Zelda Binder


This is an older project that I finished recently and I am pretty happy with how it has turned out so far.

Awhile ago I purchased a journal cover from etsy and after sticker shock I decided that this was something I should be able to do. I am not exactly a seasoned leather worker but I fancy myself a jack of all trades so I took a shot.

The project that inspired it was as I mentioned a journal cover but I made mine a cover for a 3 ring binder instead as I felt that this would have more utility in my day to day life.

Here is the finished product:


I will say that this project taught me to check my ventilation carefully before every cut because the smell that came off of the laser cut leather was just… just terrible.


I’ve not yet lasered leather, but I have burned skin. (I imagine it would be pretty rough.)


It is sooooo much worse. Much more of a sulphur smell, must be something about the chemicals used to process it. But I have actually been more happy with the leather stuff I have cut than pretty much any other medium. Seems to take the cuts cleaner and easier than anything else.


That is beautiful. I especially like the old look. I don’t know anything about working with leather, but want to learn when our GlowForges arrive. :relaxed:


My advice is get a simple project kit, like a wallet or something, as the kits will often give you some of the basic tools and you can learn some of the basic skills on cheap leather before you laser cut anything so you can make all the newbie mistakes on cheap leather. You can also buy leather scrap off of amazon to practice things like stitching and such cheaply. I am still a newbie by any stretch when you look at my work but the kits I have done taught me a ton, which is good because good leather is expensive.


I like your suggestion of a kit to start with. Can you recommend any kit that you especially liked doing? :yum:

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Cool! It’s giving me ideas about my various 3-ring binders. From your description, I wonder if the leather was other than veg-tanned which I understand lasers quite well. Some of our leather experts can chime in here, but my understanding is that veg-tanned works better, or maybe more reliably. Never heard that it had an awful smell, either.

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It looks like veg tan, FWIW.

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I cant say if what was my favorite would be yours. I tend to find things that I will actually use when they are done preferable to otherwise. I can recommend tandy.

They have a wide collection of kits so I would recommend you pop into there and find something that you think you might use or appeals to you. Personally I never learned how to do the stamping and artistic side of leather work (since I just use my laser cutter) but the wallet kit I made taught me a lot about stitching up and joining leather.

Again I am not an expert by any means but I have jury rigged a number of things using skills I have learned in other crafts, which might not be wholly kocher to real leather workers but use you imagination and don’t find yourself getting stuck just because you think whatever you want to do isn’t done in leather working.


Awesome! I’m guessing the bad smell was probably from chrome tanned? I think several members have mentioned that veg tanned doesn’t smell bad at all?

@morganstanfield is the resident leather expert…and she is awesome…


My sister-in-law is a huge Zelda fan and I’m looking forward to making so many themed items for her. This is some great inspiration!

I’ve never lasered leather, but I’ve heard that both smell vile–after all, it’s burning flesh. I’d imagine chrome-tanned is worse, though, because of the chemicals.


You’d think it’d smell like steak.

It does not smell like steak.


Check out my other link to my SVG library and there is a bunch of Zelda images, including the ones I used here. I am also working on another binder that is more ornate and uses more cutting but I have run out of leather and funds at the moment. But I will post more pics when it is done!


No… not like steak at all! Also a little bit of pride that I got Dan to respond to one of my posts! Its like meeting a celebrity!


Bookmarked that library as soon as you posted it. :slight_smile: Super appreciate the resource and looking forward to your next binder!


But Vegetable Tanned cuts like a dream, right?

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That’s surely the word on the street.


Well… not like steak cooked by a skilled grill user… :blush: