Picture of Leather Patchwork Table Runner

This leather table runner is made by using contact adhesive to stick pieces of leather onto denim backing from a pair of old jeans before stitching the pieces down.

This is a reasonably basic sewing project but I am assuming you know how to work a sewing machine - zig-zag stitch, back-tacking at the start/end of stitching, etc.

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Step 1: ​Materials

Picture of ​Materials


  • A bunch of leather scraps (you'll need more than you think)
  • Denim recycled from a pair of jeans
  • Extra-strong sewing thread

Standard Sewing Equipment:

  • Sewing machine
  • Leather or Jeans sewing needle
  • Fabric shears
  • Thread snips
  • Rotary cutter and cutting mat
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Ruler
  • Chalk or fabric pen

Make sure you have strong thread and a strong needle - you can get a leather needle, but I found a jeans needle works just as well. The jeans needle makes a round hole, the leather needle makes a diamond-shaped cut which closes up better if you unpick the stitch.

Step 2: ​Prepare Materials

Picture of ​Prepare Materials

Cut and iron the denim

I used most of the leg of a large pair of non-stretchy jeans as the backing material for the table runner. You could use other heavy fabric like cotton canvas - any material which doesn't distort or stretch as you work with it.

I cut the denim into a rough rectangle and ironed it to remove wrinkles and make it flat. You will lose some material around the edges in the final trimming stage, so be generous with your starting material.

Flatten the leather

Chances are your leather was stored crumpled up in a bag and is all wrinkled. You can iron the rough side of the leather on low-medium heat to flatten it out. Some people suggest ironing through a paper bag; I had an iron cover which did the same job.

While the leather is still hot, put a nice heavy textbook on top and leave it for a few minutes to set the leather flat. Stack up the flat pieces neatly so they'll stay unwrinkled.

Leather comes in a range of thicknesses. You'll probably want to choose pieces which are of reasonably similar thickness.

cobbyziggy1 year ago

i like your work

nic nak1 year ago
PS, thanks for the tip on tension. I've been sewing some very thick, dense fabric and my zig zag was skipping x
pipe42 (author)  nic nak1 year ago

I think there can be some other reasons for zig-zag skipping, like a bent needle, but lowering the tension definitely solved the problem for me.

YerGramma1 year ago
A very innovative use of leather, and the result is stunning. Thanks for posting it!
nic nak1 year ago
This really is a beautiful piece, I love it.
pipe42 (author)  bonsaiknitterguy1 year ago

Thank you!