I began leatherworking in July of 2020. It was an interest of mine for several years leading up to actually pulling the trigger on it and definitely a decision that I am thankful for. I had become friends with a local leatherworker on Instagram and started picking his brain a bit. Eventually I took the leap and purchased this leatherworking kit from Amazon:
These definitely aren’t high end tools, but you get almost everything you need to start for $50. Next I placed an order for leather. I went with a mystery leather from OA Leather Supply . It was actually a decent quality leather. I even still have a small piece of it left that I’m saving for just the right project. I had all the tools and supplies I needed to get started; I just had to look up a template. I settled on a vertical bifold design from Corter Leather. What resulted was pretty much the same wallet that every first-time leatherworker produces: an awkward pile of unevenly cut leather with crooked stitching lines and inconsistent saddle stitching. With that said, I’ll never get rid of it. Here are a few pictures, taken moments after finishing it:
Since then I have continuously practiced my skills almost daily. I have a stack of wallets sitting on the washing machine that just keeps growing. Each wallet slightly better than its predecessor. As my leatherworking skills improved, I slowly started upgrading my tools. I started by upgrading my stitching chisels. I like a round stitching hole and I use a beefy 1mm thread so I went with these chisels by Kemovancraft. Next I upgraded my needles to John James and got some Ritza Tiger thread. I also “built” myself a stitching pony out of 2 pieces of 2×4, 2 scraps of leather, and 2 wood clamps.
Protip: Stitching ponies aren’t technically essential… But they’re essential. Buy a cheap one or build one but don’t try going without. You will just waste time and supplies.
I think the next thing I bought was a Thread Zap to replace a lighter to melt threads with and a few other upgrades. Most recently I’ve upgraded my cheap mallet to a nicer maul.
Recently I started selling my work after having held out until my work had reached a standard that I deemed appropriate to put my name behind. I started creating my own designs, the first being my Teach Bifold Wallet. I kept creating more designs and would post pictures on Instagram until there was interest. Then I’d make a bunch of those. It’s been a snowball effect since then. Kind of crazy actually. I could have never imagined so many people would want my creations. I do have a lot of plans for the future and with money starting to trickle in, things are going to get interesting. If you’ve actually read this far, thank you. Leatherworking is becoming an increasingly important part of my life and I can’t wait to share this wild ride with you.