Tooling leather tips

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.”

New Online Leather Floral Carving Course in the Academy!

If you follow us on social media and/or our YouTube Channel, then you have heard us talking about building a new course for the DG LeatherCraft Academy. After months of gathering information, photos, and videos we have finally completed what we think is the most comprehensive online course on Floral Carving and Tooling that is available.

I will first say, there is no in person or online course that is going to make you a Master Floral Carver over night. Becoming efficient and proficient with leather floral tooling takes practice and study over a long period of time. What I wanted to do with this new course was to consolidate all the information in one place that is easy to follow and offers the best information possible. Along with this information, we created patterns and exercises that help to develop the skills and techniques needed to begin to build a quality skill set.

Our First Floral Carving and Tooling Course is Open for Enrollment!

We have put a lot of information on the internet and our our website on the topic of tooling and floral carving. This course takes that scattered information, consolidates it into one package, and builds upon it going into further detail.

The course has over 6.5 hours of new footage covering topics like tools, work surfaces, lighting, casing, preparation, carving, sharpening, leather selection and of course the entire tooling process. There are some worksheets and lists that can be printed out for quick reference at the bench as well as all the tooling patterns for the course.

The patterns in the course are in PDF format so that you can download them and print them on your own printer and then transfer to your leather to follow along in the tooling. Your leather needs to be cut into 5.5″ x 8″ panels for this. We will be tooling 5 of these panels through the course.

The focus of this course is on the entire tooling and carving process. Tooling is the same, for the most part, no matter the size and shape of the piece you are tooling. But since belts are a popular product that we all tool, we do touch on tooling belts. Tooling a belt is only slightly different than anything else but we do talk about some of the differences. We have also included 8 new belt patterns available only within this course.

Information is valuable, it’s even more valuable with implementation and practice… it’s most valuable with feedback and guidance.

That’s why we have added the “Final Critique of all 5 Tooling Panels” session to the course after the tooling of your first pattern. This is a coaching session of sorts that is only available to students enrolled in this course. This allows you to send me a photo of each pattern after you finish tooling them for review and critique. This is done right from within the course platform. I will study your work and offer my critiques and advice on how to improve on your current skill set.

You will have 30 day access to this critique session of the course (you will have lifetime access to the course itself). I think if you are serious about improving your tooling skills, then focusing 30 days on getting all five panels tooled then receiving feedback on those pieces will be most impactful to your improvement.

*Lifetime access to all the course material in this course. 30 Day access to the Critiquing session within the course.

Whether you are a beginner tooling leather, or you have experience but want to step up your artwork, I hope that you will consider going through this online floral carving course. This class is completely online and you can go through it at your own pace in your own home or shop. You can go back through the course as many times as you like to refresh yourself.

Leather Floral Carving and Tooling: Beginner online course is open for enrollment and we hope to see you in there. Click the image below if you are ready to sign up and get started!

How to Make a Leather Checkbook Cover

When I first started my shop, one of the most popular items that we sold was a leather checkbook cover. I quickly learned that this item required very little leather to make and went together quickly. Even in today’s high tech world of Apple Pay and Debit cards, most people still write checks. And of those that still write checks, many of those people like to have a really nice custom checkbook cover. This allows them to whip it out and show off a bit when making purchases that require a handwritten check.

This video is a complete project video that shows you how I make a leather checkbook cover as well as some tips to make the process easier for you. We also created a Companion Pattern Pack, as we do with all of our project videos. In this pattern pack you will find the simple cut patterns with suggestions on leather weights to use. We also created 12 new and different tooling patterns that you can use to create unique checkbook covers to offer your customers. This is a digital pattern pack like all the rest of ours.

If you would like to purchase the pattern pack, click here and you can download and print the complete pack out on your own printer: https://dgsaddlery.com/product/leathe…

While you are here, check out many more videos and blog articles as well as many more digital pattern packs.

For a good source for Herman Oak Leather, visit our friends at Maker’s Leather Supply: https://makersleathersupply.com

If you are interested in investing in a new sewing machine, visit my friends at Leather Machine Co and check out their Cobra sewing machines: https://leathermachineco.com

How to Make Leather Knife Sheaths

This project video is one that I should have made a long time ago.  One of the best selling items we have ever made in the saddle shop has been our fold over knife sheaths.  In this video, I show you how to make these from start to finish.

If you are looking for a project that doesn’t use a lot of leather and goes together quickly then this is it.  This is also a great way to use up the scrap leather that may be accumulating in the corners of your workshop.  Floral tooled, geometric tooled, dyed, painted and even plain leather, these items will become one of your most popular selling items.

I have developed a set of patterns to use when making these that will cut out all the fitting issues for most knives.  My pattern uses the tooling window to size the finished sheath to fit a particular knife.  If you would like to purchase the digital companion pattern pack for this video, then CLICK HERE and you can purchase that from us.  This is a digital PDF file that you will download and print the patterns out on your own printer.  Along with the cut pattern for the shealth and the three different size tooling windows that I use in my shop, you will also get 6 different floral tooling patterns for each of the three different windows.  That is 18 different patterns to choose from.

Looking for a good source for Herman Oak leather?  Visit our friends at Maker’s Leather Supply as they are a Herman Oak dealer and can help you get the leather and any other supplies that you may need.

How to Make a Saddle Bag Crossbody Purse

  This video shows how to make a new crossbody purse that I just came up with.  The design is based on a real saddle bag design altered to work as a crossbody purse.  I think the design of this purse is really nice and would be popular with many.   This would be a great project to offer to your customers for gift ideas.  You also may want to make one of these for that special lady in your life.  

This crossbody purse goes together very well and has a lot of room to do floral tooling and personalization.   

If you would like to purchase the pattern pack for this project, then Click Here to get that.   The pattern pack is a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD in a PDF format that you print out on your own printer.  The pack includes all the cut patterns as well as 6 different floral patterns.   

Complete DG LeatherCraft March Tooling Series

Our “Tooling Series” videos are back in March!  In this tooling series video, i go through my entire tooling process.  In each video we will work through a certain number of stamping tools to complete the pattern shown in the video.  In March, we are tooling a much requested skull… with a twist… this one is wear an indian headdress.

This series will show techniques for not only floral tooling, but also detail work of tooling a skull as well as getting realistic feathers.  When this pattern is completed, we will do a video showing the paint and dye work on a piece like this.

Take a moment and click the link below to grab your FREE copy of this pattern in a PDF format.  Just enter your email address and you can download and print your copy of this pattern and then tool along with us through this series.  Here is that link to grab the digital pattern for FREE:   https://dgsaddlery.com/marchtoolingseries/ Continue reading

How to make a Pistol Case with Maker’s Leather Supply

pistol caseThe product line at DG Saddlery over the years has included many types of leather goods.  We have designed and created knife scabbards, pistol holsters, belts, home decor, harness, tack and of course saddles.  One type of item that we attempted many times are zippered type bags.  This item not being my area of expertise, we were able to make something that worked but wasn’t at the level that we wanted to create.  Because of this, we as a company many times would stay away from taking orders on any type of zippered bag.

I have recently decided that I would like to finally gain the skill set needed to be able to create projects with zippers incorporated.  We were in Waco, TX recently to make a video with Aaron at Maker’s Leather supply on Sewing Machine Selection.  While we were there, Aaron and I decided to do a collaboration video together building a project.  He came up with the perfect project for our visit.

This video is our collaboration on the making of a pistol case.  This particular pistol case holds two pistols and zips closed.  This was a great project that allowed me to gain more knowledge about installing zippers in bag design. Continue reading

Basket Stamp Around an Object or Figure the Easy Way

basket stamp leatherLearning to Basket Stamp leather is relatively straightforward and one of the first decorative skills we learn in leatherwork.  This tool and the design that it creates has been around for well over a century and works great to cover a project quickly and easily.

One of the more challenging tasks that come up in some projects is Basket Stamping around a brand, figure or object that is in the middle of a piece.  Many times this can lead to a pattern that becomes off course and just doesn’t seem to work.  This can lead to a project, or at least a piece of it, having to be remade to correct the mistake in the pattern. Continue reading