as other amounts.

Tandy has been running a lot of sales so keep an eye out and buy when you can.

Springfield has good prices and excellent quality

Also check Google/Yelp for a local supplier - it’s nice to be able to walk in and look at the pieces you’re buying since leather is a very inconsistent material. For example, in Los Angeles we have Sav Mor which has insanely good prices vs Tandy as well as a huge selection of leathers, findings and tools.

There are a LOT more types of veg tan out there than what Tandy stocks.