Available to watch here is a collection of videos that I have made about leather work. These videos range in length, some are only a few minutes exploring an idea and others are over an hour long and go through a full project. I am not a leather expert, these videos are designed to help people who are beginning leather craft!
The longer videos have indexes so you can jump to a particular place, click the ‘→ index’ link to show/hide it. You can also press the button at the top to expand all the indexes in case you’re looking for something in particular.
There is also an FAQ at the bottom of the page which should answer most of the common questions which are left on the videos.
These HD videos are provided on YouTube for free, however if you are a leatherworker and have found them helpful then I would be very grateful if you could send me a small donation as they are hard work to make and take a long time. Please bear in mind that most people who have made DVDs and so on to sell are charging a lot of money for them.
If you would like to donate you can click the Paypal donate button below (you do not need a Paypal account you can also use a card):
There is a short video with details about donating:
- The Tools You Need for Leatherwork (15 mins)
The Hardware You Need for Leatherwork (30 mins)
Information About Dyeing Leather (45 mins)
- What is dye
- Why do we dye leather
- At what point do we dye
- Preparing to dye
- Types of dye
- --Spirit dye vs oil dye
- --Tandy eco range
- --Mixing and reducing
- --Colour consistency
- Dyeing methods and examples
- --Dip dyeing
- --Using a cloth
- --Using a dauber
- Drying and buffing
- Finishing and sealing
Choosing the right type, weight and quality of leather for your projects (35 mins)
Hand Stitching Leather (1 hour 35 mins)
- -- Linen Thread
- -- Tiger Thread
- -- Tandy's Thread
- Threading a Needle
- Measuring out Thread
- Horses, Ponies and Clams
- Sewing Machines
- The Hand vs Machine Sewing Debate
- Drilling Holes
- Saddle Stitch Prep
- Stitching 1: Lines/Grooves
- Stitching 2: Marking Holes
- -- Overstitch/Pricking Wheel
- -- Pricking Irons
- Stitching 3: Making Holes
- Stitching 4a: Saddle Stitch Example with Pricking Iron
- Stitching 4b: Saddle Stitch Example with Overstitch Wheel/Awl
- Live Examples
- -- Example 1: Pouch Style Knife Sheath (thick)
- -- Example 2: Business Card Case (thin)
Build Along Videos
The patterns for the build along series are available to buy in the Etsy shop here.
Build Along 1: Triangular Coin Pouch (33 mins), Mar 2014
Build Along 2: Card and Coin Wallets (75 mins), April 2014
Pouch Sheath for a Spyderco Mule (1 hour 30 mins), Dec 2010
- Pattern Making
- After Tracing
- Sizing the Belt Loop
- Bevelling and Grooving
- Marks and Tooling
- Buffing and Sealing
- Burnishing the Top
- Fixing in the Welt
- Making the Stitch Groove
- Stitch Marking
- Punching the Holes
- Closing the Belt Loop
- Closing the Sheath
- Drills vs Awls
- Sewing Prep
- Edge Finishing
Belt Sheath for an RC-3 (1 hour 45 mins), Apr 2011
Kydex Sheath for a Mora Clipper (25mins), Jun 2011
Bushcraft Sheath for a Fallkniven F1 (1 hour 40 mins), Aug 2011
- Suitable Knives
- Trimming Corners
- Choosing the Right Leather
- Bevelling the Mouth
- Leather Quality
- Burnishing the Collar
- Soaking the Leather
- Wet Forming
- Oven Baking (Cuir Bouilli)
- Trimming Off
- Stitch Groove
- Strap Spacing
- Fitting the Welt
- Strap Making
- Fire Steel Loop
- Glueing Up
- Edge Finishing
- Finishing Off
Friction Sheath for a Spyderco (75 minutes), Sep 2011
Notebook Cover (40 mins), Dec 2011
Leather and Kydex Fallkniven F1 Sheath (1 hour), Feb 2012
Pigskin Lined Leather Pouch for a Fallkniven TK3 Pocket Knife (1 hour 15 mins), Jun 2012
Leather Watch Cuff (47 mins), Apr 2013
Making a Simple Leather Belt (53 mins), Sep 2013
Making a Moulded Leather Possibles Pouch (1 hour 20 mins), Sep 2013
Designing and Making a Ka-Bar Sheath (1 hour), Nov 2013
Making a Leather Guitar Strap (1 Hour), Jan 2014
- Case for an Apple iPhone 4, Jul 2010
- Desert Sheath for Kent Cutlery Soldiers Knife, May 2011
- Stitch Free Coin Purse, Aug 2011
- Hedgehog Style Desert Dagger Sheath and are Hedgehog Sheaths too Expensive, Sep 2011
- Chris Reeve Knives Pacific Sheath, Mar 2012
- Inlaid Leather Cowboy Style Sheath for a Stuart Barker Bowie, May 2012
- EDC Pouch for a Leatherman Wave, bits and extras, Aug 2012
- Banksy styled Moleskine Notebook Cover, Sep 2012
- Game of Thrones styled Moleskine Notebook Cover, Sep 2012
- Simple 4 Card Leather Wallet, Feb 2013
- Horween Shell Cordovan Wallet, May 2013
- Apple iPad Mini Case, Jan 2014
- Custom Leather Stamps Information (15 mins), Dec 2010
- Leather Finishes Compared (40 mins), May 2011
- Leodis Leather Workshop Tour (12 mins), May 2011
- Tracing Leather Patterns With Adobe Illustrator (25 mins), June 2011
- Using an airbrush for leatherwork (19 mins), Apr 2012
- 20 Ways to Improve Your Leatherwork (42 mins), Jun 2012
- Quick tip, how to hot stamp your leather (8 mins), Jan 2013
- The Difference Between Custom and Factory Leather Items (8 mins), Feb 2013
- Goods Japan Leather Shop Review (21 mins), Mar 2013
- Pro Edge Burnishers Review (11 mins), Feb 2014
Leather and Kydex
- Arbor Press for Leather and Kydex Work (15 mins), Dec 2010
- Leather vs Kydex for Knife Sheaths (25 mins), Jun 2011
I get asked a lot of the same questions arising from the videos, please see below for answers to the most common ones!
— Where did you learn? When did you start? Is this your job? etc.
I am self taught, I have mostly learnt from reading books, Internet forums and articles and have never been on a course or had a teacher. I am not a full time leatherworker and I don’t have decades of experience, there are many people out there with much more experience than me and I have never pretended otherwise!
— I can’t understand your accent!
I’m from Yorkshire and I do have a strong Yorkshire accent. Believe it or not I tone it down quite a bit for the videos! There’s not much I can do about it if you can’t understand me I’m afraid, hopefully you can see well enough what I’m doing though.
— Can you make me one of these/something else?
Possibly, as long as the waiting list is open please see the ordering page.
— Do you run courses/can I come to your house and learn?
— Where can I go to learn?
If you’re outside the UK I can’t help you, if you’re inside the UK please see the links page for some course details. I would strongly suggest everyone joins one of the various forums to find help if there aren’t any courses or groups in your area.
— Where did you get your ____ ?
Most of what I have in terms of tools comes from Tandy, the rest is old or antiques.
— Where do you get your leather? Where can I buy supplies?
If you’re outside the UK I can’t help you, if you’re inside the UK please see the links page for UK leather suppliers. The ones that I generally use are marked as recommended.
— What type of leather is this? What thickness of leather is this?
This is discussed in the video ‘Choosing the right type, weight and quality of leather for your projects’. Being able to identify and source the correct leather for a project is an important skill and should come with a bit of practice.
— Have you got a laser cutter?
No! Laser cutters cost a fortune (more than a brand new car), I have access to some at work and if you see me using one in a video that’s where it is. There are websites where you can upload things and have them laser cut if you’re interested in that.
— What size drill bit are you using?
These days I try to avoid using the drill, but if you do want to drill then it only needs to be a small bit maybe 1.2mm or 1.4mm depending on the size of your needles and what thread you’re using. Experiment and work these things out for yourself, there are no hard and fast rules!
— What glue are you using?
I used to use Evostick Timebond, I now use the Tanners Bond Contact Cement from Tandy which is re-branded Barge cement (2525-01). I like the Tanners Bond more because it has a brush inside and it doesn’t dry out so much.
— What do I need to start
Please refer to the tools and hardware videos in the beginners’ section.
— Where can I get the pattern for this? Can you send/sell me a pattern?
I very rarely make anything from commercial patterns and nearly always design my own patterns. I do not sell or send out my own patterns, firstly because they’re my IP and it’s detrimental to me if people are making exact copies of my items and secondly making your own patterns is part of learning and a highly valuable leatherwork skill.
Adverts and Donations
— Why is there no sound on this video? Why are there adverts on the videos?
To make a little money the videos have adverts on, the adverts aren’t allowed on any videos that contain commercial content. For this reason some of the older videos which I put songs on I have re-uploaded with the soundtrack removed. Newer videos have royalty free music or no music at all.
— Why are you asking for donations?
Because if you buy leatherwork DVDs they will cost you a lot of money, if you go on a course it will cost you a lot of money. For this reason I believe that the videos I’ve put together have great value for people! If I were to sell them they would cost a lot, I would prefer to make them available on YouTube and then let people donate if they recognise the value in them. Leatherwork is an expensive hobby anyway and a small donation is nothing really compared to the amount that you will need to spend on tools and materials, I certainly wouldn’t expect anyone watching the videos with only a passing interest to send any donations.
— I’d like to send a donation but I don’t have Paypal?
You don’t need a Paypal account to send a donation, you can use any normal credit card. That doesn’t send me your credit card details it’s just like buying something in an on-line shop such as Amazon. You enter the details into Paypal and they will send me the money through. If you really want to send a donation but don’t have a Paypal account or a bank card at all then please contact me directly.
— Why don’t you make DVDs?
Because DVDs are low resolution, inconvenient to use, can get lost/broken and cost a lot to produce. It’s far better to have HD content available on YouTube at people’s finger tips, also if I only had DVDs then they would be unavailable to people who couldn’t afford them. Whilst I try my best and have invested in an expensive camera I also don’t pretend that my production skills are up to commercial DVD standards. Finally I imagine they would just get pirated, people already copy my YouTube videos and upload them to other websites.
— Can you show me how to make a ____ ?
Ideas for videos are always welcome and taken on board. What I don’t generally do though is make videos showing things that have already been done so please check through the full list of available videos.
— This video is too long! You talk too much!
I carefully edit all my videos so that only relevant information remains, you won’t see me doing the same thing for 5 minutes if 10 seconds is enough to see the technique so everything I leave in is valuable in my opinion. I put indexes on the long videos so you can jump to a particular place as well though, I don‘t really understand why some people get so angry about this.
— This video is too short!
It would take too long to make every video hours long, plus there is no need to show every single step in every single video. Any of the longer videos show standard things such as cutting out and dyeing, the shorter videos are just to give extra ideas. If every video showed every step in detail I would be repeating mysef too much.
— Why don’t you release more videos?
I prefer to put out quality content as and when I have time (which isn’t very often) rather than rubbish every week.