Introduction: Leather Picture

About: I run a leather business making belts, wallets, knife sheaths, motorcycle accessories and more.....

First you need to come up with an idea of something to draw. Or you can use an image of something you want to transfer.


  • Leather hide 5 oz to 7 oz
  • leather mallet
  • punch
  • carving tool
  • tracing or transfer paper
  • letter or number punches
  • different Fiebing's or Tandy dyes
  • tape
  • craft tool pen stylus #8039-06
  • Fiebing's Leather sheen with CH-42
  • swivel knife
  • patience

Step 1: Step 1 : Come Up With an Image

You either get an image or draw up a design you want to use and transfer it to the transfer or tracing paper.You don't have to draw out the complete details as you can fill these in later using a carving too depending on your skill level.

Step 2: Step 2 : Transferring Your Image

What you need is to wet the leather with a sponge or a cloth. You don't want to soak the leather so that the water is literally running off of it. You want to make it damp so it changes colour slightly. I find if its just starting to dry out that is the perfect time to transfer the design.Tape the paper down to the leather after wetting it. You can use the end of a pen lid, a pencil or a Craftool stylus #8039-06 and trace the lines of the image into the leather. After you are done remove the tape and tracing/transfer paper.

Step 3: Step 3: Carving the Image Into the Leather

After you have removed the transfer paper you will be left with an image/outline of the transfer you have made. You can wet the leather again and and go over the lines with a stylus pen craftool or use a leather swivel knife. This helps make the design permanent into the leather. I tend to look at my detailed drawing of the original and start using a leather punch to cut out the areas I want to stand out on the leather. It will slowly take shape before your eyes. Remember patience is key.

Step 4: Step 4 : Carving Out Details

Your image is drawn out and carved into the leather. You can wet the leather at all stages to get out to improve the image and make it permanent. You can take the craft tool or pencil(no lead end) and draw out the more details you want others to see. This is also the time to punch out lettering or numbers into the leather that you want others to see.

Step 5: Step 5: Dying

I find for this step as I have finished the drawing the details are completed. I make sure all the details are done. Next I take Fiebing's leather dyes or Tandy antique dyes and apply them to the image. I prefer Tandy Antique leather dyes as it brings out the natural lights and dark spots of the leather hide. I use a soft cloth to apply the dye and use it in even applications to the leather. I do about 3 coats and let the first coat dry for 5 minutes before wiping it off and buffing it with a cloth in between the dying stage. On the final coat I allow about a hour drying time before buffing it with a cloth to a sheen I am satisfied with.

Step 6: Step 6 : Applying the Clear Coat.

This last step is very important because it will help keep the dye on the image permanently. It also protects it from years of light and exposure to other things.I use Fiebing's Leather Sheen with CH-42 spray in a can.It basically is a wax finish. I hold the can about 8-12 inches from the work piece and apply an even coat to the image. I let it dry for a bout one hour before applying a second coat. I also softly buff the leather with a cloth after this. You are now done and ready to hang up this picture or use it as a trophy or whatever your heart desires.

Leather Challenge

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Leather Challenge