leather

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.

I have created this Quick Tip video to show you how I work around this issue.  This video will show you my technique for insuring that my basket stamp, or any other geometric pattern, will maintain its course around an object and be correct.

If you have had trouble with this in the past, then check out this video and see if this little tip can help you on future projects.

Here is a video we did in the past on “Basket Stamping a Leather Belt Quickly” if you want to see a little more on basket stamping leather.

Basket Stamp design has been, and will continue to be, one of the most attractive and popular geometric designs when it comes to leatherwork.  No matter if it is on a belt, wallet, holster, or even a saddle, this conservative pattern seems to appeal to the majority of consumers.  Learning to run one of these stamps can have a positive impact on the products that you design.

Cobra Sewing Machine Options with Maker’s Leather Supply

cobra sewing machineSelecting a Cobra Sewing Machine or any leather sewing machine can be challenging whether you are a first time buyer or have years of experience.  Doing the proper research to insure that you get the best possible machine to do the job you need it to do takes time and patience.

When I was in college doing leather work on the side, I hand stitched everything that I made.  Hand stitching is a valuable and necessary skill that all LeatherHeads should take the time to learn and master.  But there does come a point for most of us where a leather sewing machine becomes a much needed piece of equipment for our business.

There are so many different brands, sizes and styles of machines out there.  Selecting the best machine for your needs can be daunting.  The great news?  There is tons of information on the internet as well as helpful and knowledgeable people waiting to help with any questions or concerns that you may have when making the upgrade from sore fingers and long hours to powered sewing machines.

We recently took some time to visit with the folks at Maker’s Leather Supply so that we could help you answer some questions on some of the machines that they offer.  Maker’s Leather Supply deals in machines for the leather industry by Leather Machine Co.  These machines offer the industry’s best quality and customer support hands down.

I have been using the Cobra Class 4 sewing machine in my shop for right at 2 years now and I couldn’t be happier with its performance and the support I have gotten when I have had questions or concerns.

In this video, Aaron and I visit about some of the different options available as well as our opinion on buying your first machine if you are at that point in your Leathercraft journey.

Check out this video and if you get a chance check out Makers and see what Leather Machine Co. has to offer.

If you are new to sewing machines and looking for a good video on getting started using one, then check out this article and video we did on “Sewing Machine Best Practices.”

And if you have, or end up buying, the Cobra Class 4 Machine, then here is a video that we did “Installing the Cobra Class 4 Stirrup Plate.”

 

 

How to Make a Round Leather Handbag

round leather handbagDeveloping the Round Leather Handbag

About a month ago or so I was in the shop on a Saturday trying to come up with something new and different to make.  My hopes were that I would use this time to be creative and develop a new product that would be like nothing I had ever created.  I cut poster board all afternoon working with all kinds of different shapes, proportions, and layouts.  I came up with many different ideas, but none of them seemed to be “that one” project.

It wasn’t a total loss though, because I learned some valuable things in that creative session as I usually do.

I went home that afternoon feeling a little like I had wasted the afternoon.  I told my wife what I was trying to do that afternoon and that I just didn’t have much luck coming up with a “new” project, much less “that one” project.  She casually mentioned doing a Round Purse.  At first I wasn’t sure that this was the project since it seemed too simple.  After visiting about it more I began to think it might make a neat project.  She pulled up tons of photos of Round Purses on her phone and apparently they are really popular right now.  The next day I went back into the shop and designed patterns for one of the easiest purses that I have ever made.  Is it “that one” project?  Probably not, but it is a good project and I had a ton of fun with it.

This project video is my complete process for making the Round Leather Handbag.  The build process is very close to how I make my Rope Bags and so if you are interested in making either one then this video will be of value to you.

If you are looking for a simple project that has room for tooling and artwork, then this is a great project for your shop.  The size of the purse allows you to put some of your scrap leather to work, as well as giving you practice in simple bag construction.  Main Body pieces of this round leather handbag are made from 9/10 oz vegetable tanned Herman Oak leather as well as the shoulder strap. The gusset can be made from any soft 4/6 oz chap leather.  Both of these types of leather are sure to be in any LeatherHead’s scrap bins.

I used a 14″ zipper in the video, but I would suggest using a 9″ zipper instead.  Mine was too long and the shoulder strap loops would have covered the zipper at the location I needed them.  I was able to modify on the fly, but to make it easier on yourself use a 9″ zipper.

There is a complete Companion Pattern Pack available for this video and you can purchase that by CLICKING HERE.  As with all of our companion packs, it has the cut patterns and dimensions for all parts needed to make this round leather handbag.  There are also 9 different tooling patterns included in the pattern pack.  The size of this purse and the panels being free of hardware, this is a perfect project for artwork with plenty of space to have fun.

Apparently Round Leather Handbags are in style so give this project a try.  This is a great addition to your offerings to customers for Christmas Gifts or to make for your friends and family.

Useful Resources

Slicking Leather Edges

How to Oil and Antique Leather Projects

Maker’s Leather Supply – A great place for material, supplies and resources

Leather Machine Co. – The best place for sewing machines and equipment

Dyeing the Background on a Leather Floral Pattern

This video shows how to dye the background of a leather floral pattern.  We are dyeing the horse head floral piece from our July Tooling series for this tutorial.  Yes, I am aware that it is September… I like to think this one is fashionably late.

In this video I am using Black Fiebings Pro Oil Dye and Dark Brown Antique Paste also by Fiebings.

If you would like to tool the pattern from this tooling series, here is a link to a FREE copy of this pattern Click Here.

Just enter your email address and we will shoot that out to you.  It is a PDF file that you can download and print on your own printer.

This is video #4 in this series.  You can find Video #1 by Clicking Here.

 

 

 

 


 

Figure Carving a Horse Head into Leather Video 3

Here is a much requested video from your suggestions both here and on our facebook page!  For the July Leather Tooling Series we are showing how to figure carve a horse’s head into leather.  I am not the greatest figure carver out there and I still have a lot to learn on the subject, but I will attempt to show you what I do know.  After that, you can seek out guidance from some of the greats out there… and there are many amazing figure carvers that you can learn from.  Jim Linnell and Peter Main would be the two that I would highly recommend checking out if you haven’t already.

Here is a link to Jim Linnell’s website

You can find Peter Main on facebook

If you would like to tool along with us in this tooling series, here is a link to a FREE copy of this pattern Click Here.

Just enter your email address and we will shoot that out to you.  It is a PDF file that you can download and print on your own printer.

This is video #3 in this series.

Tools used in this video:

-Modeling tool – Peter Main

-Modeling tools

-Craftool Thumbprint

Here is the photo of the horse in the pattern for you to use as reference.

The model for this project is an unknown Bay Gelding that resided on a place that borders us.  I just liked the way the horse looked and took many photos of him for artwork reference.  Not sure what happened to him, but we haven’t seen him in a long time… I like to think that he is somewhere on the rodeo trail or maybe just retired and moved to Florida.

Online Leather Classes with DG LeatherCraft Academy

The biggest request we get is “Do we offer any Leather Classes?”

I’m going to cut right to the chase… we have a Big Announcement to make this month.  After a year or better of researching, planning, cussing, discussing and finally building… we are finally ready to reveal the biggest digital project we have ever created.

Based on the inquiry for leather classes and feedback that we have gotten over the years from amazing fellow LeatherHeads like you, we felt there was a real need in our industry for this type of product.  It took us some time to choose the right platform as well as build out all the components that go into creating something like this so that it offers the most value with the least amount of hassle on your end.

We think that we have done just that!

I would like to introduce our newest addition to DG LeatherCraft,

DG LeatherCraft Academy

 

DG LeatherCraft Academy is our new platform where we can create Online Courses that go in depth on different topics and areas of leather craft and design work.  Much further than we can on our YouTube channel or on our blog.  The Academy will be home to all of our future Premium Courses for those who want complete leather classes on particular topics and certain areas of the craft.

These courses will be completely online so that you can go through any of our leather classes at your pace on any device.  No set dates, times or having to travel out of state.  Once enrolled in a particular course, you can go through the curriculum all in one sitting in order… or you can do a lecture a day in any order you want.  And when you complete the course, you can go back through it again anytime as many times as you want.

Worksheets for these leather classes can be downloaded and printed so that you can work along with us throughout the course.  Then after completion you will have these sheets to reference if you need to. Continue reading

The Best Way to Cut Lace Leather from Scrap Latigo

Using up all that scrap latigo leather isn’t the easiest thing to do.  I usually find that I have a lot of this left over the course of a 6 month period or so.  So in order to stay ahead of my scrap piles of latigo leather, I try to cut up some lace occasionally.  This works to consume some of the scrap leather as well as saving me time when I do need lace leather for a project.

You can use the same process for chap leather and other softer type of leathers that might make good lace leather in your shop.

What is the Best Leathercraft Work Surface?

Thumbnail for a a video on the best Leathercraft work surface

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding the best Leathercraft work surface is a quest that I find myself still on today.  I began my leather work career cutting leather out on my bed in my apartment and doing all my work on a 2×4 bench that I made to fit by my desk.  My roommate wasn’t particularly excited about my late night basket stamping sessions.  Fast forward to today, and some of my benches are much more nuanced when it comes to the Leathercraft work surface that I work on.  Some of them are still hodge-podge assortments of materials that simply work… nothing more.

You can get lost in trying to find the absolute best material to work on.  Different leather craft techniques and processes requiring different types of material to work on.  The important thing here is to find something that works for you and go with it.  When you are a famous leather craftsman someday you can worry about how pretty your work tables and benches are.  For now, the only thing that matters is you being able to accomplish your work effectively.

In this video, I go through all of the different Leathercraft work surfaces that I use in my shop.  Why I use them and for what purposes.  These are the best materials that I have found for completing the different tasks in my work.

I did some research to find the company in San Antonio that made the plastic cutting board material on my cut bench.  I did find a company, but since I have never done business with them I didn’t feel comfortable recommending them here.  I will continue to research a good source for this material and when I find a reliable source I will update this video.  I do suggest doing a google search in your area and I bet you can find someone near you that has this material in any size you may need.

For more videos and blog post about the wild world of LeatherCraft, visit our website:  https://dgsaddlery.com

All the paints on my paint table are from Angelus Paint and here is their website:  https://angelusdirect.com

You can also find these paints and anything else you need for your Leathercraft projects at Maker’s Leather Supply:  https://makersleathersupply.com

How to Tool a Cluster Flower Pattern – Video 2

In this video series, I show you the complete tooling of a cluster flower pattern.  The goal of these videos is to show you my complete tooling process when stamping leather tooling patterns.

This video covers the following tools and the order that I use them in:

-Barry King small thumbprint – horizontal lined

-Old Pear Shader (prob an old McMillan)

-Craftool long and thin smooth pear shader

-Barry King small mules foot

-Craftool Wiggler

-Seed Burst

-All Undercuts (Lifters) again to re-lift

Here is the first video, How to Tool a Cluster Flower Pattern – Video 1, so that you can follow along with both of these to tool this pattern.

There is a FREE PDF for this pattern that you are welcome to download by Clicking Here, just enter your email address to confirm access to download a copy to use so that you can follow along with us!

Here is a link to the first video series we did.  Watch this series for more information on some of the tools and uses:

https://dgsaddlery.com/how-to-tool-floral-leather-tooling-patterns/

Here is a link to a video that we did where I go through my tool roll.  I explain the stamps that I use and what type they are:

https://dgsaddlery.com/my-leather-floral-carving-tool-roll/

Links for tools and supplies:

https://makersleathersupply.com

https://www.barrykingtools.com

The sewing machine that I use is the cobra class 4 from https://www.leathermachineco.com