Making your own DIY gifts for christmas is really fun, and leather is a great material to work with. So today I'm going to show 8 simple yet really nice projects you can make for Christmas presents.
Also, don't forget to check out the video for a much better perspective on how to make each project.
Step 1: Molded Pencil Case
First up - a molded pencil case.
By creating a simple mold out of scrap wood, you can turn veg tanned leather into pretty much any shape you want by wetting it first and pressing it. Once dried you have this really cool looking piece.
Cut a piece of leather for the back and for closure, using a Sam brown button. Double sided tape and then it's easy to keep the piece in place while you sew it down.
And after sewing the front and the back together, and shaping the lid, you have a case!
Step 2: Personalized Bracelets
So these are really fun. Perfect for scrap leather, you can cut it to any width, and then dye the leather in different colors. There are many ways to close a bracelet, different types of buttons, snaps, a variety can be fun if you're making several. And then you can either add stamps, decorative stitching, a brass plate, or why not just let a neat Sam brown button be the highlight.
Step 3: Mousepad
The third project is a mousepad, and for this it's nice to use some thicker leather, at least 6 ounce.
Just using an old mousepad as guide for size. And of course you don't actually need stitching around the edge, but I thought that would add a nice detail, and here it would also be fun to use a bright color for thread, if you'd like something a little starker.
To make sure the mouse pad doesn't slide around the desk, attaching some regular drawer material, you know the kind of stuff you put inside drawers so things don't slide around inside. It's nice and thin and grippy. And just attaching that with water based cement. And there you go, kind of cool, a leather mouse pad.
Step 4: Keychain
So the next project is a cool keychain, again perfect to make with scrap pieces around. I think these look really kind of high end and interesting. It's a really simple concept, all you do is cut strips, round one edge and slide on a swivel snap. Making holes through the leather for Chicago screws, and these screws are really nice since you actually attach them with a screwdriver, so it's easy to take it apart at any time to attach keys to the other end.
Step 5: Midori Notebook Cover
Project number 5 is a midori notebook cover, a great project to give anyone enjoying writing or sketching. It's very simple, all you do is cut a piece of leather to size, I cut it to 215 mm x 265 mm. 5 holes cut in the middle of the piece, and then the elastic thread gets threaded through that. Then insert a notebook and tie the string so you get a tight fit. And you can either make your own notebooks to go inside, or buy pre-made ones. I use my midori book everyday, and really like the simplicity of it.
Step 6: Heat Protector Handle
OK, next up we have a heat protector handle, perfect to keep on a cast iron pan.
So using some veg tanned leather here, and some 100% wool felt for the inside. And this is just to make it a little more snug, however you could use just the leather if you don't have any felt. Now, the suede side of the leather is used outwards, because it provides a more grippy feeling.
Using double sided tape to attach the felt to the leather. And then punching and sewing the whole package together. And this is one of those really useful gifts, and it's kind of cool that it's made out of leather.
Step 7: Magnetic Pencil Case
So the 7th project is a magnetic pencil case.
I love using small neodimion magnets in projects, it creates such a cool closure. First making a basic template to get the size right. I wanted an angled opening so you could see the pencils coming through, so just thinning the leather a bit.
So this will be the lid, and it will have three magnets inside. And then this little strip here will enclose magnets on the front. Just securing the magnets in the back with waterbased contact cement, and it's important to make sure the magnets are aligned properly. Then just stitching all around, and there's a neat little pencil case, or eye glass case, or a case for whatever you want to store.
Step 8: Custom Camera Strap
Now the eighth and final project is a custom camera strap.
Obviously you can make a strap for any type of camera, this is a cool medium format Yashica. Now we wanted this strap to match the other camera straps we have, so cutting this from a rather large piece of leather, however a cheaper and easier option would be to use an old belt, because then you get the nice length.
To make the strap a little more comfortable, making a cover to go behind the neck, and it's just two pieces of leather sewed together with open sides.
For the ends, securing key rings which work great and attach easily on most cameras.
And that's pretty much is, these straps are just so much nicer than what cameras usually come with, and I think this would be a great gift for anyone who enjoys taking photos or video with their camera.
Step 9: Conclusion - Watch the Video!
For a much better perspective, make sure to watch the video which goes over making each project.