Replacing Stirrup Leathers on a Saddle

Replacing stirrup leathers on a saddle is one of the most common repair requests that you will get if you open the door on saddle repair in your shop.

Saddle repair has always been a big piece of any saddle shop’s services that they offer. For the majority of my shop’s history that was true for us as well. In fact, we built our business doing massive amounts of repair early on. Though I don’t do much saddle repair these days, I still offer this service to our Custom Saddle customers for their DGS saddles in need of it.

Although this repair does require a little more of a material cost investment than a saddle cleaning, a shop can still make a good profit offering this to their customers. You can either cut the replacement stirrup leathers yourself or order them from a company like PanHandle Leather in Amarillo already cut. The rest of the job is really just labor and time.

I charge $250 to replace a set of stirrup leathers and Blevins buckles on a saddle. This price is for the stirrup leathers and buckles only… we use the original fenders as I show you in this video tutorial. There is a broad price range for this service depending on the shop… some folks charge less and some charge more. I feel like at the posting of this article, my price is probably about average.

Check out this video and see just how easy and straight forward replacing these straps is. If you are offering saddle cleanings in your shop, then think about adding this service as well to expand on your repair business. You will probably be surprised how many of these come your way once people find out you offer this.

Mohair Cinch Cleaning and Care

This Article was written for us by Dana Eklund with Big Sky Mohair Cinches.

Each mohair cinch is hand-tied in Bozeman, Montana, by sisters Dana and Tracy Eklund. 

Big Sky Mohair Cinches was born out of necessity- a horse at the therapeutic riding program where they worked required a 42″ cinch- a tough size to find! Their goal is to create a highly usable piece of tack that is as functional as it is beautiful.

Because a comfortable horse can get the job done.

Like any tack, there will come a time when you need to wash your mohair cinch!

As far as cinch materials go, Mohair is a terrific choice in general due to the natural fibers being highly breathable, slightly elastic, and long wearing. Dirty cinches, of any material, are more likely to trap dirt/heat and cause soring. You can have a really nicely made piece of equipment, but if it’s extremely dirty or not adjusted correctly, soring can happen.

The more you care for your cinch by washing/rinsing it when it needs it, the longer it will last.

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Large Basket Weave Pattern Hand Tooled

The Large Basket Weave Pattern is a hand tooled style of geometric stamping that I really admire. I have seen this type of tooling being done by some really talented toolers over the last few years and I think it looks really unique. I did not invent this style, nor did I start the trend… I am late to the game when it comes to tooling this creative style.

With that being said, I am showing in this video how I tool this Large Basket Weave Pattern. It really is a very simple pattern once you understand what is happening in the tooling. This is a great pattern for wallets, bible covers, notebooks, and even saddles. The only caution that has to be mentioned here is to keep in mind that the bigger the tooling window (area the tooling will be in) the more confusing it can become.

As you will see in the video, the only tools that you will need are listed below and it’s not much. You don’t need to go out and purchase some new fancy stamping tool or line carving device. This pattern utilizes tools you already have in your arsenal but allows you to create a pattern that customers seem to really enjoy. Here are the tools that you will need:

  • Swivel knife
  • 1″ wide or so straight edge (I use a scale which is 7/8″ in width)
  • vertical lined thumbprint
  • wide beveler

That’s all ya need!

Check out this video and give the Large Basket Weave Pattern a shot. I bet this will become one of your favorite geometric tooling patterns for your leather craft projects.

Making a Leather Roper Wallet

The Leather roper wallet, or long wallet, has been popular for quite sometime. We have done a few videos on making different style wallets, but this is one that has been requested that we finally got around to making. If you have customers wanting you to make them leather roper wallets or you just want one for yourself, then check out this project video.

We show you all the steps in making one of the leather roper wallet as well as info on leather used. We do offer a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD pattern pack if you would like to purchase that. This pattern pack comes with all the cut patterns for the parts as well as 8 tooling patterns.

Here are some links that we mention in the video:

Video showing how to create the Large Basket stamping, “Hand Tooling a Large Basket Weave Pattern

I get my Goat Skin Leather for the interiors at C-Loy Leather in El Paso, TX

The pen I use to mark out the liner pieces is called a Silver Pen and they are used on any full grain finished leathers. They mark well and just wipe off when finished. I got mine from Maker’s Leather Supply

Click here if you would like the Digital Pattern Pack that goes along with this project video.

How to Make a Sideways Knife Sheath

In this project video, I show you how to make one of our new sideway leather knife sheaths.

This style of sheath is for a case trapper pocket knife and allows the knife to sit horizontal instead of vertical.

We offer a DIGITAL pattern pack for this project with 10 different floral tooling patterns.

We also offer a material packs for these as well. This is Herman Oak Leather die cut to make this sheath.

How to Make a Crossbody Fannypack Purse

In this project video, I show you how to make one of our new Crossbody Fannypack style purses.

I made this purse from French Calf on the outside and Goat skin on the inside with a tooled feather front panel. This is a really fun bag to make and they seem to be a popular style these days.

My hardware came from Ohio Travel Bag Company.

The leather came from C Loy’s Leather.

If you would like to purchase the pattern pack for this project, use the links below. We offer them in either DIGITAL DOWNLOAD or PRINTED versions.

This is a large format print so if you choose the DIGITAL version, you will have to take to a printing company to have them printed for you you.

PRINTED version


How to Make a Leather Rifle Saddle Scabbard

In this video, I show you how I make one of our Leather Rifle Saddle Scabbards.

These are a lot of fun to make and have a ton of room for tooling and artwork. They are not really difficult to make, they are just large and use a lot of leather.

As we always do, we do offer a pattern pack for this project. You can use the links below to go directly to our website to purchase your copy. We offer this in a PRINTED and a DIGITAL version.

This is a large format printing so if you get the digital version, you will need to take it somewhere and have them print it out for you.



Making a Leather Field Notebook Cover

In this project video, I show you how to make a simple leather field notebook cover for a Field Notes notebook cover. This is a great entry level project and a great gift idea project. I make this cover out of 3/4 oz leather with minimal hand stitching. It’s also a great use of scrap leather you may have laying around your shop.

We do offer a pattern pack for making one of these notebook covers. The pattern pack includes the cut patterns as well as 6 different floral patterns. We offer this pattern in either a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD or a PRINTED version.

You can purchase your copy of this pattern by clicking on one of the following links:

PRINTED VERSION that we mail out to you.

DIGITAL DOWNLOAD that you print out on your own printer.

I got the thread, needles, and field notes notebooks from Maker’s Leather Supply so check them out.

If you want more in depth instruction on hand sewing, be sure to check out our video “Hand Stitching with an Awl and Two Needles.”