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How to Make a Leather Holster

leather holster tutorial

Consider this a practical and quick how-to guide on how to make a leather holster. I have trimmed down all the steps to only those necessary to make this a simple and fast weekend project. I’ve written several other tutorials over the years, so if you like this one – you can see the others over here. This is a fairly simple project and you will learn basic template skills, leather cutting, leather finishing, and stitching.

There are many ways to make a leather holster, certainly ones that are quite a bit more precise as what I’m about to show you. However I realized after going through a bunch of those long and detailed posts, it kinda took the fun out of making the holster and made it a bit stressful. So – what I’ve done here is kind of took the key points and made them into an easy to follow guide to setting up your template.

leather holster tools diy

First let’s start with the necessary tools for the job. Now assuming you are putting a gun in this holster…you might want to get your gun first. Mine’s a replica 1873 Cavalry Single Action Revolver, it’s a non-firing type, which makes this projects a bit, um safer perhaps?

Basic tools needed from left to right:

  • Poster board for the template
  • Pencil
  • Rolling blade with a larger diameter
  • Gun
  • Sharp Scissors or leather shears
  • Metal ruler
  • Razor blade

leather holster tools diy

In the image above, I decided later on that you don’t actually need all of these items, so I will note that below:

  • Leather glue (not needed)
  • Clips (not needed)
  • Stitch line creaser
  • Stitch wheel (not needed if you have the next tool)
  • 4 Pronged diamond punch awl
  • Mallet
  • Waxed thread
  • Two leather needles – these have a blunt tip
  • Stitching pony – to hold your piece while stitching

That’s about all that is needed if you want to do a crude job of getting this holster made, but if you want a more refined look, checkout the next set of tools:

leather holster tools diy

  • Hole puncher, or hole punch set – helps cut out tight corners with thick leather
  • Edge beveler size 2 – rounds the edge of the piece to look more finished
  • Drum sander – helps even out uneven cutting
  • Cocobolo wood burnisher with a bit of waxed canvas taped on – make burnishing and polishing your edges a breeze
  • Weighted mallet – used to  hit the stamping tools
  • A few random leather stamping design tools – just for looks really
  • Swivel knife – carves designs or reference lines into the leather before stamping it

As well you will need some leather. I recommend Full-Grain Vegetable-Tanned leather at about 9 – 10oz. thickness. Leather dye is also optional if you want to darken the leather – though this will also happen naturally over time with sun exposure and exposure to oils and use. Also, get a cup or so of olive oil, or a good leather conditioner. I sell some that I make in the shop, but I only make it in small quantities. As well – a few paper towels and a sponge.

PART 1: The Template

First grab your posterboard paper. Actually…first – empty your gun out and make sure there are no bullets in it or the chamber, etc… My gun happens to be a non-firing replica, so I’m fairly safe there, unless I drop it on my toe. It’s fairly heavy!

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Father’s Day Gift Guide for Leather Goods

Let’s face it…dads are notoriously hard to buy for. Your father may tend to already have everything they need, have way too many interests to keep track of, or simply aren’t good at telling you what they want.

But more often than not, the best gifts for Father’s Day are ones that are useful, timeless, and suit his lifestyle. Without a doubt, and I may be a bit biased here, the most versatile gift for guys that I can think of is leather. My leather wallets, bags and accessories are built to last for the modern businessman, the rugged handyman, the outdoor adventurer, the jet setting traveler, and every dude in between.

So, without further ado, here are my top picks from my shop for leather Father’s Day gifts your dad will love.

 

Mens Leather Wallet

Every dad needs a leather wallet, but not just any wallet will do. Your dad deserves to carry his cash and cards in something of high quality, something that isn’t fussy, and something that’ll last him for many future Father’s Days, with a 100 Year Guarantee included.

This minimalist wallet is slim, yet functional, and able to hold about ten cards and a stack of cash. Take your pick of Western Brown, Suntanned Natural, or Desert Night Dark colors, and it’s also available with an optional solid steel, nickel-plated chain.

Specs dad will love:

  • Free tin of leather conditioner included
  • Made by hand in the U.S. with Full Grain Leather
  • Can be personalized with a name or initials
  • Approximately 3.25 x 4.25 inches when folded
  • Includes 100 Year Guarantee

 

mens leather wallet

Mens Leather Wallet Plus

Just like all fathers are unique, so is every dad’s wallet needs. That’s why I offer another wallet option that I like to call the Mens Leather Wallet Plus. This one, slightly more minimal than the previous, has a fully separated section for bills, two card slots to hold six cards and a couple card pockets for four more. This is a great pick for dads who carry a bit more around with them and who love staying organized.

Specs dad will love:

  • Hand-Dyed, oiled and waxed with natural ingredients
  • Perfect mix of minimal + functional
  • Same color, chain, and personalization options as the previous wallet

 

Mens Leather Briefcase

Men who enjoy things that last will love this leather briefcase that makes going to work just a little more enjoyable each day. With full-grain vegetable tanned leather held together with solid brass rivets and hardware, this bag can withstand whatever gets thrown in dad’s way. He can carry this manly masterpiece with a handle or adjustable shoulder strap and feel confident that everything is secure and in place.

Specs dad will love:

  • Measures 15.5 inches wide x 11.25 inches tall x 3 inches deep
  • Fits most 15” laptops
  • Slim back pocket for magazines
  • Virtually indestructible by using solid brass rivets instead of stitching
  • Wide shoulder flap to distribute weight for maximum comfort

 

Leather Passport Wallet

For the world-traveler dad who never sits still very long, my Leather Passport Wallet will make the perfect Father’s Day gift. It’s slim, lightweight, and the most convenient way to pack his passport, plane ticket, cards, and cash.

Specs dad will love:

  • Measures 5.25 inches tall x 4 inches wide
  • Fits in his front pocket to reduce the risk of theft
  • Double passport design also available if dad has a travel a partner
  • Includes a free tin of my natural leather conditioner

 

 

Mens Toiletry Bag

Whether your dad is traveling to distant lands for vacation or just staying at a relative’s house for the night, he needs a reliable toiletry bag. I created this toiletry bag / dopp kit to hold all of a guy’s essentials with extra room and an optional interior storage pouch to stay organized.

Specs dad will love:

  • Measures 9.5 inches wide x 4 inches tall x 5 inches deep on the exterior
  • Optional interior storage pouch to keep the small items
  • Personalize it with a branded or stamped name on the handle
  • Plenty of room for his toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, hair gel, etc.
  • Easily fits inside a suitcase or duffel bag

 

Leather Keychain Strap

Dads are known for carrying lots of keys around, and my Leather Keychain Strap is perfect for guys who have lots of stuff to unlock. He can clip it onto his favorite pants with the belt loop, or just hang the strap on the wall for later. This is an easy and affordable handmade gift that’ll really show your dad he’s special. Make sure to get his personalized too.

Specs dad will love:

  • Measures 7.75 inches from tip to tip
  • Keys attach with a screw in pin
  • Stamp or brand it with up to 10 letters or symbols

 

Well there certainly are a number of items in my shop that could work for all those fathers out there, have a look at the shop when you get a chance and please feel free to contact me with any questions!

Why Does Leather Smell?

Whether it’s brand new truck seats, your latest pair of cowboy boots, or a new leather bag, most people have a preconceived idea of what leather should smell like. This smell has the tendency to send our imagination to a faraway place with rugged terrain, wild adventure, and wide open spaces. But what’s ironic about all of this is that the familiar smell that we have come to associate with leather may not actually be natural at all.

What I am about to reveal to you below may be quite shocking, so brace yourself.

The reality of the ‘leather’ smell common to most mass-produced leather goods you can find in department stores and cheap online marketplaces…just ain’t good for you or the environment.

unrolling leather hide

It’s important to note before we continue that I, Mr. Lentz, use a natural type of leather called Vegetable-Tanned. The leather is preserved in tanks using different tree barks and is much more expensive due to the natural process used to preserve the fibers.

This differs greatly from leather used by competing shops:

leather couch

When Leather Meets Chemicals

In fact, that typical smell that most are familiar with, is created when leather is treated with a lot of chemicals. Sadly, most of the leather we’re used to smelling in mass-market goods gets its scent from a harsh mix of chemicals that you’d run far away from if you knew what they were. According to the EPA, these are some of the most common tanning agents used in the world today:

  • Trivalent chromium
  • Alum
  • Syntans (man-made chemicals)
  • Formaldehyde
  • Glutaraldehyde

Not only are toxic ingredients like chromium salts used in chrome-tanned leather, but things like lignosulfate and specialty chemicals are also added to commercial leather products before finishing. The International School of Tanning Technology provides a list of 48 different chemicals that are commonly used in leather processing…48! The most notorious one of these chemicals is a type of chrome, which is known for putting certain tannery workers around the world at risk from exposure. Chome-tanned leather I should note is probably the most popular type of mass-market leather used in the world today. It is extremely cheap to manufacture, has an immediately soft feel, and unbeknownst to most consumers…also happens to wear out much more quickly.

An odor research study published in Chemical Senses reported that various smells presented were described as both leather-like and medicinal. That’s no coincidence. We’ve gotten so used to leather smelling like chemicals that it’s become hard to tell what pure leather should actually smells like. It’s time to get back to basics…

cowboy-disapproval

Natural Leather, the Mr. Lentz Way

As you should know by now, harsh chemicals and unnatural ingredients have no place in my workshop. That’s why I use natural tree bark tanned leather (Vegetable-Tanned) for all of my leather products. Full-grain Vegetable-Tanned leather from the top U.S. tannery is the best leather that money can buy because of its extreme density of fibers, strength, and natural preservation process. I have chosen to buy my leather from an extremely reputable U.S. tannery that conforms to strict U.S. standards developed by the EPA. The tannery is known for the best quality natural vegetable tanned leather in the world. Unlike other types of leathers that use chemical solutions to rush the natural process, vegetable tanned leather relaxes and softens into shape over time for maximum longevity. Basically you need to wear-in your wallet or bag over the first week or two to help the fibers stretch into shape.

handmade leather dye

From there, I only use natural dyes that I make right here in my workshop with pure and simple vegetable matter. As I’ve mentioned before, high-quality leather deserves high-quality care, which is where leather conditioning comes in. To soften things up, I only use leather conditioner made right here in my workshop that’s made with extra virgin olive oil and purified beeswax.

When I work in my shop, I don’t use gloves because I don’t have to. Natural ingredients are the key to staying in this business for the long-term.

spiff-n-shine

What Leather Should Smell Like

The end result of my eco-friendly method to dyeing and conditioning is a pure and natural leather that has a slightly different smell than the average leather you’ll find in those big-city stores. Thanks to the vegetable tanning, natural dyes, and chemical-free conditioning process, my leather smells rich, earthy, and slightly sweet. It’s not an overbearing smell or one that stinks up your whole house. Instead, it’s a subtle smell that will remind you of our great prairies, deserts and mountains. Pure, naturally treated leather should have a mild smell and be easy on the nose.

mountain lake view

I hope this helps you understand a bit about why leather smells and what different smells can tell you about a piece of leather’s quality and production process. When your next Mr. Lentz product arrives on your doorstep, take a big whiff, close your eyes, and let your imagination wander. This is the true smell of rugged terrain, wild adventure, and wide open spaces.

Mother’s Day Sale 20% Off

mothers day sale on leather goodsMother’s day is coming up quickly, so make sure to get your orders in. Right now I’m making and shipping most orders within 3 business days. I’m also giving 20% off select items in the shop including purses, some wallets and accessories. Head on over here: Mothers Day Sale  to see all the items with a discount. A lot of items will also ship free! Sale ends soon.

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Leather Dog Collars and Leashes

leather dog collar for small dogsSmall Leather Dog Collar (Dogs up to 15 lbs.)

I just finished designing a new line of leather dog collars and leather leashes. Now there’s a style made for every size of dog with the width of the collar to match. In this new series of dog gear I spent several months sourcing and testing the materials to get it just right. I am now using a new type of leather just for dog collars and leashes, called U.S. Full-Grain Latigo. Latigo leather is typically used in the horse saddle industry due to its extreme durability, resistance to stretch, water resistance and flexibility.

(At the time of this posting, there’s a sale: 20% off if you order both a collar and a leash together. Just add to your cart and it will apply automatically).

leather dog collar for small dogs

It is stuffed full of high-end wax and oils to keep the leather fibers strong and holding up in the longrun. You wont have to remove the collar when your dog wants to jump in that lake either. This collar will shed off water like a raincoat. The next big feature of all of my leather dog gear is the stainless steel hardware. It is the strongest type of metal you can get for use in buckles, D-rings, keepers and O-rings. To be quite honest, you should only buy dog gear made with Latigo leather and stainless steel hardware, it’s just built to last. leather dog collar for medium dogsMedium Leather Dog Collar (dogs 10 to 55 lbs.)

I rivet together each piece with an extremely durable type of rivet called a solid drilled brass rivet. These rivets are not too commonly used simply because other makers just don’t know about them. They are difficult to set, but once in place they are extremely strong. Much more so than a typical rivet and especially more so than stitching. leather dog collar for medium dogs

The collar shown above uses 8 solid drilled brass rivets that will stand up to even the toughest of medium dogs.leather dog collar for large dogs

Above is a 1.5 inch wide collar meant for large dogs (40 to 90 lbs.)leather dog collar for medium dogs

.leather dog collar for large dogs

Available in 2 color options. High quality Latigo leather is usually only available in these two colors, so if you see any exotic colors out there, you certainly should question the quality.large leather dog collar for strong dogs

I created this extra strong large dog collar for those that have very strong pets. Dobermans, Mastiffs, Rottweilers, and any other very large breed will fit well into this collar. It is 1.75 inches wide and features a double tongue roller buckle of stainless steel. Everything is riveted in place with 12 solid brass drilled rivets.large leather dog collar for strong dogs

.leather dog leash for small dogs

A new feature of my Latigo line of leashes is that I offer custom lengths. This is not typical of handmade leather leashes and allows you to get a length just right for the size of your pet and the style you walk with. Shorter dogs typically require longer leashes and vice versa.leather dog leash for small dogs

Though every piece of leather is already full of wax and oil, I still ship each collar and leash with a tin of my own all natural leather conditioner. If you see heavy use and the collar tends to get wet a lot, you may consider applying a thin coat of this every now and then to replenish lost oils and wax. It’s very easy and I have a short video and info on how to do that here.leather dog leash for small dogs

Each leash comes with stainless steel clips and O-rings. The O-ring allows you to clip your dog to a post when you need to walk away, say for your morning cup of coffee.leather dog leash for large dogs

The image above shows a leash meant for medium and large dogs. leather dog leash for small dogs

Every leash is made from thick leather, I do not stitch several thin layers together as do other companies out there. Thick leather like this resists stretching and will hold on strong.leather dog leash for large dogs

To see the entire collection of leather dog collars and leashes click here.

Salton Sea

the salton sea dead fish
Oh the desert, always revealing another surprise around every corner. You can walk through it for days, out in the middle of nowhere, and suddenly come upon some strange artifact from a hundred and fifty years ago. These past few months I have been taking some time on the weekends to explore a bit in this harsh southwestern landscape.

I wrote about it in a previous post in 2012 here. This past weekend was a trip with my lady out to the Salton Sea. Hardly the middle of nowhere, but strange nonetheless. Its most recent form having been created in 1905 by mistake. The Colorado river broke through a farming levee and flooded the basin for 16 months straight.

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For an incredibly quirky history – checkout the netflix documentary Plagues and PLeasures on the Salton Sea. There’s ghost towns, abandoned railways, dead decaying mounds of fish, beaches made entirely of barnacles, and a stench that comes and goes. Definitely worth a look.

Work Bag for a Thursday Afternoon

leather work bag for men
Just messing around this afternoon on some construction techniques. I used a very heavy duty industrial sewing machine and several rivets to put this piece together. The idea came from me carrying my water, coffee thermos, paperwork and other odds and ends in a small cardboard box to work every day.

leather work bag for men

One day (today actually) I decided that a leatherworker shouldn’t have to carry his goods in a cardboard box. This bag is actually based on the dimensions of my favorite cardboard box.

leather work bag for men

The challenge came in trying to keep this small leather bag looking manly enough for me to use every day. You know, less like a purse and more like a functional work bag. I think it’s just about good enough for me. I think this hints at a lot of new things to come for the shop. Stay tuned!

leather work bag for men

Stamping a Leather Belt (Part 2)

So it’s been a few weeks and I decided to go ahead and finish this stamped leather belt project. You can read the first part of this follow-along here: Part 1. Typically with leather tooling and stamping you want to try to finish your project up in one or two sessions in the same day or two. Well, I started on the first section of belt, then had to put it off for a bit – so I placed the damp belt in a plastic bag, and to prevent mold…I put it in the fridge next to the salsa.

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What is the best leather for a wallet?

full grain vegetable tanned leather for wallets

When looking for a quality leather product such as a wallet, it’s important to have a little bit of understanding about the types of leather and what to look for. The question I get a lot in emails each week goes something like this:

Hey Mr. Lentz, What is the best leather for a wallet, there seem to be so many makers and just as many leather types?

Well, this question happens to be plain and simple: Full Grain Vegetable Tanned Leather from U.S. cows happens to be the best leather your money can buy…and hold, in a wallet. Of course an important thing to note: I use only Full-Grain Vegetable Tanned Leather in all my leather goods in my shop.

Here’s a breakdown of why that is:

Full Grain is a term used to describe the layer of hide used. Full Grain is the outermost layer comprised of the tightest-packed layers of fibers. This extreme density of fibers is what helped that cow weather storms, bump against a barbed wire fence, scratch itself on a rock and get bitten by a mosquito or two. It’s tough and the beauty of it is that this type of leather will show these markings as subtle scars and variations in color. The Full Grain hide will not have a perfect uniform look since it was sculpted by a lifetime out on the range.

full grain leather illustration
Here’s a handy little illustration of where Full Grain Leather comes from.

full grain leather
This is a cross-section photo of my belt leather. It’s as close as I could get, but you can see the different layers in action. That nice thin line at the top is the most tightly packed layers of fibers and it’s what gives Full Grain Leather its strength.

full grain leather flesh side
The image above is the back side of my belt leather. I tried to get in close so you can get a glimpse of the billions of fibers of leather that are naturally interwoven.

Most people have not ever experienced Full-Grain leather, as it is harder to work with and work around. Most mass-produced consumer goods use either Top Grain (which is leather that has the outermost layers sanded off, thus removing any blemishes and scars – but it also takes off the durable outer layer), or they use ‘Genuine’ (the flimsy inner part of the hide) or ‘Bonded’ leather (which is basically just leather scraps finely ground into a dust, then re-glued into large thin sheets, a very cheap way to make leather products but they tend not to last long).

Vegetable Tanned simply means that the cowhide was put through a tanning process to preserve it using vegetable matter – typically oak and other tree bark. It’s a fairly natural form of tanning that has been around for hundreds of years. A wallet, bag, belt, or shoe made with vegetable tanned leather will need to be broken in over time to help the leather stretch and relax into shape. This is much different than other types of leathers that cheat the process with chemical solutions that actually break the leather fibers, causing them to feel soft. A typical culprit is ‘chrome tanned leather’ (using toxic chromium salts the fibers are broken and thus feel soft, but at the expense of the item being much less durable). The great part about Vegetable Tanned leather is that it ages like no other. It will react to its surroundings while you use it, darkening in color and polishing up nicely. Vegetable Tanned leather is known for that beautiful aged patina you see in heavily used leather goods. Just take a look at the one of my customer photos below:

leather wallet vegetable tanned patina

Cowhide happens to be the strongest type of leather for use in wallets, bags, belts and shoes due to the uniquely and extremely tight-packed fibers in the skin of the cow. The reason U.S. cowhide is the best is simply due to the care standards and nutritional regimen we have here in the U.S. Plainly put – we feed cows well and they live a simple life in relatively safe and managed areas as compared to other countries. As a side note – U.S. cowhide is only a byproduct of the U.S. meat industry and no cows are raised just for their hides, they are raised for their meat – plain and simple. Ranchers would lose a ton of money if they raised cows for leather. The hides would generally be thrown out if not for the demand in the leather industry.

 

So how does this all come together for being the best type for a wallet? Well,  when buying a wallet from my workshop – you are getting consistent quality with U.S. cowhide, the highest level of strength and durability with Full Grain, and the absolute beauty of a well used and nicely aged Vegetable Tanned leather. As the ol’ saying goes – buy nice or buy twice!

If you enjoyed learning a bit more about this unique leather type, you may also be interested in checking out all of the goods in my shop. Head on over to have a look!

Featured Seller Interview

Etsy Featured Seller - Mr. Lentz

Big news for this week – I am now an Etsy Featured Seller. It took me a good 5 years and a lot of hard work, and now they consider me one of the best of the best shops due to quality and service! There is a full interview for the posting located here. Go on and check it out, it’ll give a bit more insight into how I started this whole thing. I can tell you from hindsight – it ain’t as easy as it might seem in the interview! For all those aspiring makers out there, keep on keepin on and keep creating. We are now living in a world where we can easily distract ourselves every second of every day. It’s too easy to take the lazy route and watch a movie, cruise through social media, text friends…but at the end of the day what do you really have to show for it? Etsy Featured Seller - Mr. Lentz
Making things is fulfilling in its own right. Just taking on the process of getting good at something you never thought you could do – that’s an accomplishment that feels great for a long time. For me it all started with my first blog post, you can read that here. If you have days of nothing to do – my entire journey has been laid out to follow through this blog for your reading pleasure…or boredom – ha!
ShopShoot_01_0801

Have you started making things recently? Comment below on your adventures:

Stamping a Leather Belt (Part 1)

cowboy gun

It all started two weeks ago when I bought a (fake) gun. A heavy .45 caliber Cavalry Revolver by Colt. It ain’t real, but it sure looks it. It came out in 1873 in the American west and many a hardened cowboy carried one. I got mine because I want to make a period holster and gunbelt. Every year around this time I get the itch to learn something new and make anything beyond my typical skill level.

R0000076

Last year that was the cattle whip. Which – by the way cowboys never actually used it on the cow, it was created more as a noise-maker to drive cattle in a specific direction. When you flick your wrist, the energy rolls down the whip and speeds up until it reaches the end. The end loop snaps around faster than the speed of sound and you get a mini sonic boom. Unfortunately – there’s only a part one to that whip-making post because quite honestly, I may have jumped in a bit too deep on that one. There are a lot of refined skills you need to build up to get a whip looking nice. The complexity slowly wore me down and I just moved on to other things.

cowboy gun holster

Well, this season I am going to aim a bit lower! Making a holster is actually a fairly simple process that involves several different skills. The better I hone them, the better my holster will look in the end. To get it looking right I need to perfect casing the leather, stamping patterns and designs into it, dyeing, edge finishing, stitching, and ageing it to look nice and old and well-used. The photo above shows my first attempt at a Mexican Loop Holster. I threw together the design just so I could practice using the stamping tools and dyeing it/ treating it to look real old.

cowboy gun holster
aged cowboy gun holster

I think I may have overdone it a bit with the ageing process. I dried the leather up too much and to me it looks like there is too much cracking. On my next one I am going to see if I can refine it a bit more and get the leather to crack/distress more subtly and only in specific spots. I literally kicked this thing around in the dirt, walked on it over rocky concrete, blasted it with a heat gun, and dipped it in boiling water. In my next post on the holster I will go into a bit more detail on what seems to work the best.

stamped belt design

The art of stamping leather is a lifelong learning process in itself. As such I decided to make myself a regular old belt first and carve/stamp my own landscape pattern into it using a series of stamps and modeling tools. In my haste in making the belt above I nicked the edge a bit. Well, since it’s for me that’s ok – it’s got some character! That may disappear too after I bevel the edges later on.

stamped leather belt
I decided to give it a test shot on a scrap piece before I commit to the actual belt. Here’s the design about half way through.
stamped-belt-holster_0011

Now, I’ve never really been a fan of stamped leather, or carved patterns in leather…but for some reason I feel that changing fast, especially when it’s my own creation. I am sure that getting the design I want to look right is fairly unlikely at this point, but at least I am going in with low expectations!

So, this is less of a tutorial and more of a ‘follow along’. Read on to Part 2 here.

Are you making something new this winter?

Share your story in the comments below

How To Make A Leather Keychain

Every holiday season I like to put together a little DIY leather tutorial. This year i’m going to teach you how to make a leather keychain. I put together this step by step guide with photos of everything below, as well as an easy to follow video. Last year I posted how to make a wallet or belt. You’ll be workin’ that leather into a keychain in no time! Every major section has a little link to jump to that part in the video, so if you need a better idea of how I did it in motion, click the link and go up top to the video – it should start playing right at the point you need. Well, let’s get on to it!

 

If you use these links below, you can jump to that specific part of the video. This way you can watch any step below if my written explanation needs more visuals.
Cutting Leather @ 0:23
Marking Stitch Stop Points @ 1:41
Stitching Grooves @ 1:56
Edge Beveling @ 2:37
Edge Sanding @ 3:27
Burnishing @ 4:08
Hole Punching @ 5:20
Personalizing @ 12:18
Oiling and Waxing @ 13:12
Stitching @ 14:06
Reverse Stitches @ 20:09

how-to-make-a-leather-keychain-tutorial-diy-01-00001First off there’s the tools you will need as the bare minimum, and the tools you might prefer to use if you want to make this an easier task. The tools to the right of the ruler above are about the bare minimum you’ll need. The tools on the left help to make things easier. The tools that help make it prettier are shown in use later on.

Tools Needed

  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors or razor
  • Stitching awl
  • 2 leather needles
  • Waxed thread
  • Stitching Pony (or table vise if unavailable)

 

Tools To Make Things Easier

  • Leather Scissors with micro serrated lower edge (easily grips and cuts)
  • Rolling Blade (quick work cutting a straight edge next to a ruler)
  • Strap Cutter (perfectly sized straps every time)
  • Belt Tip Punch (for nice rounded ends)
  • Craftool Diamond Punch with 6 punch head (much easier than stitch awl)
  • Mallet
  • Stitching Pony

 

Tools to Make it Prettier

  • Edge Beveler (Size 2)
  • Stitching Groover
  • Fine and Extra Fine Sandpaper
  • Cocobolo burnisher for Drill Press (burnishing those edges)
  • Leather Letter Stamps (personalize it?)

 

how-to-make-a-leather-keychain-tutorial-diy-01-00003You will need some hardware for this. The easiest option it to find an old key fob and take it apart to recycle the hardware. Just keep in mind your keychain width may change depending on your hardware. I had the above available in the shop, on the left my edge beveler seems to have made it into the shot.

how-to-make-a-leather-keychain-tutorial-diy-01-00004Find a good piece of leather to use. I had a scrap piece of Full-Grain Vegetable Tanned leather laying around, it’s a 6/7 ounce and makes just the right thickness for this keychain. You can find scrap leather on ebay or even a local Tandy Leather store without having to buy a whole hide. We don’t need much for this as you can see. The first step in making this leather keychain is to start with a straight edge. I am going to teach the way I would do it with my tools, but you can certainly improvise if you don’t have all of the tools seen. I took my ruler and rolling blade and cut a nice straight edge on this scrap piece. To jump to that point in the video, click this link and scroll back up to the video: Cutting Leather @ 0:23
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Free Card Wallet With orders $100+

thin-leather-card-wallet-minimal-slim_0039Looking to load up on some last minute holiday gifts? Well, if you get your order over $100, I am making and shipping one of these wallets for free. The sale ends this Sunday at midnight (12/11/16). Good luck to y’all during the holidays, and thank you for your support of my shop! I gotta make this short and sweet…back to the workshop for holiday orders!

Black Friday Week Begins! 20% OFF Everything

Black Friday Sale Coupon 20% Off

Take advantage of my shop’s biggest sale of the year! This Black Friday Week everything is 20% off, plus orders shipping in the U.S. get free shipping on most items! Use the code: GET20 Add an item, or several items, to your cart, then on the cart page you can enter in the code in the input box and hit apply coupon. The 20% off leather goods applies to all items in the cart. The sale is going to end midnight Pacific Standard Time on 11/28/16 , so make sure to get your orders in! Happy shopping and happy holidays to y’all! Be safe and enjoy!