This USB leather key is a fun and easy to make DIY project. Though make no mistake, it still takes a few steps and a couple of tricks to get it looking just right. In this tutorial, I have photographed every step in making this leather USB key from figuring out the dimensions, to preparing the edges, dyeing, and hand stitching.
Leather is one of my favourite materials to work with. It's natural, very versatile, it's durable and it looks awesome.
Whether a beginner or a master, you're sure to expand your leathercraft knowledge and skills by watching my DIY inspirational videos. =) Once you subscribe to my YouTube channel, you'll be able to view how-to videos that include: Basic Leathercraft, MetalWorking, WoodWorking, Electronics, Tools and more.
Step 1: Tools
Here are all the essential tools required for this project:
Step 2: Cut Your Leather.
First disassemble your USB stick to get a rough idea of how big a piece of leather you will need. For this project I'm using tooling leather.
Use the naked USB stick to mark the dimensions of your piece.
Cut two pieces of the same size.
Step 3: Stitching
To prepare your leather for stitching, use a groover tool to create a small groove for your stitches to sit in. Next, punch holes within the groove lines using a comb punch, then place your 2 pieces together and begin to do your stitching. I used waxed thread because it slides well into the leather and makes the job easier. The last stitch should be knotted in between the 2 halves so it's hidden.
Step 4: Preparing the Edges
I purposely made my leather pieces larger then they needed to be, so that they were easier to work with as well allowing me to finish off their edges nicely. To remove the excess edge, I placed my leather in a flat, non-textured vice and used a blade to strip the excess. Note: if you have textured jaws on your vice, place small pieces of wood on either side of the leather to protect it. Next, I cut off the corners then used a bevelling tool to round the edges. Then I added a drop of water on each edge of the leather case and used a grooved piece of wood to slick the sides.
Step 5: Finishing the Leather
To colour the leather, I applied a brown leather dye to both sides. The leather dye is very unforgiving, anything it gets on will be stained forever, so I did this step on a piece of waxed paper and was careful not to get it on my hands. Use rubber gloves if you can. I let the leather sit for a few minutes so it could absorb the dye, then I finished it with dubbin which protects, seals and conditions the leather. As a final touch, I used a stamping tool to put the Inspire to Make initials on it.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Creation
To put my flash drive into its new housing, I used a screw driver to pry open the leather case and I secured my flash drive inside with a drop of hot glue.