Guitar Strap

I few weeks ago I felt like doing a leather project, and made this leather guitar strap. It's decorated with ladybugs, as our attic (where I do a lot of my projects) was being overrun with ladybugs at the time, and Carter and I thought we should commemorate the occasion. It fits pretty well, and is fairly comfortable. I still need to slick the edges before I would call it 'completely' done, but it's working well enough for now that I'm not sure if I'll bother.

Leather Wallet

I made myself yet one more leather wallet, and I think my skills have finally progressed to the point that I am satisfied with this one. I finally got the hang of stitching, and got the leather dyed consistently, my stamp (Cthulhu) came out clearly, etc., etc. I've been using it for a couple of months now, and it's been holding up well - in fact, it still looks just as nice as the day I finished it.

Leather Notebook Covers

To play around with leatherworking a bit more, I made myself a couple of leather covers for Moleskine notebooks. I haven't done the edge treatment on them yet, but they came out ok. I like the character and texture in the leather in the right-hand one, but fastening strap is a little wimpy and I'm afraid the snap might pull right out of it someday. The one on the left has a better closure, and the color is nice and even.

Other Leather Projects

Here are a couple of other leather projects I've completed recently. One is a case for my phone. That one was wet-formed from vegetable-tanned leather over a wooden stand-in I created of my phone. The inside is lined with black felt to keep my screen from getting scratched. The bottom pictures are of a minimalist wallet I made from some thin chrome-tanned leather. Even really thin store-bought wallets are too bulky for me - I like to carry as little as possible. This one is basically just two card sleeves that fold in the middle. The whole thing is less than a quarter the thickness of my old one. It remains to be seen how well it holds up to daily use. I've been using it for about a month now, and so far so good.

Leather Deck Box

The kids and I have been learning to play the Pokemon card game lately, and we made a bunch of these letter deck boxes to hold our Pokemon decks, dice, damage counters, etc. They're actually really easy to make - they're all one piece of leather, wet-formed and riveted together. I made two or three, and Carter made a couple too. We had a hard time getting the leather to stain evenly - but upon further research I think it comes out a lot better if the leather is slightly damp when you apply the stain. We'll have to try that next time.

Leather Patch

Here's one of a pair of leather patches I made. I had a custom brass stamp made from a pattern I designed - and it was surprisingly affordable. I had plans to make a whole bunch of these and give them to friends and family - I probably still will, in fact. But I've been slow to move on that idea. So far I've got one on my day-to-day backpack, and sent this one off to an old friend.

Leather Tooling – Wallet Attempts

As a small, simple leather tooling project I've been trying to make myself a simple card wallet out of some lightweight tooling leather. The first attempt was an octopus - but I wasn't quite satisfied with how it came out, and the tooling got too close to the edge of the leather and I wouldn't have been able to sew it. The second attempt was a koi - which I left enough margin for sewing. I even put in the interior pockets. I used too big a punch for the holes, and too small a thread for sewing it, plus I accidentally stained the spine with something in the shop without noticing - so I'm not totally pleased with that one either. The third one is a bunch of Hawaiian flowers, borrowed from the pattern I made up for my electric uke's pickguard. The tooling came out decent for my beginner status, but I have yet to put in pockets and sew it - so a lot can still go wrong. But hopefully the third time's the charm!

Leather Tooling – Uke Patch

I've been thinking about picking up a new 'indoor' hobby for the winter - something I haven't tried before. I decided to give leather tooling a try. As an experiment, today I tried to make a patch for my backpack. I still need to stain and seal it, but I think it came out half-decent. This winter I think I am going to try to make a few things when it is too cold to go out to the workshop - a belt, a wallet, and maybe a ukulele strap. The kids have shown some interest in giving it a try too.