This time I will make my very first project from leather. How I did it - you can check by looking DIY video or you can follow up instructions bellow.
For this project you will need:
Leather (1.6-1.8mm thickness)
Waxed nylon thread
Leather cement (weld, glue or in any other name)
Stitching chisel with 4mm spacing
Sanding drum (320 grit)
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Step 1: The Idea
After thinking about this material for a long time, I finally bought some essential tools and started working on this card holder / money clip from leather.
Stay with me until the end of the video and we will compare this quick sketch with the finished product.
Step 2: Cutting Leather
I started with this nice sheet of Italian leather which I bought at local leather supply shop. It only costs a few euros, because it was a leftover of a bigger item.
I cut a straight line on one side and measure all necessary parts. First I make a cut of the needed width of 78mm. After that, I cut one piece of 232 mm and two pieces of 72mm length.
Step 3: Rounding Corners
Next stage - rounding all external corners. I used a regular 30mm washer as a template and cut with a utility knife. A square helped me to align the washer precisely on both edges.
Step 4: Giving Better Shape
Adjust the shape of the little pieces by making an inner oval cut. The paint can lid was a great match.
Step 5: Beveling the Edge
I used edge beveler to round up the edges. This tool’s function is the same as its name - just cut a small radius on leather edge and make it round.
Step 6: Egde Burnishing
To get final smooth and shiny edges, I used gum tragacanth and burnished them with burnishing tool, which is nothing more than a regular wood. The gum makes the raw fibres smooth and lets them bond easily during the slicking process.
Step 7: Gluing
I marked the surface that will be covered and glued. Then I used a rotary tool and sanding drum on it, prepared surface for gluing. Sanding was needed for better adhesion. I used leather cement to get nice and strong bond. To align both pieces in place, I used a square, pressed it around all perimeter, cleaned off excess glue and pressed down with thick flat piece of acrylic and some weight.
Step 8: Working on Edge
When the cement has hardened, I cleaned it and flattened the glued edge with rotary tool and sanding drum. If there were any imperfections left of cutting or small misalignment when gluing - use sanding, it will hide all of it. Result - nNice flat edge.
Step 9: Finising Main Form
I’ve made one pass and rounded top edge of both glued pieces.
In the middle I have to place a clip, which is a bit shorter than my leather piece, so I cut small oval from both sides. As a template I used random scrap plywood piece. And its shape was just perfect for this job.
Step 10: Again Edges and Stiching Place
That was the last cut, so now I can round all edges.
Next, I used a stitching groover and cut a groove for stitches. Adjusted spacer arm to cut a groove 4mm from the edge. Also this groove will be a guide for stitching chisel to punch holes in it. I made holes for stitches with a stitching chisel and a rubber mallet. I used chisel with 4mm spacing.
Step 11: Burnishing Edges All Around
Before hand stitching, one needs to finish up all edges. Process is the same as before - apply some gum and burnish it till nice smooth finish. Only this time I made it without any power tools. In this way I feel more in control of the whole process.
Here a good example of how it looks like burnished versus raw.
Step 12: Stiching
For hand stitching I used two needles and red waxed nylon thread. Black leather and red stitches - that’s an old classic and it looks like the best combo for this card holder.
I start by taking the first needle through the hole, going through both pieces of leather, and then taking the second threaded needle to go through that same hole in the opposite direction. Stitch was finished with regular knot and melted nylon thread.
Step 13: Place for Money Clip
Time to find a place for money clip.
Once I aligned and clipped both card holder ends together, I placed money clip inside and marked a place where stitch should be made with a nail. Give one pass with stitching groover and punched holes at that line all the way through. Once again, I used stitching groover at the other side
Step 14: Stiching Money Clip
The last stitch in this holder.
Step 15: Finished Card Holder
This card holder could hold from one to at least 5 cards on each side. Some cash could be clipped inside too. Cash could be pulled out one banknot at a time by leaving clip in its place. That’s very handy. Cards are easily accessible, even if you want to pull out one from the middle.
This inexpensive and simple leather project will bring together the most needed cards and cash in a compact and stylish way. Plus, it is twice as nice to have an item that you made with your own hands.