Introduction: How to Make a Rustic Leather Shaving Kit
Leatherworking is something that has been done since before the beginning of civilization, so I was really surprised at the cost involved with starting out. Most tutorials, how to's and other guides start by listing 20+ one use tools that are "needed" to complete the project. I thought that I could do the same thing with far less, and there was a leather contest on so I went for it.
This Shaving kit is waterproof, has custom designed "pockets" to hold all of my toiletry items, customized engravings, and rustic hand stitching. It cost me about $80 and 8ish hours, but I have supplies and tools to make at least 4-5 other projects. Thank you for your interest, hope you like it.
I'm not an old grizzled leather working master, in fact this project was my second attempt at making anything from leather. So I hope that will give you some confidence if you decide to start making something like this.
Let's get started by talking about the main ingredient.
//There are a lot of images and videos in this instructable so cellular data users be warned.
//Also the first person to post an "I made it" comment will get a free 3 month pro membership
Step 1: Where to Get Leather
So to start making things out of leather, you are most definitely going to need a piece of leather.
Unfortunately leather is so versatile and so varied that getting the type and size your need is really quite difficult and expensive.
Let's start with where to get it, then we can figure out what kind we need.
The obvious choice for buying leather is Tandy Leather, they have lots of stores littered around North America, and they also ship if there isn't one close to you.This would be where I recommend getting leather.
Michael's (the craft store) also has a very limited selection of leather. However they do have other items at reasonable price, especially when you use the frequent 50% off coupons.
Upholstery Shops in your area may also sell scraps. However if you plan on making something structural like a bag the type of leather they use is not the best choice. It will be good for pockets and lining though.
Book Repair Shops may also sell you some scrap, or maybe some larger pieces, if you ask them nicely. It's worth a look if you have any near you.
Saddle & Tack Shops: All of these that I've been to didn't sell raw material, only finished products. Worth a look though, if you ask nicely they might tell you where they buy their leather.
There may also be some specialty stores in your area that may sell leather. You'll have to be careful to make sure it's the type you are after. More on that in the next step
*\ If you know of any places that sell leather please leave a note for others in the comments. I'll try and add them all to this step. /*
Step 2: Leather Types & Weights
Now there are as many types of leather as there are animals on the planet, more actually. We are however not looking for anything to fancy or exotic. Luckily for us we are looking for one of the most common types of leather: Veg Tan.
So what the heck is Veg Tan?
Veg Tan leather, or more formally Vegetable Tanned, is a type of leather that has been tanned (the process that turns skin into leather) with tannins and other components found in vegetables. It is the only type of leather that we can use if we want to stamp designs or otherwise "tool" the leather. It is usually quite thick, and not very pliable. It is usually light brown, about the same colour as skin. It is not the type of leather that you will find on chairs or in jackets, that is Chrome Tan.
Chrome Tanned leather is tanned with chromium salts instead of vegetable tannins. It is the most popular type of leather, the type that is found on couches and chairs (thus why we don't want to but from upholstery shops) and comes in tons of colours. It is usually thin and very pliable, when you go into Tandy this is what most of the display stuff is. This can be used to make all sorts of stuff, just not the stuff we are trying to make, so for following these instructions avoid it.
Those two are the most popular types of leather and if you can distinguish between them you should be alright. There are lots of other types like: brain tanned, formaldehyde tanned, and rawhide (which doesn't really count as leather). However these will probably all be specifically labeled, avoid these kinds because they will be more expensive than the Veg Tan.
Now just to get more confusing there are different types of each of the styles listed above.
The type we are looking for is Full Grain, which is unfortunately, the highest grade of leather. It is essentially raw tanned leather. It hasn't been sanded or split, or had any coatings or patterns applied to it. The easiest way to tell if the leather you are looking at if full grain is if it feels like skin, almost all of the other types have had some sort of coating applied to the leather. If the smooth side of the leather feels plastikey then it is not full grain and the tooling and dyeing we do later won't work.
But wait there's more:
Once you have deciphered all the different types and styles there are are, and which one you need. There is then the issue with the thickness. Again because leather is used for so many different things, from saddles to gloves, there is a variety of thicknesses. You wouldn't really want gloves made out of saddle leather, they wouldn't flex at all.
Now the thickness of leather isn't measured in a length, it is measured by weight, I know confusing. The thickness is measured by the weight of, I believe, one square foot of the leather. It ranges from ~2oz. --> ~10oz. What we are looking for is the 4-6oz. range, 4 oz. will be a thinner more pliable bag, and 6oz. will be a thicker sturdier bag.
Okay so now that you know the basics of what you are looking for its time to figure out the size.
Unlike a fabric store you can't go in and order 3.5m of leather, or whatever length you need. This is because cows, and pigs, only come in one size (or near enough). I think this is the main reason that leather working isn't very popular (compared with quilting or sewing). Leather is only sold in big and really big sizes, so that someone could make say a jacket or a couch cushions without having to stick together 15 smaller pieces.
This makes it tricky for the thrifty likes of us to get started. You are going to have to buy a big piece, so having a grasp on the basic skills and an idea of what you can make is essential.
I got a Craftsman single shoulder 4-5oz from Tandy Leather. It cost us $50 with shipping. I would suggest this as a very good place to start. For the mount of projects that can be completed from it it works out to about $10 a project. For reference that is about 1/3 of what it cost for projects made from the scraps bucket.
//Sorry I only had one type of leather so I don't have many pics for this step.
TL;DR: To make a shaving kit you want to get a 4-5oz Veg Tan single shoulder.
Step 3: Planning
Before you head out and buy a big piece of leather, it's a good idea to have some ideas of what you want to make. This shaving kit will use about half of the shoulder so you will have lots left over for other projects. Brainstorm some great projects. Check the instructables leather category, etsy, or your favorite DIY website for some ideas if you don't have any. Try and avoid really really large projects (briefcase) as you won't have enough leather left over.
Once you know what you want to make draw up some patterns. This is a great way to put what is in your head into the real world and see if it is feasible. We made our patterns by taping a few pieces of printing paper together and drawing on them, you could print them off if you wish (I'll try and upload some scale drawings here). Having paper that you can fold and hold gives a great idea of how complicated your design is and what size you are looking for. They are also great to trace out onto your leather once you get it.
Now you can go into Tandy Leather, or your chosen leather supplier, knowing exactly what you need. This is quite helpful as there are a staggering number of options.
Next we will get our whole shopping list together.
Step 4: Materials
Okay so here is what will hopefully set this guide apart from the rest. What are you going to need.
Stuff You Will Probably Need To Buy:
Leather (link) This is the most essential and most expensive part of the project ~$50
Eyelets: (link) Used to add durability to holes, adds a professional look. ~$5
Cording: (link) Used to hold things in the finished project, I used a stretchy type. ~$5
Dye: (link) Used to change the colour of the leather. I used a dark brown from Michael's, and some left over dark brown eco flow from Tandy ~ $10
If you don't want to buy dye you can also use coffee brewed really strong :)
Needle: (link) Needed to sew. ~3
Awl: (link) Need something to make holes with, depending on knife you might not need it. ~$5
Total: ~$80 This is with everything rounded up and is in CDN.
Stuff you will probably have:
Knife: (link) A thin pointed blade, or Swiss Army Knife, is preferred. A craft knife (razor blade) will work, but you will need an additional awl to make holes.
Cutting Board: (link) I used a standard wooden cutting board from my kitchen. A workbench would have been better.
Ruler: (link) Doesn't actually need to be a ruler any straight edge will work.
#4 Philips Screwdriver: (link) This is used to set the eyelets, so if you aren't using those you don't need it.
Fork: Common kitchen fork, used as a measurement device.
Chalk or Pencil: Some type of non permanent marking device. Chalk is preferable.
Tin Foil: (link) Used while dyeing so that the dye doesn't get on anything.
Rags/Paper Towel: Used to rub in dye and water.
I think that that is everything we used in making these projects. Most of the things are improvised versions of commercially available tools. Of those I think the most useful one to buy would be a rotary punch, or a sewing awl.
Step 5: Tracing Out the Patterns
So hopefully based on the previous steps you have paper templates of the things you want to make. This will help when you are laying everything out on the leather.
Keep in mind that leather is a natural product and will change thickness around your piece. If you have a project that is meant to be more flexible try and put it on a thinner section of the leather.
Also leather has a grain to it! We didn't check the direction before we traced our patterns out. To check simply flex the leather in different directions, it will flex more easily in one direction then the other. You want the top section of the shaving kit to be able to wrap around the edges. So have the grain running along the wider section of the top cover if possible.
We used a piece of sidewalk chalk, sharpened with a knife, to trace around the boarders of our patterns to transfer the shape to the leather. Blackboard chalk will work better as you can be more precise, but the sidewalk worked fine for us.
Step 6: Cutting Out the Leather
Once you have the patterns traced onto the leather you can start to cut out the pieces required for the different projects.
This is pretty straightforward.
Leather is harder to cut out with scissors than fabric, so unless you have heavy duty shears I would recommend using a sharp knife.
Place the leather on the cutting board and make sure that the entire length of the cut you need to make is over the cutting board. This is more difficult than it sounds:)
Place the straight edge along the line you need to cut out. Running the knife with light downward pressure along the straight edge to create the initial score. Then repeat, cutting a little more each time, until you get through the leather. Repeat this process on each cut required for the patterns.
Once the piece(s) are cut out you can clean the chalk off with a rag, but don't get the leather wet!
Step 7: Marking Stiching Holes
In order to get the shaving kit to be shaving kit shaped we are going to have to sew the edges together to form a box. With fabric this doesn't require much lead up, just get the sewing machine ready and pin the pieces together.
It is a very different story with leather. First we are going to need to mark where each hole is going to be, and make sure they line up with the holes on the other side that is being sewed to it. Then we need to punch all these holes out. There are quite a few tools used in this part of leatherworking, however you can do it with a ruler, fork and a marker/chalk with a bit of patience.
Please note I did all my markings in pen so that it would show up in the photos. Once everything is stitched together you can't really see these markings, but it would still be better to do it in chalk.
Start by making an offset line for each of the edges that are going to have stitching on them. I measured 0.5cm (5mm) to the inside of the leather and put a small point there. Then moving the ruler a couple inches down the edge I repeated the measurement and placed another dot.
Once you have a few dots, all 5mm, in from the edge, its time to join them all into a line using a straight edge. This line will make sure all our stitching goes in a straight line.
Next its time to mark each individual hole that our thread will go threw. To make sure they are all an even distance apart, and to avoid measuring a million little holes, I used the tines of a fork to measure how far each hole should be from the last. Put the fork on the offset line you dew in the last step, and using your preferred marking device mark a dot on the line at the end of each tine. Do this all the way up the first edge. I found that the distance for the fork worked out quite well for the jute twine that I was using as thread, but if you are using lace or thread that is thicker/thinner than the jute twine you will have to adjust the distance accordingly. With thicker thread, like a leather lace you will have to put the holes about 1mm further apart to accommodate for the size of hole required to fit lace threw.
To make sure that the holes we are marking on this edge line up with the holes on the next edge and make the stitching way easier and nicer looking. We have to fold the leather up into the shape it will be when it is sewn together. Using one hand to hold the leather together use the other to make the starting point, the first dot you put on the line. Because the tines are all the same distance apart we only need to mark one hole.
Then repeat the marking of the holes on the corresponding edge using the same technique. Every time you get to a corner, repeat the folding and marking step to make sure the holes line up.
I chose to put stitching across the opening of the shaving kit purely because I thought it would look cool, it serves no structural purpose.
Once all the holes are marked, we can begin turning the dots into holes. Using the awl on the swiss arm knife, or a real awl, punch through the leather. These holes need to be big enough to accommodate 2 x the width of your thread. I ended up having to re-punch a bunch of holes when I started sewing because I didn't make them big enough at this stage. I recommend doing this on a cutting board rather than holding the leather in one hand and the awl in the other. It is safer to push the awl into wood, than between fingers.
Step 8: Mock Up
Once all of the stitching holes have been punched, we can mock up the shaving kit.
Using some paperclips, or pins if you have them. We can temporarily join the edges together. Put the paperclip through the hole on one edge, then through the corresponding hole on the other edge. I did about three paper clips per edge.
Once all the edges are joined we can get a good idea of the shape of the shaving kit. We can also mark where the lid comes in relation to the sides. Because leather doesn't really like doing 90 degree corners on a regular bases we are going to have cut the corners off the tall edges of the shaving kit. Holding the lid section closed mark where the lid curves along the tall edges. We will cut this off later.
We can also add some organization to the kit. Grab the stuff that you think you will be carrying in the kit, and place it where you want to have it in the kit. I put a body-wash bottle in the bottom, razor, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, blistex, and nail clippers on the sides and edges, along with a couple of places for other things that I haven't yet thought off. Mark the edges of each of these items, we are going to put an eyelet at each of these points and run the stretchy cording through them to hold everything in place.
At this point I noticed how random these dots looked, so I moved them all onto a straight line. The dots marked with an X are the ones that I will cut out in the next step. This way the finished bag will look nicer.
Step 9: How to Put Holes In
Depending on the equipment you are using this step will be a little different.
Knife: Place the tip of the knife at the center of the of the hole you are cutting out. Then holding the knife at about 30 degrees to the leather, spin the leather slowly into the edge of the knife. By changing the angle you can change the diameter of the hole you will cut. This will also change based on the width of your knife. Once you can see threw to the other side, flip the leather over and repeat. Now there should be about a 1mm diameter hole in the leather. By pushing the knife into the hole and spinning it around you can make the hole larger until it is the size you need. There is a video clip attached.
Awl: Push the awl threw the leather, make sure there is nothing on the other side, this includes fingers and cutting boards. If you are using a Swiss army knife you will need to spin the awl in order to get a round hole.
Rotary Punch: Spin the wheel until you have the right sized hole selected. Place it over the marking for the hole and squeeze the handles together.
Rotary Punch > Knife > Awl in my opinion.
So we want to put holes large enough to fit the eyelets in in every place where there is an X. Use whichever method you prefer to do this.
Step 10: Inserting Eyelets
Now that we have all the holes where we want them, it's time to add eyelets.
My package of eyelets came with instructions, disregard them they don't work (at least for me). The eyelet punch that came with the set didn't seem to do anything to bend the eyelets over. So I used a screwdriver with a #4 Philips bit to bed they eyelets out before finalizing them with the eyelet punch.
To use the screwdriver method you have to look for the separation in the eyelets. The barrel is cut into 8 sections, each of which fold out and hold the eyelet in place. Put the Philips in so that the each end of the cross line up with one of the cut outs. Press down hard, 4 of the eight should now be bent over, spin 90 degrees and repeat. Once all of the eyelets are bent most of the way over, go around and give them each a light tap with the eyelet punch to smooth them out.
In a few steps we are going to string bungee through all of these, but not quite yet.
Step 11: Rounding the Corners
You remember how we marked where the lid overlapped the edges a few steps ago, now we're going to cut the excess off.
To get the corners perfectly round and symmetrical we are going to use a glass cup/bowl as a guide when we are cutting. Find a glass or bowl that matches the curve of the dots, then using a knife cut out the first corner. Press the belly of the knife against the glass and slide it down into the leather. The knife should be tangent to glass. I cut a series of straight lines rather than trying to cut a circle.
Once the first corner is cut out, mark where the corner starts on the glass with a couple of sticky notes. This way when we go to the next corner we can line these flags up and we will have two symmetrical corners.
Taking the glass with flags attached move to the next corner and line the flags up with the edges of the leather. Then repeat the cutting process.
Step 12: "Tooling"
To make our bag unique and look a bit nicer, we are going to put some designs on it. Now this is another area where there are a ton of tools used in most other guides. However I think I got a pretty good result without them, it might not be the easiest or fastest way to do this but it works and its cheap.
First thing you will need is a design to put on the leather. I have gone with a "Lord of the Rings" theme. I don't own the rights to these images, I am not selling this bag. I used a set of Dwarven runes created at : http://derhobbit-film.de/rune_generator.shtml#rune to go around the boarders of the bag. I also used an image of the lonely mountain from the cover of "The Hobbit", and a quote from John Muir. These where all printed out onto different pieces of paper.
The next thing you will need is a tool to transfer the design into the leather. We used a Nintendo DS's stylus, but any dull round object will work. I also tried using a set of tweezers, but I didn't like the look of the runes put in with them. I think a dull pencil, or a pen without the ink in it will work.
Then to get the design to be engraved into the leather we are going to need to get it wet, this makes the leather soft and impressionable. Be careful because once the leather is wet every mark you make on it will be permanent. This is great time to trim your fingernails.
We need to get the leather the correct amount of wet though, too little and the design won't compress the leather, too much and the leather will be like a sponge, compressing but then going back to where it was shortly after.
Place the leather on a flat smooth surface. Fill a bowl with water and grab a rag or paper towel. Using the rag quickly cover the entire smooth surface of the leather with a layer of water. If you wait too long in one place the leather will absorb lots of water and you will have a spot that is much wetter than the rest, this makes it difficult to get the whole piece to the right dampness. This is actually really good practice for the dyeing that we will do later, because the same thing will happen. Except instead of a wet spot you end up with a permanently darker area. Work in big horizontal and vertical strokes, top to bottom left to right, then bottom to top right to left. To make sure that all of the leather has absorbed the same amount of water. We want to keep doing this until the back side of the leather just starts to show that it is also damp.
Once it has we can start to "engrave" our design into the leather. Place the paper on top of the damp leather, there shouldn't be any puddles. Then using the stylus, pencil, tweezers, trace out your design. Start by pressing about as hard as you would when writing on a piece of paper. Then inspect the depth of the engraving. You can then alter your pressure accordingly, If you want it to be really deep into the leather then press harder, if you want more of a surface treatment press softer. Cover your entire design, try not to lift the paper up too often as it can be difficult to align.
Once the entire design has been traced into the leather place the leather on a towel or dry rags, and put the cutting board on-top of it, this will help stop the edges from curling as it dries.
The leather is going to take quite a while to dry out, about a day.
Step 13: Dyeing
To really bring out the pattern and to change the colour of the bag we are going to dye it.
Dye is messy and will stain everything, including your hands. I recommend wearing gloves if you can, otherwise your hands will be a different colour for the next few days. Also it stinks, so if you can do it outside.
To try and have a minimal amount of mess we are going to create a little tray out of aluminum foil to stop the dye from getting on anything but the leather. Start by taking a sheet out large enough to contain the bag. Then fold up the corners so that the dye can't flow of the tinfoil.
Next gather the dye and rag that you are going to use to apply the dye. Pour some of the dye into the rag, and then just like with the water spread the dye quickly over the leather. If it is left in one spot for too long you will have a darker area there. Once the entire top surface has been covered, you can do more coats depending on how dark you want the leather to be, you can start on the inside. To do the inside I used the rag as a sponge instead of trying to paint with it. The interior of the leather is to rough to slide the rag along smoothly. I also liked the storm cloud look that this gave to the inside. Unfortunately I knocked the bottle of dye over, so I didn't have enough to finish the inside. I used the last of another bottle of dye that I had used on other projects to fill in the blank spaces. This lead to a mottled brown and gray look, which I quite like.
Once you have the leather the colour you want it to be leave it to dry for about a day. Depending on the amount of dye you used you may want to repeat putting the cutting board on top of it while it dries to prevent the edges from curling.
//Sorry I didn't get pictures of dyeing the shaving kit, that's when the bottle was knocked over. Chaos ensued, it was bad.
Step 14: Lacing
So before we added eyelets to help organize the shaving kit. Now we are going to add the stretchy lace to hold all our things in place.
This is a good way to practice sewing for the next step. We are doing the same thing just on a much larger scale so it is easier to see.
Start by tying a knot (big enough that it won't go through the eyelets) in one end of the first piece of cording. Then starting from whichever side you choose, starting from the back push the cording through the leftmost/rightmost eyelet. Pull it through until the knot catches on the eyelet, then go though the next eyelet, this time going from inside to outside. You can probably do it with your fingers, but if you start having trouble use the sewing needle to push the cording through the eyelet. Keep this pattern going until you get to the last eyelet, when you get there, leave about 3cm sticking out and cut the rest off.
Now using either the same, or in my case, a different colour of cording. We are going to do the same thing but backwards and inside out. Right now you should have every second slot covered by a piece of the cording, and the reverse on the outside. Again tie a knot at one end of the cording, but this time start in the same hole as before but go from the inside to the outside. Then repeat the same pattern as before to fill in the remaining slots.
Tie the loose ends into knots so that they also can't slip through the eyelets.
If you chose to the bottom straps for the shampoo bottle like I did, leave these for eyelets empty for later.
Step 15: Stiching
In order to get this flat piece of leather to turn into a bag we are going to need to sew the sides together. Remember all those holes we punched out with the awl? It's now time to use them.
The jute twine that I had was too thick to fit in the holes that I had punched out so I had to remove one of the three threads it was comprised of. By twisting the twine the wrong way I got it to unravel, then I garbed one of the threads and pulled on it until it came free from the other two. I then used these two to stitch the kit together.
Start just like with the lacing tie one end into a knot big enough that it won't slip through the hole we punched with the awl. Then thread the other end through the needle, I found the easiest way to do this was to bend the thread back against itself (180 degrees) so that I didn't have to try and get a frayed end through the needle. I found that about 4x the length of the edges that are being joined was the right amount of twine.
Then starting from the inside, at the corner where the two edges of the case meet (the first hole we punched with the awl). going from the inside to the outside push the needle through the hole, pull it all the way through until the knot stops against the leather. Your knot should now be on the inside of the bag, the rough side. Next we are going to go through the adjacent hole on the other edge, from the outside (smooth side with the design on it) to the inside.
Once we have this first loop through we can then feed the needle through both holes at once by pinching the edges together. If the holes don't line up you will have to do each one individually, this works but takes longer.
When you get to a corner it is time to tie the thread off and start the next piece of twine. To tie it off I ran the needle under the last three or four stitches and then tied it off in a square not.
Then repeat the same steps on the next two edges.
This step takes a lot of time and patience.
Step 16: The Last Lacing
The bottom "compartment" that hold the shampoo bottle in can now be laced. This time take one piece of the lacing and thread it through any of the four eyelets designated for the shampoo holder. I started with the back right one. Go through all of them until you end up with two ends of the lace extending from one side, preferably the back. Tie these together into a circle, cut of the excess.
Step 17: Ataching the Hardware
To get the case to close we are going to add two small buckles to it. In order to attach these buckles, and get the bag to close we are going to need four strips of leather.
We need to pieces that will attach the buckles to the top lid, and two straps for the buckles to do up with.
Grabbing the leftover leather from the beginning we need to measure the width of the inside of the buckle. We are then going to cut out four strips that are this wide by 5cm long.
Use the ruler and the dot and line method that we used on the stitching to draw out the shapes we need. Then use the knife and the straight edge to cut them out.
For two of these we are going to need to cut a groove so that we can sew the buckles into them. I did one correctly and the other not as correctly, both worked, but one was way easier. The groove only needs to go halfway down, not 3/4 like I did on the first one. The groove needs to be as wide as the middle section of the buckle, the part that moves back and forth. and half as long as the piece we are attaching it to 2.5cm in this case.
Next we need the straps, they need to be as wide as the inside of the buckle, or a little less. I used some sandpaper here to take off a small amount of material on one edge because I cut the strap too big. We are going to punch a small hole in these straps later.
Now as you may remember from the dyeing step, I spilled my dye bottle and ran out of dye. So for these attachment pieces I decided to try dying them with coffee.
First brew some really strong coffee, I used old grounds and some espresso. Boil this mix to get the colour out of the beans. Now this is where I screwed up, do not put the leather into the water while it is still hot! Otherwise you will end up with leather armor instead of a flexible belt. This happened to me and when I went to open the shaving kit the buckle attachments shattered.
Now that the coffee mix is cool, add the leather and let it sit for about an hour, check on it every little while until you get the colour you want.
Once the buckle attachments have been dyed, remove them from the coffee and rinse them to get the grounds off.
Now we are going to wet-mold these to the shapes that we want. Essentially we are going to hold the leather in a shape until it dries. You can do this with your hands, or with a few clamps like I did. I bought four clamps from Canadian tire for $4.
Take the two pieces that have the groove cut in them and place the buckle in the grove. Take the two flaps, and bend them into the buckle and fold them back onto themselves. Either clamp, or hold them in this position for the next half hour or so. Make sure that the swinging middle part of the buckle is on the correct side of the clasp. Otherwise the buckle won't do up later.
With the belt pieces we just need to make sure they don't curl up when they dry. I used a ruler and two clamps to press them flat while they dry.
After about half an hour the leather should still be damp and pliable but not super wet. Now we are going to punch holes in with the awl. I used about six per buckle and only three for the belts. Once the holes are punched in the attachments, we need to transfer the location of these holes onto the shaving kit.
Tie the bag closed with some of the twine, and position the buckles and straps where you want them to be. I measured mine so that they where symmetric, but a good eyeball measurement will do. Using a mechanical pencil with the graphite extended about 2cm. First trace out the location of each buckle and strap, then poke the pencil through the holes created by the awl.
Once all the locations of the holes have been transferred, we can punch these holes out with the awl.
Next we can use the same sewing techniques as we used on the shaving kit body to attach these. The twine used to hold the box closed can be used to sew the buckle and belts attachments on.
Once they are all sewed on we can close the lid and feed the belts through the buckles. Using the buckles punch a hole in the belts. Let these sit until they are dry.
Step 18: Treating the Leather
Now a shaving kit is going to spend a fair amount of time in the bathroom, and other wet places. In order to keep your stuff dry it would be great to have the shaving kit be waterproof. This is what we are going to do in this step.
There are a gazillion ( that's the technical term ;) ways to treat and condition leather. I am using a product called "Hydroblock" made by Zamberlan. They produce leather hiking boots, which is where I first found this waterproofer. It works really well, water will just bead up and roll off the leather.
Firstly, this stuff doesn't smell great so apply it in the bathroom with the fan on, or outside. Secondly, this will darken leather, in my case it was only a small amount, barely noticeable. This is not always the case though, so start by applying a small amount in an inconspicuous place to check. If you are okay with the colour change then you can begin applying it to the rest of the shaving kit.
Just like applying the water and the dye, you want to work quickly in broad strokes. Cover the whole outside of the case. Then leave it overnight to absorb and dry.
The next morning you can test it out by running it under the tap, if any water absorbs then you have missed a spot.
Now the shaving kit is complete. All that's left is to put your stuff in it.
Step 19: Finished
Now you have a one of a kind, custom made leather shaving kit. It is waterproof, durable, and hold all of the things I wanted it to.
I will add some more pictures of this step once I resemble the buckle attachments that shattered.
Thank you for reading. If you like my work please consider supporting me by clicking that little "Vote" icon in the top right of the screen. If you have any suggestions or questions please make a comment below. - Lucas