First Leather Project on the Glowforge

There’s a standard leather stitching needle that you would use for all leather projects. In terms of the thread, you’ll have to decide based on what your design. If you’re making a large item like a tote bag, I’d recommend using a medium to thicker thread. If you’re making a smaller item like wallets and pouches, a thin thread will work. It all depends on the aesthetic of your product. Good luck!

1 Like

Definitely not what I was expecting for a first project. You hit the ground running! Thanks for sharing your process with us all.


I’ve read through the whole post hoping to find an answer to a simple question. Do you know of a way to finish the leather after engraving/cutting so that the burnt material doesn’t smear all over the leather with handling?

I just wipe off the edges with a soft rag before starting any finishing.


Well, that wasn’t really the question. The edges aren’t a problem. I am engraving on the piece and that is what is smudging the piece.

You mention “finishing” - what do you use to finish the leather?


1 Like

Ah. I use masking paper to prevent that. :slight_smile:

I’m pretty much still a beginner with leather, so you might not want to totally rely on me, but here are some posts with the finishes I’ve used:



Try masking tape well burnished (lint roller even) or silly putty. Might take a couple passes depending on your engraving.

Wondering what settings you used to cut these, and did you use masking tape, mine looks a little burnt around the edges. Any tips you could offer a newbe?


Hi Tony,

Great question - check out this post and let me know if you still have questions!

Good luck!

Confirmed on the acrylic paint.

I was chatting with the guy at Tandy. I was about to buy some expensivish leather acrylic paint… he said to just use regular latex acrylic. This what I have been using on my wallets - and they wear quite well.

And the paint is cheap.

1 Like

Amazing !

1 Like

@Tim_Ung I’m curious about the design process for your wallets. I’m working in AI as well, and I’m wondering how far apart your stitch holes are and what size they are. I usually do a dotted line with a specific point size and distance between dots when I’m cutting something similar. TIA!

1 Like

Tim hasn’t been around for quite a while, so he may not see your message.

The holes in leather depend on the floss and needle you’re using. Using waxed thread and a Tandy Leather stitching needle my holes are 1.5-1.6mm diameter (they’re also slightly oblong, but only that .1mm difference.)

My distance between is just more than double the hole diameter - about 3.3mm.

I also use a dotted line, and then enlarge the dots to be holes - but I use Inkscape so my specific method won’t help in AI!


Thanks @deirdrebeth !


In the Dashboard, if you click on the “Add Artwork” tag, it gives you an option on the right where you can set punch holes. I don’t think it’s a Premium only thing, as it’s in the section on the right of the screen where you can flip a design horizontally, vertically, make a puzzle, or a stamp, etc. It’s in the “Patterned Lines.” You can choose “Stitching Holes” or “Perforated Line” and set the size for what you need. You can adjust it to fit your pattern. Worth checking out anyway.


I just stumbled upon this 3 year old post and I swear, I can hear @Tim_Ung’s voice when reading it.


I used to be a full time regular here with a lot of projects posted, leather was one of the last things I had worked with while I still had access to my lasers before moving to the other side of the planet!

I actually wrote an informal guide on answering this exact question a while back, check it out here. I’m very rarely around on the community anymore, but if I get tagged or messaged I generally will come check it out pretty quick.

Anyway, I’m happy to see this thread come up again, it was 2018, and it inspired me heavily to work on leather, even if it did take me 3 years after to finally begin working on my own projects, I always appreciated this post among others to inspire me to start leather working.


Depends on what you’re looking to accomplish there are several options, Tokonole for edge finishing, there’s pro resist if you want to make sure something doesn’t age as quickly, there’s acrylic sheen if you want to give it a sexy shine. For edges there is also edge dye that gives a rubberized coating over the edge of your item. I’d recommend using a burnishing tool after it’s dried if you are going to do that. Tokonole is the most common edge finisher, but you can also use bees wax if you’re not feeling having to wait for it to ship unless you have a leather crafting store near you. I’ve posted a few leather projects as well some of these finishing steps are mentioned in there as well.


Wow, look at Glowforge continuing to upgrade their software, here I am missing in action for a little while and they go and add a neat feature like this - very cool!