Happy National Leathercraft Day August 15th!

National Leathercraft Day was created in 2018 by Tandy Leather as a way of celebrating the art and craft of working with leather.

Hand Sewing Leather
Hand Stitching a Leather Wallet with a traditional saddle stitch.

Leather has a long history going back to the stone age.  Leather was probably one of the first materials mankind learned to work and take advantage of, and it’s been a major part of all our lives ever since.  As time has moved along leather work has developed from being utilitarian to being an art form and form of expression.

Leathercraft is still a viable craft practiced by people all over the world.  For some of us it is even a business and profession.  But it’s also a hobby that is open to all ages and skill levels.  4H has classes for kids to start working with leather as do Boy and Girl Scouts.  There are also leather supply stores like Tandy or Standing Bear’s Trading Post that have regular in person classes for people to try their hand at various skills.  There are Leather Guilds across the US and the world dedicated to expanding the art form and that have regular classes or meetings with the purpose of educating people who are interested in the hobby.  And of course there are many online resources like videos and tutorials, including several here on my site.

So today in honor of National Leathercraft Day I invite you to try out leathercraft for the first time or work on improving some skill. Maybe you would like to make yourself a belt.  Maybe you want to make a sheath for a knife you have.  Maybe you have always wanted to learn carving or stamping leather..  Give it a try!  I have tutorials here on my site and Tandy Leather sells some of the best beginners books out there. There are tons of video resources by leather suppliers.  Springfield Leather is not only a good source of supplies but they are one of the largest producers of online teaching videos.  There are a lot of resources available to everyone these days and picking up the craft is easier now than ever.

For my own little contribution to National Leathercraft Day, I’ve got a free carving design for you.  This is a corner floral design you can feel free to use however you would like.  

Floral Carving Design free to use.
Floral Corner Design

I’ve included a PDF version of the design here.  You can download the JPEG image above or the PDF version by clicking the link below:

Corner Design

Use it however you like.  And if I get enough requests I might even do my own carving tutorial video for that design.  Enjoy the day and get to the bench and make something!

Summer and Custom Leather Work

Summer is a busy time if you live in Colorado.  With the wealth of outdoor activities it can be hard to find time to focus on custom leather work orders and designs.  

Summer snow in the Rocky Mountains
Some snow remains above tree line in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

With all the options near where I live there are lots of opportunities for outdoor things to do.  There are the mountains and hiking, lakes and rivers, mountain biking or sports.  It’s no wonder it’s hard to find time to work in the shop.  We’ve had a very wet summer too so our yards easily become jungles and it’s work just to keep the weeds out of the garden!

Despite all that there have been some fun projects completed the past couple of months and many more coming up.  There have been a couple of belts and some new purse and handbag designs to be experimented with.  Some of the projects have just been experiments but a few new items are coming to the shop.  For instance there will be a new small cross body bag soon.

There have been some fun custom projects too.  For instance for custom leather work there was this belt design.  It was requested by a customer to duplicate the design on a wallet I had made previously.  I like the way the design turned out and I think I’ll be making a version of this design available in my shop sometime soon.  

Northwest Style floral vine design on a custom leather belt.
Custom Leather Belt with Vine Design

There are some other interesting custom leather work projects coming up too.  It looks like I may be making an archery quiver in the near future.  This is something that I’ve wanted to try for a long time now and it looks like I’m going to get my chance.  There are a couple of new leather handbag designs I’ve been working with that will (hopefully) be finalized and I have a wedding guest book to complete.  And maybe a new belt design too.  Plus finishing up some wallets for my Etsy shop plus a new small notebook.  Yes there are lots of irons in the fire, or maybe that should be lots of leather on the workbench?

Also through my Instagram account, the tooling tips I’ve been posting have been popular and they have prompted several requests about leather finishing techniques.  I’m working on ways to do this and I’m guessing I may be making some videos soon talking about antiquing and other finish issues.  Stay tuned!

If you have a custom leather item you would like crafted for you, just send us a message and I’ll be happy to work you in.  Its never too early to be thinking about Christmas gifts.