Introduction: Handmade Kangaroo Cardholder
This instructable is to show you how to make a simple and functional leather cardholder. The cardholder is made of kangaroo leather which is quite unique from traditional cow leather. Kangaroo leather is a strong light -weight leather derived from the hide of the kangaroo. kangaroo leather has 10 times the tensile strength of cowhide and 50% stronger than goatskin, it has a nice uniform fiber structure. it is often used in high-performance sports accessory and small leather goods. Kangaroos, which are native to Australia, are a more environmentally friendly livestock option than introduced sheep and cattle. The whole process is quite straight forward and it will only take a few hours to make it.
You can also buy the one I made here on etsy
Step 1: Tools and Materials
The list of tools
snips for cutting threads
leather cutter - rotary and scalpel kind
diamond chisel (3mm) set
round awl for marking
diamond awl for piercing
edge burnish tool
leather craft needles
I used veg-tan kangaroo leather that is around 1mm thick.
Step 2: Patterns
I designed the pattern with Autodesk Inventor. All the dimensions are in (mm). the front side will be made with red/blue veg-tan kangaroo leather. the back side will be made with black veg tan kangaroo leather with silk lining.
The Pattern is drawn on A3 size paper. However, when printing out the pattern as tiles in letter-size or A4 size paper all the pieces of the pattern will be printed as the whole piece without the need to join the tiles.
I traced the patterns on heavy card stocks to use as a template for cutting.
Step 3: Assemble Front Side
I used the pattern and template to cut 3 pieces of the front side cardholder
I applied double sided tape on the middle piece. this is will create a bottom for the card slot. I then hand stitched the two pieces together. the smallest piece is added one top of the two bigger pieces to cover the stitch line and form the shape of the card holder front side. Once that is done, I sprayed adhesives one the back of the leather and bound the back side ( black ) to the front side.
Step 4: Assemble Back Side
The two backside slot are cut from the template, I designed the inside slot is 5mm shorter than the outside slot so the shorter side of that piece is not stitched on with the rest but tightly wrapped by the other two pieces. this is to make stitching easier and the edge thinner.
I used a divider to mark all the edges from the flesh side of the leather, and punched all the stitching holes from the flesh side of the leather, this is very important because the diamond chisel punch is not reversable, and I intended to punch the holes from the front side of the cardholder ( red side) the back side must be punched from the flesh side to make all the holes line up.
to add a personal touch the middle piece is also wrapped with a piece of silk.
Step 5: Hand Stitching and Apply Edge Finish
When hand stitching leather, I make sure the thread is long enough to finish the stitching but not too long. I usually measure the length of the stitching line and multiple by 4.5. this way the lines are just long enough to cover all the stitchings.
to make the perfect stitching line I used a stitching horse. so both of my hands are not touching the leather piece and the angle of pull is somewhat uniform.
The last step is to apply edge finish. the edges are first burnished with wooden tools. I used a toothpick to apply acrylic edge finish.
Step 6: Complete
a light buff of carnauba creme and it is complete. Kangaroo leather really has a unique texture that is very supple and smooth. the silk wrap give it a bit color and personal touch. I made one in blue and one in red. Each one took me just a few hours at night after work. so it is really a unique and useful gift. I hope you enjoy my instructable, I am still new to leather craft and handmade leather goods, so some of the finishes are not perfect and the techniques might not be the best. I am working on improving my pattern making and overall designs. hope you like it.