10(+1) leathercraft tips for beginners
I know you've heard the same thing over and over again: leathercraft is one of the most rewarding hobbies around. But it's even better if you can learn how to make things yourself! There are plenty of ways to get started with leatherworking, but finding them can be difficult. You might not know where to start or what kind of tools you need. I've put together this guide to help you out with all those questions and more.
1. Be patient
Patience is a virtue. You will learn from your mistakes and you will get better with time. Don't give up!
- Learn how to use a leatherworker's knife correctly, by watching tutorials on YouTube or other sites like this tutorial video.
- Practice cutting straight lines, curves and zigzags with the grain of the leather until they're easy enough that you don't have to think about them anymore (which takes some practice).
- When cutting into a piece of material for an accessory piece—for example: making holes for buttons or rivets—be sure not to cut too much off at once! This way there won't be any loose ends sticking out which could catch on things later down the road when sewing things together again; instead just go over each piece individually until everything is properly aligned then stop!
2. Pick the right leather
The first thing you need to do before you start is pick the right leather for your project. Leather is a natural product, so it can be difficult to know what the best leather to use is. There are many different types of leather and each has its own characteristics. For example:
- Top quality leather from Europe will cost more than U.S.-made products, but they're worth paying extra for because they're likely made in small batches with high-quality materials and craftsmanship;
- Lower-quality pieces might look nice but won't last as long;
- You can also find cheaper options on Etsy or eBay if you want something that won't break the bank but still looks good enough for display purposes (especially if you don't plan on wearing/using them).
3. Buy quality tools
The first step to leatherworking is buying quality tools. The best way to do this is by looking at the quality of your existing tools and determining if they are up to the task. If you have a set of pliers that has been used for years, but still works well with minimal effort, then buy more of them!
If you're not sure which kind of pliers would work best for your needs, take some time and think about what kinds of jobs would require different types of pliers:
- How thick is the material?
- What type (hardware or soft) does it need to be cut through?
- Do I need one or two hands for this job?
4. Practice a little everyday
Practice makes perfect. You will learn from your mistakes, and you will get better with time. You'll become faster with practice, too—you'll be able to make more things as you go along and make them faster!
5. Don't worry about making mistakes
- Don't worry about making mistakes.
- Don't be afraid to learn, ask for help or advice, and try again if you fail.
6. Get inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram
Pinterest is a great resource for getting inspiration. You can find tutorials and ideas for leathercrafting, but also other craftspeople's work. If you're new to the world of leatherwork or just want to learn more about the process, this website is a great place to start!
Instagram is another great source of inspiration: not only do you see what others are doing with their own leather crafts (and vice versa), but it also makes it easy for anyone who wants to get into leatherwork themselves!
7. Check out some courses and YouTube videos
- Look at online courses. There are plenty of free tutorials available on YouTube, so you can get started with your leather craft without spending a lot of money.
- Look for paid courses. Some websites offer high quality classes and tutorials for a small fee, which is convenient if you want to learn something specific or want to improve your skills quickly.
- Consider local classes as well: There are many opportunities for beginners who live in an area with an active leathercraft community, such as those found at MakerSpace events or maker fairs (such as Hackerspace NW). These events often offer hands-on workshops where attendees can try out different techniques firsthand!
8. Read blogs by leather makers
It's a great idea to keep up with blogs on the subject of leather craft. You'll find that some are more technical and others are more personal, but all of them will help you learn about the material and process involved in making your own leather goods. Some bloggers focus on specific crafts, while others take an all-encompassing approach to their subjects. You can also find blogs that focus exclusively on one particular style or technique (e.g., sewing).
The best part? Bloggers share their experiences and tips with other readers via comments posted below each article—which means there's no shortage of information available at your fingertips!
9. Find a local leather guild or meetup group
If you live in an area with a large leather-working community, consider joining a local guild or meetup group. You can learn from and share ideas with other people who have the same interests as you do. Many of these groups have web pages where members post tips and tricks for beginners, so don’t be afraid to go there if it sounds like something that would interest you!
Look around online until you find one that fits your schedule; if all else fails, just make friends at work! They might even offer their own advice on how to get started in leathercrafts such as: “Don't use any sort of glue unless absolutely necessary."
10. Join online forums to get feedback on your work
If you’re just starting out, online forums are a great resource. They can be an excellent way to get feedback on your work and learn new techniques. You can also find local leather guilds or meet-up groups through them.
It’s important that you take the time to read through these forums before posting your own questions so that you don't waste someone's time by asking a question they've already answered in detail!
11. You can learn how to make leather goods if you are willing to be patient and practice
- Practice, practice and more practice.
Leathercraft is a craft that requires a lot of patience and dedication to learn. So don't worry if you make mistakes while working on your project; just keep at it! You can get inspiration from Pinterest or Instagram as well as check out some courses on YouTube such as those by Corter Leather. There are also many blogs on the internet that talk about how people learned how to make leather goods, so read these if you want some advice from other people who have been there before you!
Now that you have read these tips and tricks, I hope you will be ready to start making leather goods. In fact, if you follow them one by one, it would not take more than two weeks for you to start making some useful items with your own hands. And if all goes well, then I am sure that in a few months’ time, you will achieve mastery over this craft!