Introduction: Leather Sleeve for Beginners. No Tools!

This project is for anyone who has the curiosity of working with leather but won't give it a chance because they lack the special tools needed for an elaborated project.

I made this basic sleeve to show how anybody could work with leather, I want you to learn from my mistakes. I wanted do work with leather in more ambitious projects but I knew I had to practice beforehand. This sleeve was my practice project, the one in which I could learn what things I could do, and if I was going to be able to do it without the proper tools.

Spoiler alert: I ended up getting better tools for other projects. I decided I would invest in some just because it'll make the project look nicer. But it still was just a hobby so I kept using very few tools.

I share this project to inspire people to start without fear.


  • Leather
  • Metal ruler
  • Fork
  • Cutter
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • String
  • Chalk (or something similar like pencil, pen,...)
  • Needles

Step 1: Cut the Leather

  1. Draw a rectangle in the leather with the chalk (6x4 inch is more than enough)
  2. Cut the leather with the ruler and the cutter. (you could use scissors but it will be more straight with a cutter or exacto knife)
  3. Fold the piece around the Swiss Knife (making sure it covers it completely)
  4. Draw with the chalk around the Swiss Knife (that is where the stitches will be)

Make sure the Swiss Knife has space to go in and out.

Step 2: Marking the Stitch Holes

  1. Place the fork in the chalk line
  2. Push it very hard against the leather
  3. Do this through the chalk line making a dotted line
  4. Erase the chalk with some drops of water

Step 3: Making the Stitch Holes

This is where the lack of tools was obvious.

  1. Fold the sleeve in its future form
  2. Place the needle in one of the marks made by the fork
  3. Put the needle against the working board
  4. Push the leather downwards through the needle (making sure you cross both layers of leather)

Now you have a hole!

Repeat for every mark

Step 4: Needle It Up

  1. Make a double knot to start sewing
  2. Go through the sewing as normal
  3. When you get to the other end go backwards repeating in the same wholes but on the other sides

Step 5: Cut Excess

  1. Cut the excess of thread
  2. Cut the excess of leather

I cut it before sewing but I totally recommend you to do it afterwards

Leather Challenge

Participated in the
Leather Challenge