Introduction: Eyeglasses Leather Case With Feather

Picture of Eyeglasses Leather Case With Feather

Simple but very nice eyeglasses case OR a holder for your pencils or brushes or even stamping tools!

The feather is not hard to carve and leather is hard enough for feather to last as long as the case itself does.

This one is small and made for small glasses but of course you can scale the pattern up when printing and make a big holder just for about anything.

The cutting pattern is included for you to download as well as the feather carving pattern, too.

You will not need too many tools but you will require some..

1) Vegetable leather 4-5oz or heavier if you really want to protect your glasses. If you use heavy leather you would need to adjust your pattern, scale it up a bit to give some space for folds.

2) Lining leather - any thin and soft leather, could be chrome leather if you like

3) Leather shears or knife (must be sharp)

4) Round punch for snap buttons and a snap setter set

5) Contact cement

6) Stamps for tooling (beveler, leaf liner, background stamp and hair blade tool) and a mallet

7) Swivel knife

8) Scratch awl and stylus for tracing the pattern

9) Edge beveler

10) Diamond chisels or pricking irons and a stitching awl

11) Two stitching needles with blunt ends and waxed thread

12) Scalpel

13) Snap Buttons x 3

14) Antique paste or gel or stain and dye for edges

15) Leather finish

Also you will need gloves, sponge or sheep wool, paper towel, water, modeling spoon, granite or marble slab and beeswax

Step 1: Making the Pattern and Cutting the Case Out of Leather

Picture of Making the Pattern and Cutting the Case Out of Leather

Download the PDF file with cutting and carving patterns. Cut it out and place on leather. Use a scratch awl to trace the pattern on leather. Do not make deep scratches, just deep enough to see the lines. Mark the snap buttons placements.

Use the shears or knife to cut the pattern out of leather. Use round punch to make holes for snaps.

Step 2: Get the Carving Pattern Transferred to Leather and Cut the Lines

Picture of Get the Carving Pattern Transferred to Leather and Cut the Lines

Use a piece of sheep wool or sponge to apply water to the leather. This is called "casing". You can dip leather into water or you can use a sponge if your project is small. Apply a few layers of water and then leave the leather aside for 30min or more until it returns the original color but is cool to the touch which indicates that there is still moisture inside. At this stage leather is ready for tooling.

To avoid stretching and distortion stick sellotape to the flesh side of leather.

Place your pattern on leather and trace the feather using a stylus (or a pencil).

Cut the lines half way through the leather using a swivel knife.

Step 3: Carving the Feather

Picture of Carving the Feather

Use different sizes of bevelers for short and long lines. Bevel all outlines and inside.

Use a modeling spoon to round all sharp edges along the beveled cuts.

With a leaf liner bevel again two central lines. Pay attention to the pattern direction - it is different on both sides (see the photos)

Now use a hair blade to scratch hair-like lines on feather surface. Do it nicely and carefully so it looks neat and not haotic.

Now put your glasses on and use a scalpel to undercut the feather all around the edges and lift the edges slightly up. Be careful not to cut off a part of feather (or your finger!).

Use the same scalpel to make small cuts on lifted edges so they look like real feather. Follow the "hair" direction.

Use the modeling spoon again to lift and twist a bit single "hair" here and there, to add some realistic look.

If leather is too dry by now use spray to add some moisture and when it returns light color again stamp the background carefully under the lifted edges (see the photos).

Take the sellotape off.

Step 4: Applying Resist Finish

Picture of Applying Resist Finish

Let the feather dry completely and apply resist finish. I used Eco-Flo Super Shene. With the brush apply finish on feather surface and then under it along the edges. Then apply finish on all case surface. When it is dry (give it at least an hour) apply a second coat.

Let it dry for a couple of hours. Do not use a hair dryer! If your hair dryer gets very hot you will burn feather edges (do not ask how I know that..)

Step 5: Antique

Picture of Antique

Use your favorite color, I used Saddle Tan.

Get some antique on a piece of sheep wool or sponge and start with feather. Make sure you get enough antique under the edges so there is no missing spots. Then apply color to the whole surface, work it in nicely in circles.

Use paper towel to remove excesses and use water if needed.

Let it dry properly, better leave overnight then buff it well.

Apply leather finish, any will do. Again, leave it to dry.

Step 6: Install Snaps

Picture of Install Snaps

Install bottom parts of the snaps, three of them. Refer to the pattern for placement.

Step 7: Lining

Picture of Lining

Cut a piece of lining leather a bit bigger then the case itself.

Apply cement or leathercraft weld to the flesh side of leather. When it is dry and tacky place it on lining and carefully connect both, holding in the way that it is a bit bent. Not much, just a little bit. If you do this then there will be no wrinkles on the lining inside when using the case.

Get rid of air bubbles (I used a glass slicker but anything else will work.

Step 8: Stitching

Picture of Stitching

Use a wing divider to mark a stitching line 1/4" from the edge of case. Use pricking iron to mark stitching holes or use diamond chisels to actually make holes ready for stitching.

You will need two needles with blunt ends and waxed thread. The length of thread should be 4 times more then the stitching line. Use a stitching pony for convenience.

Push the needle through a hole and line up both needles to make sure you have the same length on both sides.

Push the "left" needle through the next hole and pull it out on the right side. Push the "right" needle through the same hole and pull it out on the left side. Pull both needles making a tight stitch.

Do the same do make another stitch and then go all around and stitch the lining to the case.

Pull threads on the lining side and cut them short. Use a lighter or something to melt the ends and fix the thread.

Step 9: Finishing Edges

Picture of Finishing Edges

Now cut the lining leather as close to the edges as you can using a sharp knife.

Bevel the edges.

Sand the edges with sandpaper starting with medium/fine and finishing with extra fine. Sand in one direction only rather than rubbing it back and forth.

Use a wool dauber and dye the edges. I used Fiebing's Professional Oil dye.

Apply some beeswax and then polish the edges nicely with a wood slicker.

Step 10: Snaps Again

Picture of Snaps Again

Now install top parts of the snaps

Buff the case with a piece of clean sheep wool.


The case can be opened and closed using any of the three buttons.

Thank you for reading my tutorial!

Good luck!

Era Shevtsova


Mjtrinihobby (author)2017-01-24


sinzu made it! (author)2016-12-23

it was my very first leather project but you provided great instructions even for beginners. I just finished two of them right now, just in time for my Christmas presents. Thank you very much !

rivergypsy (author)2016-11-18

Oh gosh, thank you! I've been making leather feathers for a while now; barrettes and "art objects" but always fought the center stem of the feather with the hair blade tool- because of its square shape. I see now there is a magical "leaf liner" tool that has diagonal lined edges... I did not know this! It will help me lots to get one. Such a simple thing... :)

Vagoscha (author)2015-12-03

Thats a wonderful project and a superb tutorial to work with!
I started working on it today as a christmas present for my grandmother.
I would have one question though, if you dont mind: I worked with Eco-Flo Antique Gel before and as a resist I used Fiebings Leather Sheen. After coating it twice and letting it dry for about a day, I applied the Antique Gel. Some parts of the patterns with resist still got colored by the Antique Gel tho. I use a synthetical sponge to work the gel into the pattern in circles.
Is it the wrong resist I used or could it be that I rubbed the resist off? To apply the whole Gel evenly and color the parts without the resist in a deeper shade, I had to go over the same spots more than once. (I added a picture of the Dice-Cup I made below - the axe, for example, got colored)
Thank you and I hope more tutorials will follow in time!
Greetings from Austria!

caracoda (author)Vagoscha2015-12-03

Thank you for your message!
Any acrylic finish will work as a resist but each will result in different effect. I never used Fiebing's leather sheen but I used Eco-Flo super shene. I assume they are similar things. Different finishes have different waterproof characteristics and that is what makes the resisting effect different in each case. I like using Eco Flo Block Out but I also use Super Shene a lot. From my experience you need to apply a few coats of finish to achieve proper resist. And you need to let each coat dry properly. I usually do this in the evening and leave overnight to dry off. Then I apply antique on the next day. I do use liberate amount of antique but that is not a problem if the resist is dry. Hope it helps.

Vagoscha (author)caracoda2015-12-03

Thank you for your help and your very quick response!
I will try a different resist like Tandy's (they are a bit tricky to get here in Austria) after I have tried your suggested approach by adding more layers and letting them dry for a longer time - let's see how that works out.

centric vig made it! (author)2015-11-24

Well for my second leather crafting project ever, I gave your eyeglasses case a try and this is what I cam up with. Thank you for a great instructables !!

caracoda (author)centric vig2015-11-25

Thank you for using my tutorial!
For a second leather project ever you have done really well I must say! Very good!

centric vig (author)caracoda2015-11-27

Thank you for the kind words. I must be in the blood, maybe it's my calling. I also did a lot of reading about leather crafting before I started working leather. Any plans for another instructables ? (author)2015-10-05

Very nice! I love the color, and your one time feather is perfectly done. One thing I don't see in any instructions, and that is the letter printing on the leather, how was that done so perfectly?



My Dad is from England 60+ years ago!

caracoda (author)

The letters are my brand logo, I use a ready made stamp to apply it. Just like any other stamp it is used on wet leather.

Thank you! (author)caracoda2015-10-06

Thank You for the quick response! & of course the answer

Maverik (author)2015-01-05

Excellent piece! Where do you buy your stamping tools from? There a couple profiles you have that I have never seen before.

Maverik (author)Maverik2015-01-06

I was referring to the round and pointed backgrounders that look like bubbles. I dont think ive seen those before and was wondering where you found them?

caracoda (author)Maverik2015-01-06

Those are Hide Crafter tools but Tandy have similar ones, look for Craftool Matting Stamp M881, M882, M884

I bought mine on eBay, look for Pebble Matting Texture Stamp

caracoda (author)Maverik2015-01-05

I buy everywhere around the world, wherever I see something I like or need. Which one you are interested in?

kilicbaligi (author)2015-01-02

thank you :)

hoda.tork (author)2015-01-02

Good done thank you with love

bazatin (author)2014-12-21


warehouse32 (author)2014-10-23

This is incredible. Absolutely beautiful work! How long did this take to make?

caracoda (author)warehouse322014-10-23

Should be two days considering you need to leave the antique to dry overnight.

warehouse32 (author)caracoda2014-10-26

good to know, thank you!

SparkySolar (author)2014-10-24

Thank you for your nice instructable.


SparkySolar (author)2014-10-24

Thank you for your nice instructable.


GordonKirkwood (author)2014-10-23

Amazingly beautiful case! I'm curious, is the stitching aesthetic only, or is it necessary to prevent separation of the lining from exterior? Also, how durable is the figured leaf, especially those narrow feather fibers?

caracoda (author)GordonKirkwood2014-10-23

Thank you very much!

The stitching is to hold the lining, although the lining leather is glued in with strong glue. As to feather durability I already responded please read in the comments below.

irukza (author)2014-10-23

Beyond your amazing skill, is admirable taste of your designs. Thank you very much for sharing.

caracoda (author)irukza2014-10-23

Thank you very much for taking time reading it!

billbradshaw (author)2014-10-23

This is a great instructable and awesome finished product. I'm also a leather craftsmen. One of my first larger pieces I did that was meant to be a stand-alone decorative piece included a feather. I wish I had seen this tutorial first! I had to learn the hard way how to form and undercut the edges, etc. and it didn't turn out half as good as yours.

Thank you for sharing your talent (and the pattern ;). Very useful!

caracoda (author)billbradshaw2014-10-23

Thank you, I am glad it can be useful! Actually,this is my first and the only feather I ever did (carved).

seamster (author)2014-10-22

I actually said out loud, "Wow. That's beautiful."

This is one of my favorite leather projects thus far, and there have been a lot of great ones lately!

. . . Favorite not just because of the final product, but because of the excellent skill on display and the wonderfully useful instruction contained throughout.

Well done!

caracoda (author)seamster2014-10-23

Thank you very much! Thank you all guys for your nice comments!

kakashibatosi (author)2014-10-22

I was really happy to see that you added lining to this. That really improves the functional quality of the piece. Just like your bag, the details are very nicely done.

caracoda (author)kakashibatosi2014-10-23

Thank you very much!

Izzypup (author)2014-10-22

Simply gorgeous! Makes me wish I knew a lot more about leather craft. (The extent of my knowledge came from one week in summer camp!)

caracoda (author)Izzypup2014-10-23

Thank you!

mbnielson (author)2014-10-22

Beautiful work

caracoda (author)mbnielson2014-10-23

Thank you!

The Rambler (author)2014-10-23

This is absolutely gorgeous. I'm in awe of your skill; from the tooling right down to the stitching and edge work this is all fantastic.

caracoda (author)The Rambler2014-10-23

Thank you!

Martillo Workshop (author)2014-10-23

Do you feel the feather parts are fragile? Unfortunately photos don't really show durability well, but I'd assume the feather would be ruined in a matter of months if you carry this in a bag with other items or in a pocket?
It looks fantastic, but I'd never do something like this myself simply because I feel it's too fragile of a detail. I'm wondering how much protection the finish grants since I don't have experience with that. Does that make a significant difference?

I'm also wondering how a hair drier could burn the feather parts since leather doesn't burn (There's no flammable material in leather). Is it because of the finish being flammable or do you mean that it may char?
I've used open flame to get charred effects on projects, and it takes a ton of work (A ton of heat) to get any visible charring going on, so that comment made me curious a bit. You must have a super efficient hairdrier :D

Thank you for your comment and your questions Martillo,

The feather is not fragile, I do believe it can last for years. However, it also depends on how you cut the edges. If you make those little cuts (representing lifted edges) really thin then they will probably fall off even when you buff the leather. If you undercut leather making the feather thicker as it goes to the central part, and if you make individual short cuts on edges in one parallel direction instead of chaotic movements then each individual "hair" will have enough base and support not to be torn off and to stand out time and wear. And after the finish is applied those edges are quite stiff and I would not put this case in the same bag with ladies nylon tights (for tights sake obviously). With all that said, I agree that probably this feather decoration would be more safe on something that does not move, like a clock or a picture frame. The tutorial is meant to show the idea and the "how-to" process and now it is up to each person how to accommodate this information. You got 2 in 1 instructable, you know now how to make a case and how to carve a feather. You can combine these two or you can use them separately on different items. Although I still think the case with feather looks cool and I would use it :-)

As to your question about hair dryer and burning leather. Yes, it gives high enough temperature to burn leather. I have a professional hairdryer and it is very powerful, it dries long hair in matter of minutes. I use it for leather on medium heat settings. Leather gets burnt under high heat (even if it is hot air and not fire). It will shrink and then will get dry and hard deforming shape. This process will be stronger and faster if leather was treated with oil or any liquid for that matter because oils will heat up quickly. For the same reason you do not apply melted and very hot beeswax to leather but have to cool it down a bit. When you make armor out of leather you use boiling water - leather shrinks and hardens so you can not pierce it with a knife. Look it up and you will find lots of information on leather armor making and how leather behaves under the heat. It is quite fascinating!

I can not say for chrome leather as I only work with vegetable tanned hides. Probably chrome behaves differently under the heat, but veg tanned leather gets burnt, although without fire flames of course.

Hope this helps..


Yeah, it chars - It doesn't burn with a flame.
I'm familiar with how leather acts under heat, and have done hardening tests a while ago. There's a lot of misinformation out there about armour and leather though.
Hardened leather won't actually stop a blade. A thrust with a blade will still pierce (And so will arrows). Which is also why leather has never really been used as armour historically besides hardened lamellar armour (Invented by arabs and spread to scandinavia and asia, used up until the 13th century), which due do the layered leather works decently (I've made lamellar armour myself - It's easy to make and repair, but takes ages to make).
Even then it was often times used on top of metal, or had metal plates incorporated into the armour because leather alone does not provide significant protection (It's comparable to a thick wool/felt coat in durability and stopping power).

When it comes to leather hardening I don't like boiling since boiling techniques are prone to over hardening which leaves the leather brittle (If you try to pierce it, it will crack the entire plate in half).
Oven hardening seems to work better because it feel like you have more control over it, and I've heard some good things about hardening in multiple steps with both water and wax in conjunction with each other. I haven't tried it myself though.

I did get my hands on some chrome leather by mistake at one point, though I didn't try burning it. I might still have some scraps around to do some testing with. I'll probably never find it though ;)
(These comments end up being way too long, my apologies)

Wow, when I saw the thumbnail picture I thought you had just glued a feather to the case! Amazing work!

I thought the same thing!

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