Introduction: Make a Custom Leather Wallet - FREE PATTERN
I made this wallet nearly 2 years ago and it is still going strong! Its hard to find the perfect, thin wallet, so I thought I'd try to make my own. But I wanted to try something a little different with this, and added a second leather layer, to show through when I cut out for the eyes and monogram. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to ask! Don't forget to VOTE please!
I attached a PDF of the pattern I made. When printing, make sure there is no margin and it fills the paper, otherwise it will not be the right size!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
scissors, Wood mallet, leather carving knife, leather punch, sculpting/embossing tool, square/straight edge, stitching wheel, needles, various leather stamps and tooling supplies, rivet setter, awl
3-4 oz tooling leather, 2-3 oz fine leather (optional), waxed sewing thread, black and brown dyes, Top coat, rivets, leather glue
I did not have this pattern when I made this, I drew it by hand and then measured off an old wallet. If you chose to use my art work, you will need to trace it onto another piece of paper, wet the tooling leather then trace it upside down (pencil drawing on wet leather) to transfer it to the leather. I used velum for this, but regular paper should work fine. Reference the last photo.
Step 2: Cut, Sculpt and Prep
After you have the image on the leather, use your sculpting knife to trace those lines, cutting to a normal depth (not all the way through). (Optional step) Next take your Exacto knife and cut out the eyes, nose and monogram letters. Use a stitching wheel and trace the edges, as seen in the pattern. This will let you know where to punch hole with your awl, Do this to all of you pieces. Use a leather punch in the corners where you will install the rivet.
Step 3: Give It Some Depth!
In this step we will be adding texture and depth to the leather. After the leather has dried use a mallet and beveling tool, pound down the areas around the outside of the skull. Do the same for other areas under the eyes and around the perimeter of the flowers. You can add some really neat texture above the teeth and in the veins of the floral design as well. Pretty much, anything you want to show a curve on or portray depth, bevel. you can also play with other tools you might have, my tools are some what limited.
Step 4: Dye the Leather
Grab a thin paint brush, chose the appropriate color for the area you want to dye and cover well. After it dries move to the next area and color. Be careful here! this stuff will stain anything it touches! after this is complete add a few layers of clear protective coating. This would also be a great time to burnish the edges of your leather!
Step 5: Sew, Stitch and Glue
If you chose to add the fine leather and cut the eyes, nose and monogram out, now is the time to glue that piece to the tooled leather front part. Sandwich them between something heavy and let it set. I Chose to reinforce all of my stitching with leather glue. So, use an awl and punch through all of the areas you traced with your stitching wheel. string up you needle, lay some glue and stitch away! Start with the pockets first, then sew the back and front together. I used the 2 needle method and stitched back and forth between each hole, as detailed in picture 8. I had to take my wallet to my belt sander to clean up the edges and then reburnish and dye the edges.
Finally, set your rivets on the corner, make sure they are the thinnest you can find! these rivets will make sure this wallet hold up like a tank, I highly recommend you use them.
Step 6: Final Thoughts
I Have carried this wallet for almost 2 years now, it has not worn at all, still looks new. This is the best wallet I have used. Also, it is super unique and every one is amazed that its hand made. I love the artwork on the front. My biggest regret is the skull silhouette I added last minute for the ID pocket, it does no look as good as I'd like. I hope you learned a lot and enjoyed the post!
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