Introduction: Making a Leather Briefcase


Hi, Guys! I made a simple briefcase this time. It has a little larger storage space than A4 paper. You could add a handle or a shoulder strap to make it easier to carry around. Anyways, Let's start!


  • Leather : Black Wax Buttero 4oz / Buttero Natural 2oz
  • Leather pricking iron : 2 teeth 5mm gap
  • Hole punch : 5mm diameter
  • Small shape punches (Optional)
  • Glue : Kenda adhesive
  • Rivet (6mm in diameter) X2
  • Sandpaper 400 grit
  • Edge beveler
  • Thread : Vinymo MBT #5
  • Needle : John james needle #4
  • Awl
  • Flat awl
  • Wing divider
  • Wood slicker
  • Tokonole (Burnishing Gum)
  • Melamine foam

Step 1: Additional Video

This link to the video. Please check if you want to watch.

Step 2: Prepare the Pattern

Please download and print out the pattern that I uploaded here.

The pattern is 8 pages in total.

(The PDF included a A4 and US letter size)

IMPORTANT : Please set your printer 100% actual size option.

Then, cut out the pattern with some margin.

Step 3: Cut the Leather

1.5mm thick Black Wax Buttero

The surface is black because of the wax.

If you polish up the surface, the color of the leather is exposed.

Cut out the leather slightly larger than the pattern panels.

Step 4: Make Leather Harder

The leather becomes much more stiff if you glue two pieces of leather together. If you're using harder leather, you don't need any reinforcement. If you're using soft thin leather, reinforce the leather using Bontex, LB, or other stiffners.

Step 5: Punch the Holes

I used 5mm Hole Punch and Mini Long Oval-shaped Punch.

(You don't have to use exactly same punch)

Step 6: Remove the Wax

Smooth the edge with a 400-grit sandpaper. Then, Remove the wax with Melamine Foam from the center to the edge. If you got the right look, rub the surface with some tissue or soft cloth. The combination of black and plum color gives a vintage look.

Step 7: Sew the Upper Edge

Chisel along the line (5mm Slanted Prong Pricking Iron) then, Sew along the stitching holes.

Step 8: Dye the Edges

Dye the edges with leather dye.

Step 9: Skive the Leather

Draw lines 8mm inwards from the edges on both sides and the bottom.

From the lines, skive the leather to make it thinner towards the edges.

Step 10: Do the Same Process for Panel C

Do the same on the back panel (Panel C).

Step 11: Make Side Panels

For the sides, use one pattern (side panel) to make each sides.

Skive only the longer sides.

Step 12: Make the Lid Panel

The work is similar for the lid.

I punched the center hole with a mini rectangular punch.

Cut out the extra margins, and
smooth the edges (sandpaper-beveling-dyeing-Tokonole)

Step 13: Make the Lock Belt #1

To make it nice and thick, I used Buttero Split Leather. (You can use Sponge Sticker Tape or LB instead!) Cut the Split Leather using the pattern panel (lock belt). Mark 6mm inwards from the edge and cut. Apply glue on the leather and the lining, and put the Split Leather piece in the middle. Press with fingers and cut it leaving 5mm margin.

Step 14: Make the Lock Belt #2

Chisel on the 5mm margin. Dye and burnish the edge.

Step 15: Make the Center Loop

Cut the leather using the pattern and sew along the edge.

Finish the edge as well. Then fixed the loop with 6mm rivets.

Step 16: Put the Lock Belt on the Lid

All the sides of the lid have been sewn except for the side to be attached to the back. Scratch the part to put the belt. Glue the belt on the lid like this. Scratch the inside of the lid and apply glue. Look at Panel C to find where to put the lid. Mark the part like this. Scratch the part to put the lid and apply glue along the scratched line. Now, put the lid to the back panel. Make stitching holes along the chisel holes with a flat awl. Sew the lid and the back panel together.

Step 17: Side and Bottom Panel

Glue them together like this, and Make holes with a flat awl and sew. Bend the corners like this.

Step 18: Assemble Whole Parts

Make stitching holes with a flat awl. Sew them together. I finished stitching by winding the thread twice through the last hole. Combine the back panel as you did with the front panel. It's finally the last stitch.

Step 19: Edge Finish

Smooth every edges with a sandpaper. Bevel, dye, and finish the edges with Tokonole. And it's done!

Step 20: Final Cut

The pattern is simple, but it took a long time with a lot of stitching. Thank you for watching this long tutorial. See you in next project! Bye!