First test etch on leather


One of the items I make in my leather business are “Essentials Trays”. Small trays you put in your closet, or on your vanity or chest of drawers to place your wallet, keys, jewelry, etc. in at the end of the day. The first one I made for my best friend utilized image transfer using a reversed print laser print image and a solvent to get the toner to transfer to the leather. Don’t think I’ll ever do that again. It’s inconsistent, and not really very permanent…

Roll forward to this morning when I did a test etch for a commissioned piece. I used my own leather which is the same weight as the proof grade version, so it was a no-brainer. Taped it up with cheap masking tape, and let it get bizzy. Here’s the result, which I’m pretty pleased with.

I’ve already sent the image to the person who commissioned it since it will be a Christmas present for her sister. She was ecstatic with the proof. The real version will have her name engraved as well.


So nice!

Is the quote because she likes to travel, or because she’s a Tolkien fan? If it’s the second, on the final version you might want to change it to

Not all those who wander are lost

Products I see always forget the “those” and if she’s a LOTR fan she might notice.

Sorry…librarianing here. :grinning: For the geeky or curious, here’s the whole poem:

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes, a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king. [1]


Very nice! Do you have the text and image on the inside of the tray when it’s done? (How do you keep it from getting all grungy from the pocket change that gets tossed into it?) :grinning:


It’s a quote she uses a lot, so I’m using her phrasing. Her sister commissioned it and wanted that specific wording, so…


That’s perfect then! I can’t wait to see the finished version. :grinning:



Correct, image/text is on the bottom of the tray. I use a super sheen acrylic finish on the inside/bottom which protects the image transfers pretty well, but still not as durable as etching will be. With the etching I’ll dye the interior sidewalls a nice rustic brown and just antique the bottom to give it a little richness.

It’s nice when the customer gives you creative license (for the most part) to make unique pieces. That’s one of the things I love about leather. No two pieces will ever be exactly the same.


Great quote!

I’m lost even when I’m not wandering AND with a GPS… :roll_eyes:


Just to be on the safe side I asked the person who commissioned the piece to double check on the way her sister phrases it…she came back with the “those” version. =)

Thanks for making me think twice (which prompted me to get clarification). Not sure if I misunderstood the first time (not likely, I’m a good listener), or if she just made an assumption. Either way, it will be the correctly phrased quote on the final version (which is currently in the Forge being etched).



No problem! I was feeling bad for pointing it out when you’d done such a great job on the design…so I’m glad it worked out. :slight_smile: