Beginning Leatherworking Class


6 Lessons

18,213 Enrolled

Beginner Level

Learn the the fundamental skills you need to start working with leather by making a simple, useful wallet! In this class you’ll be introduced to a wide range of leatherworking techniques, tools and materials and then shown how to apply them to a design. Working with beautiful pre-dyed chrome tanned leather, we'll start from the basics and use our skills to create something you can use everyday.

Our lessons will cover skills like cutting leather, punching holes, gouging, folding, riveting, and snaps. We’ll also learn about the different types of leather, and how to shop for what you need. By the end of this class you’ll have all the skills and tools you need to start creating your own beautiful leatherwork. And if you want to keep building your skills by learning techniques like sewing, gluing, and making leather patterns, you can move on to my free Intermediate Leatherworking Class when you're done!

Enter an Instructables Contest!

If you've used the skills you've learned in this class to write a great instructable, try entering it in one of our Contests like the Leather Contest for a chance to win some amazing prizes!

Class Author:MikaelaHolmes

​Mikaela is a costume and experimental fashion designer and artist, who has done her best to make playing dress-up into a career. She has trained in both the costume and fashion design industries, and works with all kinds of materials and techniques including leather, fabric, LEDs, fiber optics, sewing, painting, sculpture, laser cutting and 3D printing. She spends most of her time figuring out how to fuse traditional design and leatherwork with simple wearable tech to create clothing and accessories that turn her into a time traveling cyborg superhero! 

She is a former Artist in Residence at the Autodesk Pier 9 workshop, and currently an in-house content creator for the Instructables Design Studio.


Lesson 1: Leather Tools and Supplies

This lesson is where you'll find links to all the tools and materials you need for this class, as well as brief discussions of what each tool is used for, and info about choosing leather and leather history. Everything you need to get started!

Lesson 2: Simple Leather Wallet: Layout and Trace

Learn the best way to transfer patterns onto leather, then get your hands dirty by tracing a simple wallet pattern using an awl.

Lesson 3: Cutting Leather

Cutting leather is one of the most important and fundamental leather skills you need to master. We'll talk about a few different tools and methods for cutting, then apply them by cutting out our wallet pattern.

Lesson 4: Gouging and Folding Leather

Learn techniques for folding leather using an adjustable V-gouge and a mallet. Apply your skills by creating folded flaps in our wallet design.

Lesson 5: Leather Hardware: Rivets

Rivets are one of the simplest and most effective methods of leather joinery. We'll learn about hole punching and rivet setting, and then use rivets to assemble our wallet.

Lesson 6: Leather Hardware: Snaps

Learn how to add simple closures to leather projects using snaps. In this lesson we'll talk about choosing the right snaps and how to set them, then we'll finish our wallet by adding a snap.

Now that you have the skills, what are you waiting for?
Get out there and make something!