The Skill of Beautiful Leather Craft | Ted Nemeth | Skillshare

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The Skill of Beautiful Leather Craft

teacher avatar Ted Nemeth, Re-Inventing You!

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Types of Products


    • 3.

      Types of Leather


    • 4.



    • 5.

      TECHNIQUES - Stamping


    • 6.

      TECHNIQUES - Carving


    • 7.

      TECHNIQUES - Stitching


    • 8.

      TECHNIQUES - Lacing


    • 9.

      TECHNIQUES - Fasteners


    • 10.

      TECHNIQUES - Dying


    • 11.

      Planning A Product


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About This Class

If you’re interested in learning the beautiful skill of creating with leather, I’ve put together this class on the basic skills you will need to learn the fundamentals!   I’ve been a professional leather craftsman for 12 years and I’m passionate about sharing everything I’ve learned.   My goal in designing this class was to make working with leather super approachable so ANYONE can make their first few products very easily.   I’m super excited to hear from you on your progress and see what questions you have.   Ready, Set, Create!

Meet Your Teacher

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Ted Nemeth

Re-Inventing You!


Hello creatives!!

I'm Ted, a 3rd generation photographer, videographer and taco whisperer.   

Before this career I worked on Wall Street for a few years (don’t hate me!).   Then I worked at two amazing technology startups.    Great people great times.       I learned so much.

Then I somehow became a world renowned leather craftsman!  I had celebrity clients and private projects around the world and featured in major design magazine and the New York Times etc.   But after 12 years of that thrill ride I turned my passion of using a camera into my new profession.   

Now I travel the world photographing & creating small documentaries for brands, artists & charities.

I abso... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. INTRODUCTION: Hello creatives, Welcome to the master class on working with leather. I couldn't be more excited. I've been a professional editor, craftsman for 12 years. I've had celebrity clients all around the world. Private projects had been an older design magazine features, and it has been such a thrill ride. And it all stems even the most advanced, beautiful leather where it all stems from very simple, basic techniques, procedures. We're gonna go over all of them. So we're gonna start with the types of projects that you can make. It starts with very simple little personal items like belts are wallets. For example. I've got the template attached to this class on how to make this wallet. It couldn't be easier. So it's one piece of leather, is this stitched on the edges here, and then you cut the slots for your credit cards and your driver's license. You put your money here. And then this little screw post fasteners that close. You can make this in an hour. I'm gonna show you exactly how to do that. We can carbon stamp or your own artwork in here will show you how to dye it super easy. Dog collars. I'll show you how to make that. Even your own pair of how slippers, how cool is this? It's too simple shapes. Now the templates are attached to this lecture as well. Now this is kinda my design. It's got kind of a modern healed to it. It's 22 shapes. You literally stitched them together. How look at that? You've got your own house slipper. And I'm gonna show you exactly how to make this cool little dog poop bag holder. It couldn't be. This is one piece of leather and you just stitch the edges. You can. I'll show you how to stamp your own artwork into their superfund zipper pouches laptop case here I'm gonna show you how to make all of this. Then in the following lecture, we're going to talk about the different types of leather. There's tooling leather, there's upholstery leather, and there's a few other kind of specialty leathers we're going to cover all that. Then. Kind of the fun stuff. We're going to show you all the techniques to working with law there, ranging from stitching to lacing, then the carving. So you can kind of carve your own artwork until the leather stamping then dying. So we're gonna talk about how to die the leather, you can even paint it as well. Then we're gonna give it a little kind of sealer coat. It's kind of a wax mixture of needs for oil and wax. Just rub it in and then it's waterproof so you can not be scared of getting it wet. We're going to go over all the tools you'll need. Now, don't worry, everything you need is under $30. I'm going to show you exactly what TBI, where to buy it and how to use it. And it's so rewarding, it's so meditative, getting lost in the process of creating endless possibilities of products and designs and styles. Let's get started. 2. Types of Products: All right, welcome to lecture number one. Let's get started. That was close. Now we can get started. So first, we're going to cover the types of projects that you can work with. Starting very simple and then getting a little bit more complex. That gives you kind of a roadmap to understand your growth if you want to progress with it. So knowing the types of projects that you want to start with really helps. Then we're going to look at the types of leather. There's tooling, whether there's upholstery leather, different types of leather. C can understand the, the kind of intent for those different types of leather. Then we're going to look at the techniques of working with leather. So stitching, lacing, hedging will look at the dying of the leather, the tools. I'm going to show you exactly what to buy and where to buy it and then how to use it at. So let's start first with, like I said, the types of products. So they usually want to start with very simple products. So for example, a belt or a dog collar, a very simple wallet. She wanted to start with simple products. Now, you've got a few options here. You can either decide to go with a kind of a range of personal items. So that would be a bell to wallets, that kind of thing. Or you could specialize in dog products. So got a dog collar. Here's a really simple dog poop bag holder. Then, you know, a leash. And you can then do like a very simple coat that has just like a closure on the bottom. Very simple design. So if you want, you can focus on just dog accessories or pet a series. Or you can specialize in home accessories. That's the direction I ended up going with, took a little bit of trial and error on some different types, but I ended up going with home accessories. So I know I started with some very simple tables, So I would buy premade tables and then I would just fasten a leather top to it with all of my artwork on it. So that led to end tables and coffee tables than I did chairs. So you can get a very simple chair and learn to just a pollster it in a very simple way. So I ended up going in that direction. Another option is to do like all computer accessories. So, you know, maybe you wanna do like a line of Apple products. So this is a laptop sleeve. You could do an iPhone case. You can do an Apple Watch bands, all very easy to make. You can make all of those products with the simple techniques I'm going to show you. So that gives you an idea of some different avenues that you can go. You can either do very simple product, personal line, or specialized in dogs specializing tech, specializing home furnishing. So that'll give you. An idea in the back of your mind of maybe a roadmap of different directions you can go with. So pretty cool. So what you start to make one or two products, you will start to see your own personal style, your own personal brands start to evolve. Maybe it's a type of tooling that will cover, maybe it's a specific type of dying technique that we're going to cover, but they'll definitely start to be drawn to certain elements. And you'll start to feel your brand come together. And that's super exciting. Once you start to have a few products under your belt and start to see different techniques that you're more drawn to. That's really fun. So let's move on to the next topic. So where do you start? Very simple. First, decide on a product you want to make. Let's just take, for example, a dog collar. Now. You're going to start with a pre-existing dog collar. That's a great idea for anything starting with a preexisting product. Very simple. And then you're going to basically use that as your template. So you want to get a piece of paper and then you can trace your product onto the piece of paper that gives you an idea of size. So you've got your measurement holes here, you know where you're going to fasten your buckled to. And now you've got a paper Template. And that's a really simple way to start. Now you've got a template. You know your size is correct. Now I great. Next step is to go on to Instagram or Pinterest is a great one and start to get some ideas. And so do you notice what you're drawn to in terms of the artwork and colors and shapes. Maybe there'll be a dog collar that has kind of an oval shape to it. And then you can take your paper template and to start to get your pencil and start to make some kind of little creative additions to it based on what you're seeing on the internet. You can start to create your folders or your pages in Pinterest and bookmark, some really interesting design directions that you like. So it's a great way to start very simple with an existing product. Branch out into a little bit of create your own creative input to it. And then we're going to show you how to do this kind of art work to finish the edges, how to dye it, will get into that in later lectures. But last thing I want to mention here is especially if you're going on Pinterest and Instagram, you're gonna see some mind-blowing leather work out there. It's so beautiful, so complex. Definitely don't be disheartened by that. Because it's, it's, it can seem overwhelming, but it's so simple. When you get to the end of this course, you'll understand how basic it is to make some really beautiful products. So don't get overwhelmed by going on Pinterest and Instagram. I'm just start, start with shapes and colors and start to take notes of those shapes and colors. And then based on this course, you'll understand fabrication. Those are the most important things, is to learn how to rivet, how to stamp and carve, and then how to stitch and lace. So this is stitching. It's what a sewing machine does, but I'm going to teach you how to do it by hand. It's very, very simple. And then this is lacing. So you punch these holes and then obviously you just run your lace through it. Two types of and ways to bring two pieces of leather together is either stitching or lacing. So we're going to go into these. But just know that the fundamental techniques is the same, whether you go very basic or very complex, the same principles apply to all of those. So that's really important to know because I don't want you to get discouraged. I think you're going to be encouraged by in this course. But then when you go on Pinterest and Instagram is just gonna be like, whoa, that's so much better than what I'm doing. But you are going to start to, once you make one or two pieces of you start to pick up a pace and start to make them quicker. You fear of failure, fear of kind of goes down because you start to understand how the, how the assembly works on design works. And you start to pick up a pace. And you get more excited and more creative once you start to get, like I said, your signature elements and you start to see a cohesive kind of product line emerge. Wow, yeah, that's when you really start to have fun with it and your creativity starts to really flourish. So those are the types of products o and other. One is a very simple cough. I've so many of these, and I've gifted so many of these simple leather cuffs. So it's a simple width and length. And then with a simple fastener, you just make a very basic leather cough. And these are really fun to make and to gift. And we'll get into how to make these as well. So yeah, start with very simple personal items. And then you can go into more complex ones like a bag or furniture. So now, let's get on to the next lecture. 3. Types of Leather: So in this lecture, we're gonna talk about the different types of leather and when you should use them, why they exist. There's different reasons you should use different types of leather. So let's take a look at them. Now, when I first started working with leather, I was really drawn to the stamping and carving and tooling of leather and giving you an example of that. So on this little dog poop bag holder, you can see here the stamping and tooling and carving. I was just really drawn to that as like an art form. You can see here as well. This is a little leather. Cough. I've got some artwork carved into the leather, so that's the direction I immediately knew I wanted to go in for my leather works. So this is a very specific type of leather for this tooling and carving, this stamping of leather. And it's cow. And it's a bit thicker than like a thin fabric leather like this is a kinda leather you'd have on a coat or upholstery leather. It's a lot thinner. And the reason is you need a little bit of thickness for this tooling or the carving. And it's also treated in a special way, so it's called vegetable tanned leather. Now this is the only type of leather that you can do this artwork on. No other type of leather. Can you tool and stamp and carved. So it's gotta be vegetable tanned leather. And in that Tandy leather website, I'll have a link to it so you can see you can order that special type of tooling leather. So it also comes in different thicknesses you can get you can get this is about an eighth of an inch thick. You can get up to like a quarter of an inch thick. So you can get that's kind of like for saddles and some very kind of utility special type function. Or you can get a little bit thinner, which is used in like belts. While it's that kind of thing where it's quite thick, it's going to last lifetimes. And you can also carbon stamp quite deep, so it really looks beautiful. And the other thing to remember, this is my favorite kinda leather is so versatile. So this vegetable tanned leather, when you buy it, it's basically considered raw or unfinished. So that means it doesn't have any dye or leather or not whether but like a wax finish to it. It's completely raw, ready for you to kind of put your artwork on it, manipulate it, carve it, stamp it, then you can die at any color you want. So when it comes, comes like this, this is the natural color. And this is basically raw, unfinished leather. This one's a little thinner, this one's a little thicker. Now. Because this is raw, it when you wet it, it's going to become even softer and more flexible. And that's when you can start to carve it toolkit and stamp it, which we're going to show you in a later lecture. We'll show you exactly how to do that. But it's this role other that is ready for your artwork, carving, stamping, even burning, which I'm going to show you how to do that is pretty neat too. And then you can tie it and then you apply your seal coat. All of that will show you later. Seal coat is a little bit of wax and some needs for oil, basically that repels water, so then it's finished. So That's the first type of leather. It's called vegetable tanned leather. Here's another example of it where I put, it started out like this. And I just applied a little bit of brown wax to it and a little bit of dye to it looks so beautiful. So this vegetable tanned leather is the one that I focus on. Use for belts, wallets, dog accessories. It's the most versatile. Now. I'm going to focus only on cow law. Now there's other types of leather exotic animals like reptiles and things like that. I'm not going to cover that or addressed that in in this course. Countless other, Not a single cow ever in history has been killed for its leather. That's not where the value is. It's killed for its meat. They're raised and slaughtered for the meat. And the leather is just a leftover byproduct and it's sold to the leather industry. So that's really kind of where the leather industry started as it was a leftover from the meat industry. And the American Indians used it as well. They believed in using every part of the animal, every organ, the skin, Everything was used that had had had a functioning utility that you had a respect for the animal. And it's the kind of honored its spirit by really taking full use of the entire parts of the animal. They all had its facility. And that's a kind of holistic view of nature. You know, everything has its purpose and they really believe and take advantage of that. So it's kind of a beautiful kind of symbiosis with nature. And that's was their belief on leather and mine as well. So and we're going to focus just on cow leather. And it can come, this is all coulda there and it's just treat it in very different styles. So they put these kind of artificial creases in it. So it looks different textures, different colors. So you can buy this kind of premade leather, even can come in very smooth, kind of stiff, some of it's very soft. This is calendar also. It's kind of a thinner upholstery leather, very strong though. So when you're shopping for leather, you'll see a wide range of different styles. So it's all just your preference and what you want to work with. And that is your choice. Now, I often like to mix different types of materials. For example, here's a piece of rubber that is quite thin, but it's kind of, you know, when you mix these different materials that can look beautiful together. So don't be afraid of mixing. Here's a dark piece of denim, which also can look beautiful with different colors to mix different mediums. I just love it. Now we're going to show you later on in a different lecture how to wax denim. And that makes it more applicable to combining with leather since the leather is treated and whether sealed, you want the weather to be protected as well. So I'm going to show you how to wax code the leather and then you can apply it and mix it with different materials. So very cool. So those are a few different types of leather. Another material to keep an eye out for is synthetic leather. It's basically made, can be made from a lot of different materials nowadays with technology, which is pretty cool. So you'll see synthetic leather made from plastic, made from fabric, made from a really interesting new One of the last several years is my cilium, which is a type of mushroom route. It's that very fine root structure of the mushrooms called mycelium. And they're growing this mushroom leather, it's called Mushroom whether head is so wild, it looks exactly like real leather. It has the same door ability as real leather. You can tie it, you can carve it and stamp it to a degree. And it's just like real other. It's a bit expensive at this point, there's no mass production of it yet. You can buy it in some areas, it's still kind of hard to find, but take a look for that. I'll put a resource for it attached to this lecture. Along with all of these other resources where you can find these but mushroom weather pretty cool. So that's another type of synthetic leather to keep an eye out for. So you can mix and match, you can do this whole product line is based on synthetic leather if you want. The same principles apply in terms of gluing, stitching, lacing, dying will all applied to synthetic leathers. One last thing to keep, definitely keep a mindful of is that I covered these types of leathers. Now. These are finished leathers. So these are sealed and you cannot die these leathers because they have a, like a wax and oil. So it's going to repel, it's gonna repel the die. It's basically going to beat up and it won't sink in and color it. So this is finished leather. You can't carve it. You can't diet. So this finished leather is what you're going to end up with. It's this vegetable tanned leather. You can buy the thin one also. This is what's going to take these different types of dies and you can paint them with even just a regular paint. It's going to accept that as well. And then you're going to treat it with your different types of oils and waxes, which we'll get into later. But that's a really important point. I see a lot of beginner leather fabricators buying this finished leather and trying to diet and you can't do that. So this is a finished product right here. That's why it's more expensive because it is a finished product. And this is vegetable tanned leather. So this is what we're going to focus on mainly because it is so versatile. Lovett, You can even mold it. And I'm going to show you that coming up in a later lecture two. So when you wet this vegetable tanned leather, it's like clay. It's so flexible, moldable when it dries, it's going to retain that shape it has when it was in the drying process. So you'll see like sculptures are masks that are made with this very hard, thick leather. When it's dry, it's going to keep that shape pretty cool. Yeah, it's sculpture. So that is the last point I want to make about the different types of leather is you've got denim, you've got rubber, waxed canvas. All those can be mixed together to form very different kind of variety of looks. So that is the last part of this different types of leather to look out for. And let's move on to the next lecture. 4. Tools: Right? Tools of the trade. There are really just a handful of very simple, very inexpensive tools that you need to get started with leather craft. Now, I think a good place to start is a website where you can buy all these. One website that's kind of the Walmart of leather craft supply, very quality tools, very inexpensive. They have locations in every state. I think they've got over a 100 stores across the country. And the website's really easy to use. So you can either find a Tandy store near you where you can order on the website. So that's a really great place to start is the website. So it's Tandy And you can call them up. They're all experts. Find the local store closest to you and call them and kind of build a relationship with them, get to know him. They are the nicest people and they want to share their knowledge, their experience. Even if you just have a question, you can call them up. But take a look at their website and they've got some great starter kits here you can see, so whether it's a kind of tools that you need to get started. And in general, they also have kids for specifically how to make a wallet kinda thing. And very valuable resource, great people. So that's a great start for you. Now. We're gonna go over the tools that you need, and they're going to start with very basic. So there's a few tools which you can get at your local hardware store. Maybe you already have them. You can get somewhat. The dollar store first is a simple box cutter. And I get I got this one up my dollar store, it's got re-usable cartridges. That's number one. Oh, by the way, I've got a list attached PDF to this course with all of these tools specifically that I recommend that in my 12 years, these are the ones that I use every day, every craft, every piece of craft that I'm making, I use these. So there's a list attached to this lecture. So very important is a box cutter. Second is a ruler. Definitely you want to a metal ruler. Because if you've got a plastic ruler and you've got your cutting knife, it's going to cut into that plastic ruler. So you want to have a metal ruler. And I recommend a right angle because very almost, you know, you're always going to need to cut right angles. And here's what I mean. So this is just one piece of leather and it's got a fold here. So in order to get this shape, you have to make fork for cuts. So you're just going to make, it just makes it so much easier to simply cut the piece of leather with this right angle. So. Yeah, very important to find this, get this. I would recommend getting this at a hardware store versus Tandy because imagine shipping this, the shipping cost is going to be kind of expensive, whereas you can just go to your local hardware store and buy this inexpensive right angle. So yep. We've got your knife, you've got a ruler. I use a pencil and I use this carpenters pencil because I don't know. I just think it's kinda cool when you need to sharpen it. You just sharpen it that way. It's a guy thing maybe. I just think it's cool. So and then the last thing which you'll need, which you can get it any hardware store is a hammer. And you're going to need this for two things, three things actually. So the first is for stamping. So you see these beautiful designs. It's very simply these little tools here which I'm going to show you in a moment. I have a little pattern on the end. So it's just a repeated pattern that stamped into the leather. So what you do is you wet the leather, mark your pattern and then you repeat the pattern and form these really cool designs. So just need a simple hammer for that. Procedure number one for a hammer. Number two, which you need to hammer for, which I'll show you later on. And specifically the technique is stitching. So remember I showed you this is stitching. It's the same thing as the sewing machine, but you can do it by hand and it's really easy. And you get these stitching proms there called. So it's different sizes. And what you do is you take this stitching prom and you take your leather piece. And you're gonna mark the edge and then you basically, these are sharp. And when you hammer them, they punch a hole in the leather and then that's your holes for the stitching. And then I'm going to show you in a later lecture how to do this running stitch. It's very easy. It's just with two needles. You're basically going in and out like this. That's what a sewing machine does. You're just gonna do it by hand. So that's the second reason you need a hammer is to punch the holes for that hand stitching. Pretty cool. And number three is to punch holes. So here's what a whole pumps looks like for leather. Same his paper, but very sturdy and it's got a very, very sharp hole, so you can get different sizes. So now, there's a couple of reasons why you'd want to punch a hole. One is this fastener. It's basically just a little post and it kind of presses over that post there. So that's why you'd want to punch that hole. So you basically you mark your hole and then punch a hole. And you're going to get a simple plastic cutting board. And that's what you're going to do these punches on so you don't want to obviously ruin your table so that covers the hammer. So very valuable is to have a hammer. So the next five tools are, This is very valuable. It allows you to mark holes at a specific distance. So in the case of this dog collar, each one of these holes was measured with one of these. So you're basically marking your holes every half inch, quarter inch, whatever this distances, very, you're going to use this constantly. Another great example is on this stitching here, you can see it's an even distance from the edge. So what you do is you simply mark a line. You run this along the edge here, and it gives you a guideline. So now you've got, you know exactly where to punch these holes is because you've you've created a guideline with this. So yeah, getting is this so many times great tool. The second is an edger. And it's basically this little v is sharpened. And what that does is here I'll give you, I'll show you exactly. It gives you a very nice finish, rounded edge. So instead of the, the edge comes once you cut it, you can see it's got a very sharp right angle to it. And that's not attractive. What looks better is a finished edge, which is edged with this. So basically you're very simply going over the edge on both sides and it basically cuts a little shred, makes it rounded. So then you've got a beautiful finished edge, which you can see is a little bit more rounded. It looks much nicer. So this edging tool, very simple to use. Just run it along the edge of your leather piece after you've cut it, and that makes it more rounded. So the next step is to use this edge slicker. It's called Hub. So now that you've gotten your sharp edges, you've used your edge or to make them around. You can still see though there's like a grain effect on the edge of the leather. And you want to get rid of that. You want it to have kinda one smooth color and one smooth consistent texture to it. So to get rid of that, it's very easy. You wet the edge of your leather. And then with this slicker, you simply rub it over that edge. And maybe a dozen times back and forth, back and forth. And what that's doing is it's smoothening out. Now that when this weather's letters wet, it's very malleable. It's kind of moldable. And what rubbing the slicker does. Is it makes it seem like it makes it kind of shiny and finished and it looks really nice and very professional. It's very easy to do. The snickers there either in plastic or in wood, doesn't matter. They both work the same and they come in different shapes. I use this one. And it's because leather comes in different thicknesses. And you're going to choose a groove based on the thickness of your leather. And it's basically rounding the edges on both sides at the same time. So you just find your groove and then you're going to run it over the edge and it makes it nice and slick. Now this is for if you want to get just one side. So this rounds both sides of your letter. This is for rounding or flattening just one side or the other. So what you're basically doing is running it along just one edge and it'll give it kind of a slant. There's some very specific applications for that, but it's definitely kind of more of a professional technique or need that it's for kinda 90 degree joins which has very advanced. So don't worry about that, but it's kinda nice to have. So this is what I recommend the end, I'll have that included in the link. Now, the last two tools are basically for piercing holes. This is just kind of very sharp points to it and it will open up a hole a little bit. So if you've punching your holes for stitching, that kind of thing, and you want to maybe make it a little bit wider. This is very useful for that. So it's got this nice would area that sits in your palm. And now you can pierce that whether and then the other one has a different shape to it. It's got kind of a spear shape, I guess. I use this for carving names or words or text or images into the leather. So you can see here, I've got some very crude images. There's a skull, there's a lightning bolts. You can carve words into it. And I do that with this tool right here. Also has that kind of palm brace right there. So as you're carving it gives it an, a good support. So really great tool. Okay, so the last type of tools that you need for Leather are used to decorate or stamp. And when you see these types of patterns, It's just a repeated pattern. So that's one stamp. These are different stamps. And you can see here, here's the one I used for this actually. So you can see here that tool was used to make that pattern and it's just repeated. And it's not hard to do at all. We're gonna go into later core in a later lecture exactly how to stamp it. But these are the tools when you buy that beginner kit from Tandy that I mentioned. It comes with the selection of the most useful kind of all around stamps. And so you won't have to worry about There's hundreds to choose from. So buying that starter kit is really recommend that it gives you the most basic ones. And then the last tool is called a swivel knife. Now, this is actually a little bit more advanced. And it's used to carve these lines into these beautiful curves. That's what the swivel knife does. It, it gives you that curve and then from there you can stamp it and decorated even further with these tools. So it's a little bit tricky to use the swivel knife. I'm going to show you how to do it, but that's what this kinda funny look and tool does. And this edge here is sharpen. It's not super sharp, but it's just enough to cut into the wet leather, but not sharp enough to go all the way through. So that's called a swivel. That sums up everything that you need to work with leather. So there's a few from the hardware store. There's a few for decorations and then there's a few for kind of stitching and then decorating. So that's everything you need. Again, look for that PDF attached to this lecture gives you a really nice outline of exactly what I recommend. So let's go on to the next lecture. 5. TECHNIQUES - Stamping: Okay, this is a big lecture. We're gonna talk about all the techniques to working with leather. Now let's go through them. We're going to start with tooling, which is my favorite. That's what really got me drawn into working with leather was the tooling technique. And this is what I mean by tooling. It's It's the stamped patterns in here. This is just a repeated pattern. But like here you can get really intricate with all kinds of designs and custom work. It's really beautiful. So we're going to look at exactly how to do that. It is not hard. Just takes a little bit of practice. So we're getting go into tooling that we're going to look at carving. Carving uses this swivel knife that's called, and it's got a semi sharp blade here. It's not sharp enough where it's cutting through the leather, but it's cutting about halfway into the leather. So the leather is fairly thick. And what you're doing is, and I'm going to show you this momentarily, but we're going to wet the leather. Then you're going to trace your artwork onto the leather and then you're going to carve it. So basically you just tracing over your lines with this swivel knife. And that way you can get, as you can see here, these really beautiful, amazing artwork that's hand cut into the leather. This takes a little bit of practice, but it is definitely not hard if he stick to initially some straight lines. Yeah, then then it looks a little bit, starts to look like some really quickly. So we're going to talk about carving leather. Then once you've got your artwork into the leather, then we're going to prep the edges. And what that means is when you cut leather, it's got this very sharp right angle to it. And to professionally finish an edge, you have to do two different things. First is you're going to round the edges. This V groove here is kinda sharp, so the edges on their sharp, and when you run it over the edge here, it's going to cut that corner rule. So you do it on both sides that will other here. And it's going to make it rounded. And then with the slicker will going to give it a really beautiful slick edge. I'm gonna show you exactly how to do that. Then we're going to show you how to stitch letter. It's basically the same thing as sewing machine does, but we're gonna do it by hand. Eighties, super easy. So show you how to do that. Another way to fasten is lacing. So you can see here is the difference between this is stitching. And then here is lacing. So lacing is very simply punching these holes every increment and then running this piece of leather lace through their repeatedly funds a really nice kind of edge to it. Scatter a lot of craftsmanship. We'll add a character to it. So I'm going to show you how to do that. A few patterns you can do, kinda cool. Then we're going to look at basically how to fasten the leather together. You've got a lot of options. You can rebut the leather together. I'm going to show you how to do that. You can use these posts. It's basically a little screw post. And what that does is here, for example, it's the screw post and you just push the leather hole over and it holds Totally Secured, kinda neat. I'm going to show you how to do that. Then we're going to show you how to fasten zipper. It's really easy. Basically. You glue leather on either side of it. Then you're gonna stitch that edge. Then you've got your zipper. Really simple. Show you how to do that. So those are all the techniques we're going to cover. Let's get started. So we're going to start with the stamping of the letter, which I'm the most drawn to that is really beautiful. That's what got me started into it. So we're going to use the vegetable tanned leather basically throughout all of this vegetable tanned leather. Again, it's the only letter that you can stamp, carve, and die because it's a raw leather. So that's important to know. So throughout I'm going to be using vegetable tanned leather. It's the most versatile, flexible, beautiful leather. So Let's get started. So what you're gonna do, the first step in tooling leather is too wet it so it's unfinished. So there's no oils or waxes on here. So when you add water to this leather, it immediately becomes very soft and malleable. And that's when aid will accept the tooling and carving. And the tooling is basically a bunch of different Moodle stamps have the shapes on the end. And when it's wet and you hammer it, it's going to take that deep impression because it's white and soft and then when it dries, it's permanent. That's that impression. That tooling is going to stay there because it's it's now dry. And then when you put a wax and oil coat over it, it's going to repel water in the future so it won't get soft and malleable again, it's basically permanent. So that's the key to working with this vegetable tanned leather is wetting it, so it's solved. Then you apply your artwork to it. When it dries. That's when you diet. And apply your seal coat. So I'm going to wet this leather now and show you how to stamp. I'm going to show you how to wet the leather. Here's a very small piece of tooling leather. You can see the color of it. It's a very light ten. Now you don't want to soak it. Basically just want to see changed color, a little darker. It's basically just a quick layer of wetness. You don't want to soak it. And now you gotta wait about five minutes. And this color's gonna lighten up just a little bit. So that's an important step is getting the right wetness. So you want to wet it. It's one complete color when it's being wet and then let it dry. If it's immediately wet, like soaking wet, it's too mushy and soft. So what happens is when you take your tool, each to, each tool has a little different pattern at the end of it. So what you're doing with tooling is hammering your pattern into the level. Now when the letters to too wet, it's too soft and too mushy. So what's going to happen is when you hammer it, it's pushing it down because it's too wet. It's going to spring back a little bit. It's going to be kind of mushy. And then when you stamp right next to it, it's going to kind of go like this. So you you've stamped one down, it's too wet. When he set the other one down, it's going to kind of go like this. That's when it's too wet. So if you let this dry for about five minutes, then it's semi dry, semi wet. It's gonna get a little bit lighter. And then what happens is when you hammer it down, it's going to take the impression and it's going to stay down. And then when you stamp right next to it, that new stamp, it's not going to affect the stamp. You just did. Sounds a little weird me explaining it, but once you actually do it, you'll be like, OK, I get it. When it's too wet, it goes like the leather is actually going like this. Uh, when you stamp it, it's kind of effecting, but when it's the right wetness, you're going to stamp here, it's going to stay with the next one. It's going to stamp here and stay. And it gets a nice even stamping. So that's the key to successful tooling. Now, what I'm gonna do here is to demonstrate I've got this dog collar that I made and this pattern. I'm going to show you exactly how we're going to do it on here step-by-step. It's basically two steps. So we're going to start by marking these lines. So you can see it's a repeated pattern. We're going to use this to mark this spacing and that's going to be our start. So what I'm gonna do is ok, so that's my distance. That's my distance for here. And now I'm going to use my ruler. And with my ruler, I'm basically making this center line here. I'm going to mark that center line. So, so then that this is in kind of waving like that. And that's important. So I'm going to use just right down the center. I'm going to give myself a very faint line. You can see you just very light pressure. It gives myself just not a very faint line to follow. And now I set this distance to where I want it to be for this. And now I'm simply we're going to follow my guideline and give myself a little marker distance. Okay? And now this one is a little bit further apart. So I'm going to I wanted to be a little bit more spread out, so that's a little bit wider. So here I'm basically making more lines. Great. So the next tool, here are the three tools I'm going to use. That's it. So this whole thing was made with these three tools. Now the first one I'm going to use basically makes this big circle in the center here. So I'm just going to go down this row here and mark that. And you'll see you're going to give a kind of a medium tap. And you can see they're giving that kind of neat impression. How I'm holding it. Everyone's different. Some people hold it like a pencil. That's just your choice. Whatever feels natural to you, however you pick it up and it feels natural. And then I use the other two fingers as a stabilizer. And that way you can kind of move very quickly and you're basically going down that center line. And now because of this as soft, it's taking a really deep impression, even though that was a pretty soft tap. It's about halfway through the thickness of leather because it's soft and it's going to stay down. Now the next tool is this kinda little sunburst, I call it. And that's going to be this one here. There is no right or wrong here, however you want to, whatever design you want to do is. Your choice. Now you can see that I've got one side done. Now I'm gonna do the other side. Done. How easy is that? I'm moving kinda quickly, so it looks like I'm I've heard one or two whiskey is, but let's call character. This next one is a little bit more tricky. So this tool here has a triangle. That's all it is, is a triangle with a little bit of texture on the end of it. Which once I do a close up, you'll see that texture. But what I'm gonna do here is this pattern. And it's basically a triangle at each point. And then you flip it around and go right in between. And I'll show you each step along the way. Step one and flip it over T2. And now in between there I'm going to flip this around and just go right in between. Done, that's it. How beautiful is that looking at? So this could be a belt, a dog collar, a portfolio for your laptop. I mean, you can do this pattern on anything. You can do a nice leather cuff for yourself. Whatever you wanna do. That is the principal, the basics of stamping. And there are hundreds of different patterns. I'll show you another common one that's used along the edges quite a bit. This is kind of neat. So what I'm gonna do is show you an edge. So I'm going to make this very skinny. That's about an eighth of an inch, and I'm just going to run it along the edge here. So that gives me a guard line. And now this shape, it kinda looks like a seashell, little bit kinda. Now. And basically not gonna put these two edges along here and just repeat. Cool, right? So that gives a really nice finished edge. Then you can even do your stitching along here if you want. And that looks really beautiful. So that's old tooling is, it's just a bunch of different patterns on the end of these tools. And gosh, you can get scrolls, all kinds of stuff. So it's just a repeated pattern. That is tooling 101. 6. TECHNIQUES - Carving: Now we're gonna go on to carving the leather. And carving the leather is basically, you're carving aligns into the leather current line, straight lines to form your artwork. It can be letters and words or it can be kind of abstract art. They can be lightening bolts, your logo, whatever you want to carve into the leather. And it's a three-step process. Let's show you how to do it. So we've got our little wet piece of leather here. And I'm going to do a very simple, let's do a lightning bolt. So one thing you're going to need if you want to carve leather is tracing paper, but it's gotta be a plastic tracing paper and can't be paper, paper. And you can get this at the Tandy website which I gave you. So, so we're gonna do is draw your artwork onto the tracing paper. And now you can reuse these. I've got hundreds of these little kind of artwork you can put words on here sayings. And now what we're gonna do is transfer this artwork onto the piece of leather, piece of wet leather. And the way you do that very simply is get a stylus. It can be a ballpoint pen, a pencil, anything with a point to it. So you're going to put your artwork onto the leather that's semi dry. Again, you don't want it too wet. And then you're gonna just lightly trace over your line. And now because the leather is wet, it's going to take that impression and leave you with, and we go a very faint line, which you can see. Now, that gives me a line I can trace over with my swivel knife. And it's the swivel knife. This is designed to carbon two leather. It's kinda funny looking, but this semi sharp blade is going to cut about halfway into this leather, not all the way through it, but now with this technique, you basically put your pointer finger and little cradle here. And then you're going to swivel the blade with your middle finger and your thumb. And basically just trace over these lines here, which I'll do now. Finished. So you can see it gives kind of a a more distinct line that you can see in the leather work. And that's going to be permanent ones that stride. And you can, from here, you can tune it a little bit further if you want, kind of trace a pattern around there, but that is carving until leather. It is very simple. You're going to enjoy our work onto the tracing paper, trace it onto the leather, and then carve it with your swivel knife. And that is carving leather. So now that our artwork has finished playing into the leather, whether it's carving of tooling. To next thing we wanna do before we assemble the piece is get these edges looking a little better. And what makes it look more professional, more finished is a two-step process. First, we're going to use this edging tool. And again, this V has little sharpness to it. And I'm going to show you how we're going to run it over each side. And it's gonna make it round to, let's do that now. It's quite simple. You're gonna put it on the edge of any hard surface. And then with this v, this takes a little bit of practice. But you're going to basically run it over that edge. And you can see how it's cutting that little bit of, yep, there's your sharp edge gone. And then you're gonna flip it over and do the same thing. And he basically, yeah, you're just cutting cutting that sharp edge off the leather. Now you've got a really nice rounded edge. And the next step is to whet this edge. You can see it's got a bit a roughness to it. And what makes it look professional and finished is when that's got a smooth, slick surface to it and it's super easy to do. What you do is wedded again so that it's malleable, it takes a shape. And with this slicker, it's called you basically just going to about a dozen times, run it over that surface and it's going to make it smooth and slick. So I'll show you that process. Okay. So I wet the edge of this leather and basically just put my finger under a running faucet and then you run it along the edge here and let it sit for about a minute. And now it's going to take an impression a little bit better. And what the slicker is. You can see it's got different thicknesses here. You're going to basically match that to the thickness of your leather and then run it over that surface maybe a dozen or two times. And what it's doing is getting it nice and slick and smooth. And it's going to really look professional. Once you assemble the fabricated piece. Yeah, you can see that. And what you can do now, even if it needs, it is put it on the edge of a surface and just run it along. There you go. Wow, that's nice. So that's got a really smooth finish. It won't come unraveled. It won't come kind of fuzzy again, you can see out went from fuzzy, too smooth. And the last step now is to take a piece of wax. This is just what they call otter lax and it finishes leather and it's going to really give it a slick surface. So maybe three or four times you're going to run it over that smooth edge. And now that's finished. Now that also whether seals water can't get into that edge and soften it up again, that is a smooth, slick finished edge. Now that we've got our artwork on the leather, we finished the edges. Now there's several techniques to actually assemble your piece. And we're gonna start with hands stitching. It's basically the same stitch that a sewing machine would do, but we're gonna do it by hand. It's just as easy. 7. TECHNIQUES - Stitching: Okay, so now we're going to stitch these two pieces together. We've got our finished edge here, we've got our artwork finished, and now we wanna stitching together. It's the same stitch as a sewing machine running stitch, but it's going to be done by hand and it's really easy. So we're gonna start. So a sewing machine punches the hole as it's threading it together at the same time. But doing it by hand, it's two steps. First you're gonna punch the holes. Then you're going to handle a case with a needle and thread. So it's a two-step process. So first we want to give ourselves a guideline of where we are going to punch those holes. So it basically gives you an equidistant from the edge. And you do that with the, so it's about, you want to go about an eighth of an inch off the edge. Actually, let's do this side. That's one line. And this is the same line. So basically we're going to stitch these two together. And now, so we've got our guideline. Now. This is just a plastic cutting board. And we're going to simply punch those holes with a hammer. So you just line up the, these are sharp points. You just put them right on that line. You wanna make sure that this is straight up and down. That's very important. And then hammered all the way through. And you get a line up this one. And keep going all the way through your, your edge. And now we'll do this one. Now we are going to show you how to relay some together. So are our holes are punched and we're going to need to needles. Because basically what we're doing is taking the needles, they're going to go in the opposite direction through the same hole, go to the next hole, both code through at the same time. It's basically going like this. That's what a sewing machine does for the stitch. Very strong, very easy, and that's what we're gonna do. So I've got this just a waxed thread. So let's cut our piece here. Then we're going to thread our needles. These are kind of oversized leather needles. They typically don't have a sharp point because your whole is already punched so you're not piercing leather, which makes it easier because you're already you're passing through a hole that's already punched. So you just stick it in and then you pull it through, stick it in part through its very simple repeated pattern. That gets really meditative. You kind of get lost in the process. You can put some music on and kind of really, you know, it's, it's a mindless, repetitive task so it doesn't need any mental bandwidth. There's no designing or anything like that. So what you're gonna do here is run your thread through the needle and then hold it and give it a twist. And that's going to kind of keep it locked into place. And it won't unthreaded Fourier to it with the other one. Gave her a nice twist. Now, the tool that you need right now, I don't have and it's at my other house in the city. And it's called a stitching horse. And it's basically a two pieces of wood that are like this. And they're going to basically hold this leather here for you. And that makes it really easy because then you can take your two needles and go like that. So you really need a stitching horse right now and I just don't have one. So what I'm gonna do is basically to it one at a time. And I'm going to start by gluing these two halves together. And that's going to basically hold them in place. And that way I can run my needles through. So I'm going to show you very quickly how to use Contacts. Yeah, this is the universal used adhesive and leather work is just plain old contacts cement. So you can get this at any hardware store, Michaels who craft store. And it's got a really simple little brush on the end. And you don't need a lot. You're basically, oops. Basically going to just run, get it a little bit where you'll see a kinda disk colors the letter a little bit. And that's how you know. So you know, and you're gonna do it to both sides. And the trick is not to get it on the edge. Because once that once the glue is on the leather, it permanently stains that you can't get that out. That's why you wanna keep it on the backside and not have a trip onto the edge. So it's important to have just enough glue on that brush that you need. You don't need much. So common instructions with contacts men are, apply it to both sides. Let it dry for about 234 minutes, depends on the temperature, the humidity in your room. And then when it's kind of semi dry, then you can press them together and let that dry. That's going to be a strong bonds. So let's let this set for a minute. So at the dollar store, you can get these little clips, that kinda stationary binder clips. You can get them anywhere. Very helpful. In holding the leather in place when you glued it. So it's semi tacky the glue. Once you put them together, that's going to hold it in place pretty good. But these clamps just give that extra bond while it's gluing, so it doesn't separate and then that really compromises the bond. So these clips are really common in leather works. So pick a bunch up, applying to your leather work. Let it do its thing. Okay. So it's been a bit of a while. So this leather is definitely bonded now the glue is dry. So what you can do at this point is you can either stamp these holes again. Sometimes it helps to just open them up a little bit. You know, run, run this pointer all the way through. And that's going to really help the needles just go right through its super easy. So you can just open up the holes a little bit more. It's going to help the process. Ok, let's show you have to stitch. Again, I should have a stitching horse, pony, donkey to hold this in place while you run your needle. So you're gonna do is run the needle through the first hole until they're even. So now you've got an equal distance on both needles on both sides. And now you get to run your needle on one side through and pull it. Pull it so it's tight there. Then with this needle, you're going to run it through that same hole and pull that tight now. So now once you pull that tight, you can see you've got your first stitch. So you've got a full stitch on both sides. Now you want to keep that same pattern. So if you're starting the stitch on one side, you always want to start the new stitch on the same side. Poet a little tight just so there's no slack. And then you're going to finish that stitch by going back through that same hole. And then pull it so there's no slack. Now, you can pull it with equal weight or tension on both sides. And you're basically setting that stitch. And you can see that there he got a nice, Our second stitch is finished. Now and start the third stitch from the same side. Pull it through. Now, if I had the stitching horse holding this, I could do put both needles through at the same time and pull it tight and it moves it along much quicker. And you've got that station so you pull it tight. There you go. That's a third stitch. And you can see how, I mean, that's a professional stitch is so easy. The only key is to always start, keep the same pattern. Now let's show you how we're going to, we got to the cheer source, stitching is done. Now, how do you finish it? You're not going to tie a knot because that's simply unattractive and that's not how the professionals do it. It's even easier. So all you're gonna do when you get to the end, now you're going to go back in the same direction, two stitches. And it gets a little bit tougher because that those holes already have threatened them. So it's a little bit tougher. You can get a pair of pliers. I should have pliers. And we're basically now just going back in the other direction for two stitches and then we're going to cut it. So I've got a pair of pliers here that helps pull that needle through, pull it tight. And then you do one more step, which we're gonna start from the same side every time. And this is the final stitch. Yeah, maybe holotype that my friends. So those that those two double stitches there are basically locking it in place. Now, the scissor or a knife, you're going to cut those threads. As a finished professional, stitch. 8. TECHNIQUES - Lacing: Now we're gonna move on to lacing. So we just did stitching. Now we're gonna move on to lacing. Lacing is just as easy. So you can see here you were just going to punch holes every certain amount. And then with this lace, you're just going to hand, hand way sit through and there's different patterns you can do. But let's show you how we do this. We're going to start by, we're going to fasten these two pieces of leather together. So the first step is to give ourself a guard line, just like we did with the stitching. But you're gonna give yourself some more room. You can see here how the stitching is. That's about an eighth of an inch off the edge. But these holes, because it's a larger lacing, we've gotta come back about a quarter inch of the edge. So I'm going to give myself, there we go, see that distance there. So we're going to come off the edge. That distance. These are the two edges we're going to sum. So it's just a very light guideline. It doesn't have to be wet. It's just a very faint guideline. Okay. Now, we want to determine how far apart we want these holes. And that's just an artistic choice. I would say that distance between these holes is guided by the width of your laced, which comes in different widths. So this is the one I'm going to use here. This is actually quite wide, that's about a quarter inch. You can see this black lace here is thinner and that's about half the width. So I'm actually going to use the same distance as this. So there it is, right there, it's about that distance. So the holes are going to be that distance apart. So I'm going to run down like guideline here and just marking those holes. And that's where they're going to line up. You've got. Now, now we're gonna punch those holes. You can easily either uses single punch with a hammer or they may, just like a, like a hole punch for a paper. You can use. Those are easy as well. I don't have one with me, so I'm going to use this. And basically we're gonna punch some holes. This is an old piece of leather. It's you don't want to punch on a hard surface because your hole punch has a sharp edge to it. That's what pierces the letter. So you want to punch basically like a cutting board, plastic cutting board or something like that. That's what you want to use. So let's get started. So we've got our holes punched and they're going to line up like this. So the holes line up perfectly. And now we can clap them together. That's just holds them in place easily for us to use a needle. And it's called a flat needle. And it's pretty cool how it works. So it's very, it's basically two very thin pieces of metal that are sandwiched like this and they haven't opening. This is the front end of it. This is the back-end. So these two pieces of metal here, basically, I have a little clip or a claw there. And how it works is you put your leather between those two pieces of metal and then that claw keeps it in place. And then when you squeeze it, those claws keep it in place. So now you can very easily stick that needle through their hopes. So now that's going to grab that needle. He could see that man not so easy. So, and this again is just a repeated pattern. And we're just going to loop it through. And it's just a repeated pattern. That's going to give a nice finished edge to that. So we're just going to go all the way down to your edge. You can see how that's kind of nice finish to it. Now you can make a creative decision whether you want to stop there or if you go back in the other direction. It's going to give kind of a more layered look. Pull it tight. And now you don't want this lace to twist. So the trick is to pull it flat. Then you grab your needle, and then you're going through again. So that way it's not twisting on yeah. And you can move pretty quick. And again, it's one of those kind of mindless, repetitive tasks where yeah, he's just get lost in the process. You can put some music on and let your mind wander. And yeah, it's very meditative, so they're cool. You see that? Totally secure, beautiful, functional, easy. And yeah, that, that's called lacing. The other was called stitching. Those are ways to fasten the edges. Now we're gonna move on to a few different ones. We've got rebuts, we've got snaps, and we've got a zipper. Let's show you how to do all of those. 9. TECHNIQUES - Fasteners: So now we're moving on to three more forms of fastening leathers together. This one is called riveting and vaults seen rivets and they're super easy to fasten. So what we're gonna do is we've got our two pieces of leather here that we're going to fasten together and we've punched are holes. So they line up perfectly. So these are the two pieces that are going to be fastened together. So rivets have two pieces to them. Get the post and get your cap. And what you do is first put the posts through both halves of your material. And then you put the cap on. And the cap has this little thing where it kind of stays in place but it's loose and which makes it really easy. They've done that by design so you can kind of manipulate it a little bit and it will stay in place. Now. So what you're doing with the rebut is going to hammer it so that it's basically squishing that post. So you can see that there's a little bit of space there between the two ends. What we're gonna do is hammer it so that that post gets squished down and basically it's clapping down onto the two pieces of leather. So here's what you need to rebut. And this holds true for Canvas, for denim rebuts Are, are universal. So we've got 1.5 we're gonna put on this is called an Advil. And then the other half we've got our post. And then we've got our hammer. And you're going to use a kind of a medium pressure. And the other one, I'll hit the other one again. You can see this one's a little bit loose, so just going to hit it a second time. So you don't want to do multiple little taps. You wanna give it kind of one firm swift hit. Got it. So you can see there, there nice and tight. And it's basically squished that post down, up into the so that the two pieces of from that is how easy rebuts Are. And boy, they do not come apart. You will not see a rivet fall apart if it's done right. So that's all there is. I've got Tandy leather. The website I keep mentioning has all different types of is a few different types of rebuts. It's basically the looks. Then there's different length posts. So if you've got some really thick leather you on a little bit longer posts. So. You'll see on their website you can order all different styles, colors, and lengths of posts. So that is a rivet. So on the wallet, I showed you that little post basically where the hole in the letter fits over the post and it opens and closes. This is that post. And I will show you that on the website as well. And it's basically just the screw back. So you punch your hole and then you screw this onto your leather. And that's a fastener, very, very easy to use. And actually, so snaps are the exact same thing as rivets, but there's two halves. So this would be and they fastened The same way. So this would be 1.5 of the snap and then you'd have another half of his snap and they snap together. So basically this side is the same on a snap. And then this side has what you typically see on a snap. So snaps are the exact same. And then lastly, we've got slippers. It's, it preserved very easy. And there's two steps with fascinating zippers. So if these are the two pieces of leather, boy, we're going to first do is contact cement. We're going to glue. You gotta put glue on the zipper. And then you're gonna put glue on just at the edge of your leather here. And then you're going to fascinate down the same distance on both sides here. And then you're going to let it sit. You can actually put like a heavy book over this while it's drying and give it half a day overnight if you can, to dry. Actually overnight, it's probably better and I'll tell you high. So we're going to glue this and place. And then we'll going to punch are holes which I showed you how to do earlier. And you're gonna punch your stitching holds here and then you go into a hand stitch it. If you've got a leather sewing machine, you just run your leather sewing machine over that. And the reason I say you may want to give it overnight to dry is because when you're manipulating this, you're punching the holes in junior stitching, you going be moving this around a lot. So if the glue isn't fully cured, it could then tend to pull up. So you want a really strong bond between the zipper and the leather when your hand stitching it because you will be moving it around a lot. So yeah, but the context of it's amazing. So that is how you fasten. Those are the basic fasteners that are used in leather craft. They couldn't be easier. I've got a PDF attached to this lecture that goes over everything that we've talked about. And of course, you can reference the videos. All the products that I mentioned in this lecture will be included in that PDF. And that way you can find them on the Tandy letter website really easily, right? So in the next lecture, we're going to cover dying a leather. So we'll learn how to diet and then seal. Seal it means sealing it from the water. You're making a waterproof. So let's take a look at that. 10. TECHNIQUES - Dying: Okay, so we're on to our final lecture of techniques in leather craft. And we're gonna talk about dying the leather. So dying the leather is really very easy. You just wiping it on and letting it dry. But there's a few little tricks and things to keep in mind here. Now. You can buy specific leather die from Tandy that I mentioned. It's fairly expensive, but you can get water-based dye or oil-based die. Now the oil-based professional di doubled the price, maybe a little more. And that's only really necessary if those products are going to be used out towards really heavy use. Son, you know, the, whether the elements, that kinda thing. Otherwise, the water-based type is going to do just fine for you. You can even use the, you know, the very famous kind of writ, fabric die that you buy in a hardware store. Even though I got this at the dollar store. And they were just as fine. They really looked nice too, especially if you want kinda these kind of faded pastel looking colors. The fabric die. It's very cheap. It gives a really great effect. And then, you know, if you want those really strong bold colors, then you can get the leather dye specific for that. So Let's show you how to die. We're basically just going to rub it in with a cloth and then you let it dry. And then we're going to rub in our weather sealer. So it's basically just a mixture of waxes and oils that will make it waterproof so it beads up the water and that way it doesn't sink in and get soft and that kinda thing. So let's show you how that's done. So when you're cutting your leather pieces, you're going to end up with all of these kind of funny colored, funny shaped, odd shaped leather scraps and don't throw them out. These are great to practice dying because there is no right or wrong with dying. It's really just the way you want it to look. So, you know, there's a lot of trial and error. I actually there was a point where I got into the the drops like this flattering. And that was a really cool look. So yeah, it's all just trial and error. So let's show you how kinda just do some testing now. So I'm going to get, this is a water-based leather dy. This is called Bordeaux, so think of it. A reddish, dark, reddish mahogany color kind of. And basically you're going to wet any fabric will do a wet it a little bit. And then there's a couple of different ways you can apply the leather, the die to the die to your fabric. You can squirt it on. You could get a small piece of Tupperware and dip your fabric into there. There's, you can even put it in a spray bottle and put your leather on top of like newspaper and spray it. There are no rules. It really is whatever you want it to look like. So. You can see that just a quick, easy little application there. And we've got like a deep rich leather coat. That's beautiful. Now that's going to lighten a little bit as it gets dry. So it's a little bit richer and darker right now than then when it dries. The more you dilute this, the the the water-based leather dyed, the lighter it'll get. So what a lot of people do is they'll go to the dollar store and they'll get a whole bunch of those little Tupperware containers. And then they'll put their color. You can put different amounts of leather di into each container and then the rest with water. So you've got kind of like, you know, different degrees of shades of color and then you've always got them save, you put the lid back on. And that way you can have different shades of color. And just even on the top of each container with a piece of tape you can write down maybe it was a quarter cup of dye and a half a cup of water, like so. So that's how you got, that's how you can replicate that exact shade of color with your leather die if you find one that you really like. And so this, I went straight out of the bottle. So it's going to be the most kind of dark or intense. But you can certainly change the ratios with water and really get, you know, very kind of Light, beautiful shades. Whatever you're looking for. A guy who was kind of a teal. This I got with a water-based dye. So this was a water-based dye that I I I think it's about half water and half dye. And you can see it's got kind of a really cool pastel faded look. So here's a really interesting orange color avenues that in a while. So yeah, it's just rubbing it in, letting it dry a little bit until you find the intensity of the color that you want. Like that a lot. Got kind of a California cool beach vibe to it. Hot. So now that this is dry, you can apply the seal coat. So it's just a combination of waxes and oils. There's a lot of different ones out there in the PDF attached to this course, this lecture. I'm going to have the ones that I choose, their very basic, They make it waterproof. They don't smell bad. They're non toxic, so very easy to apply as well. So we're going to seal coat this hint. A little business card holder that I made for myself. Super cool. Got some hand tooling their surname of my media company, limited edition. I like that. So this has been died and now we're going to apply a little bit of seal coat. It really is just wiping on a layer evenly and then letting it dry. Letting it, you can see it darkens it a little bit initially. And that will lighten back up. But it's basically wedding the leather, which is what darkens it don't it will darken. It will stay a little bit darker, but not much, certainly not like this. So we'll lighten backup. But it's basically applying, you want to get the edges as well. You basically applying those oils and waxes over the entire surface so that no water can get in there. And soften it back up. There we go. That's it. Nice even coat and let it dry. Then you party. So that's all there is to dying leather is it really is what you want it to look like. And, you know, the best. Results have been happy accidents. I spilled some or a tread, some kind of weird splatter method. I've tried shoe polish, fabric di, bleach, coffee. I've died leather with coffee. Like there were no rules. Whatever looks good, looks what you like. So that's also one of the beauties of this vegetable tanned leather is that it's raw, it's unfinished. So anything you put on this surface here, it's going to soak in and be permanent and then you seal it. So you put your wax oil coat over that. And she's a finished product now. So yeah, don't be scared to practice and test and find happy accidents. Gosh, this is like I think this is motor oil. Yeah. So oh, one more thing to try. So this leather comes typically very smooth. You want to test this out and see if you like it or not, but you can crease it. So once you've bend it, you're gonna see put these creases into it. And when you apply the dy over those creases, it's basically hitting the high spots and less on the low spots. And it kinda gives it more of an aged look. Just something to experiment with is adding. If it's more of an aged kind of antique him look so you want to flex the fibers of the leather and give some more texture to the surface of that leather. Yeah, so then when you die it it increases. That kinda vintage looks so something to practice. And yeah, so don't spend the money on those expensive, oil-based flutters. You don't need those. Start with the least expensive, just go to your hardware store and buy the cheap rit dye. Or if you're getting an order from Tandy leather, you can get there leather die, but this will do just fine. And yeah, how familiar that experiment. Lots of scraps, scrap leather and yet keep keep all of your practices. You know, don't throw them out because it's so nice to reference them, you know, a month from now, a year from now, go back and say, oh, you know, I haven't played around with this direction more so you can kind of experiment more in this direction. So it's good to have like all these different references that you can kind of catalog. And yeah, yeah, it's really fun. I love experimenting with that, so cool. So that is dying and sealing leather. And in the next lecture, we are going to talk about launching your own business line. And a couple of steps. I've done it twice. One, which kind of a very large furniture line. I worked with a lot of architects, interior designers to create really custom bespoke, crazy couture furniture pieces for private clients and celebrities around the world. So that was a lot. I had a factory in Brooklyn, I had employees. But after 12 years, I just didn't want to live in Brooklyn anymore. And then the other company I started was a small dog accessories company. And that's when I was living in Indonesia as living on the island of Bali. So those are both doing really well. So I know how to how to merchandise plan. I'll go over all those details with you and it's fun actually, I love doing that. And then you get the marketing side of it. The photography. It's a lot, but I love it so I can't wait to share it with you. I'll see you in the next lecture. 11. Planning A Product: So here's some of the templates that are attached to this course. The first is really simple wallet. It's two pieces of leather and then you stitch them together. That's all you have to do. So this is one panel and this is the, this is the divider between where the credit cards go and the money goes. And these are the holes you're gonna punch. And then these are the slots you couldn't cut for the credit cards. So you cut out the shape. You punch these ten holes, cut those slots, that's it. And then you stitch it together there in there. It could not be easier. You're going to stitch these edges and then the closure or these two posts which just screw on. And then OK, so full wallet. How cool is that? So, and then you can do, you know, all leave your artwork different colors, whatever you wanna do to personalize it. And this is a house slipper. Ha-ha. So it's two pieces of leather. And then when you stitch them together, boom, you've got a simple Cool House slipper, any color and he designs you want. Now, this is attached to the, to the course. When you print it out, you simply enlarge it to or printed to the size that you want. So I'm a size 13. You know, if you're half the size, then when you go to your printer, you just print it out until this is the size of your foot. And then you're going to cut that out and then trace that onto your leather. And then it shows you exactly where to start stitching. So basically you're going to start stitching there and just follow it all the way around puncture holes. That's it. Super cool. I love this. So these are how you do that. And then you always want to keep your templates. Always keep your templates. That's super important. This is actually kind of poster board. It's a little bit thicker, so it's a little bit more durable. You know, it can last few years, whereas regular paper is going to, you know, start to fall apart and things like that. So you get this poster board at the dollar store or in a craft store. So in this lecture, we're going to talk about what I call planning a product. So you're brand new to it. You wanna make something. How do you plan that product step-by-step? And then we're going to talk about how to launch an actual entire product line or an entire company. And it really is not hard, it's step-by-step. But first let's talk about planning a product so you wanna make something. There's so many different options. A simple one is like a cuff. This one I wear every day. It's got some simple artwork on it. I died it like a deep red and it's got this scroll on post. And then. The whole fits over the post. So here's a little bit thicker one with some artwork on it. Here's an eyeglass case that I made for someone. It's one piece of leather. You fold it in half and you stitch the edge. I mean, it's super-easy. Great gift. Credit card. Credit cards or business cards. Okay, oops. Belts, wallets, dog collars, whatever you want to make. Start with your plan. So it helps to have a preexisting product, for example, like a dog collar. So if you've got a preexisting dog collar, that really helps with the size because you'll want to use it right away and put it on your dog. So you want to know this length right here, these adjustment holes to this end, so you can trace that. So it's a good way to start or something really simple like this eyeglass case. So thin you can make yourself your paper template. That paper template. It's so important because, you know, after you make the first one of anything, it's going to need some revisions. It's gonna need a little more here or the shape a little different over here. And to have that paper template right there again, it's going to save you so much time. So really, really be diligent with your paper templates. Suppose you make, suppose you make five dog collars and you want to donate them to your local animal shelter. There will be people that come back and say, hey, can you make me a few and put your paper templates? You can trace some, cut it out, do your artwork, ribbon on the buckle and you're done. So you don't have to plan, you don't have to do any of that. You've got your templates. It's so crucial. And then you can start to experiment to, you know, with, instead of this being straight. After you make a few, you might try putting some, some nice kind of curves to it or something like that. And that's where you can get out your template. And you've got these measurements to start from because then you'll know it fits. And then, you know, in the area where the artwork goes, you can start to experiments. So yes, be very diligent and organized with your templates. Cotton. You're going to notice as soon as you start making things in leather, oh, you're going to be popular. People are gonna say, Hey, CAG at one of those cuffs, or someone's birthday's coming up, you're going to be making a lot of products, I guarantee. So to just pull out a template so you can make when Fourier, you can make some mint and our, So yeah, those templates are important. Also. In an earlier lecture I mentioned tracing film, which is where your artwork goes on. You'll want to be very diligent in saving values. Little tracing film. Here's a little dragon. I sketched it out on paper first. And then I put this plastic tracing film. I traced it the artwork onto here. And now I've used this several times. You can see here as a guitar strap, I've used it on a motorcycle seats. Here's a few other ones. Here's a skull. Lightening bolts. This has limited edition. I've put this on a whole bunch of things. So I've got a folder where I keep all of my artwork and you can Yeah. So it's really important, you know, if someone points to that and says, I want that, pull out your artwork can really make things much quicker. So yeah, be organized with your templates, with your work and also with your dies. You'll, you'll be very, it'll save you a lot of time in frustration. When you go to the dollar store and you get a whole bunch of those Tupperware containers or screw tops, anything like that. And you start to keep your shades of leather Di And then Mark how you got them. Ones like a quarter di, one's a half die once three-quarter die and the rest water. You start to be able to replicate things that is super important if you want to start your own business, right? So someone likes that shade of Teal and they want this again. Well, you have to know that this was two-thirds water and 1 third die. And you're only going to know that if it's written on your container and then you can replicate it. So not all leather die is used right out of the bottle. You know, very often it's diluted. So you can get beautiful, different kinda pastel shades and faded shade. So yeah, make sure you organized with your leather die. And lastly, keep a journal. I keep my journal digitally on my computer. But you can also handwrite it out if that's your style. But really every time you work with leather, I want you to make an entry into your your journal. Call it a log if you don't like the word journal. I don't call it a journal. Actually. I keep it a log of my leather progress. So it's things that worked, things that didn't work. If I'm right in the middle of making something and I get an idea, I always go right in there and I write it down, different thoughts, inspirations, ideas. That's really important to keep. Because we're busy, we're really busy with other things and family and stuff. So you will definitely forget things that you want to try. Or you'd be like, oh, what what dilution was that leather die or what did I forget to order. And having a very organized log of all of your thoughts and ideas and processes and inspiration. So if you want to grow it, yeah, really keep a log sizes. You know, if you're growing a business, you're going to need to record all of the things that you've done and sold and how much things cost and reordering is a lot there, so yeah, definitely be organized. So those are a few thoughts. As you're brand new to leather work and you want to start to start to make things. Yeah, those are the general tips, you know, start with an existing product. Make templates, keep your artworks, he can replicate it. Keep a diary or a log of all of your thoughts and ideas and creations. And it'll really pay off over time. You'll get much less frustrated with, with this because if it is a hobby, it won't. Of course it's a hobby for you, but yeah, if you want to grow quickly and make more things faster and easier, being organized as a great tip. So now, in the next lecture, let's talk about everything that you're going to need to do step-by-step to actually launch a business and be profitable. Let's do it.