Introduction: Lighter Jacket
Lighter Jacket design that I used for years. originally bought kits from Tandys, 24 years ago. Then started cutting my own but stopped doing leather 15 years ago and just started back again. Discovered that Tandy Leather no longer sells this kit, so got measurements from an old jacket.
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Step 1: Drawing Your Design
Here are the measurements to draw on some kind of card stock. 3 1/2 inches wide X 4 inches long.
Next measure up from the bottom 1 1/8" on each side, then across from 1 1/8 " mark to 1 1/4" in on each side, Then mark down from 1 /4" to bottom of card. See picture 2.
In picture 3
I have cut of the 1 1/8" X 1 1/4 " square on each side of the bottom. Leaving a small tail, which will become the bottom/stop. Notice the V notched at each top of the bottom and V notched in the middle of the bottom on picture 3, this is to help the bottom fold as I start to assemble the Lighter jacket.
shows the corners rounded on bottom and need to round the 4 corners on the main body. I had forgotten them. :-)
Picture 5 and 6
show the holes punched for assembly with rivets, I have decided to not punch my holes this way as my edges are not lining up evenly. So I have started doing the rivet holes when almost finished by gently folding the 2 edges together and punching holes with the edges lined up. The 2 holes in the tail/bottom should be centered, when folded they will fold together and attach between the bottom 2 holes on the jacket. Works better for me but these give you an idea of where the holes will be. You can also hand sew with wax thread or double loop lace the edges together. I have done all three ways and Double loop laced looks the best, hand sewing next to best, rivets is the fastest. IMO
This picture shows where I outlined the card on to the leather. This is veg tanned leather but you could also use suede leather and I have also made them.
These are the tools I used on this jacket. Heavy duty Scissors, leather swivel carving knife, razor knife, 2 stamps for stamping a design, rivet setter, 2lb raw hide hammer and the wooden handle tool t the top is a stitching Grover, I used it to mark the width of the border and a hole punch which I forgot to add to the pictures . I had these already but you can use many other thing that you have on hand. Like a drill and drill bit to punch/drill the holes.
I have had most of my tools for many years and some from my step father which are 40+- years old. Take care of them and NEVER use a metal hammer to hit any leather tool, it will ruin the tools. Only use a raw hide, poly or rubber hammer on leather tools
Step 2: Leather Cut Out and Casing Leather
Pictures 1 & 2
Leather cut out using a razor knife, which are very sharp and will cut fingers easier than leather. Holes marked and punched. I use a rotary hand hole punch that I got from Harbor Freight, also have a couple old 1s from Tandys but Harbor Freight 1 is just as good and only $6.95 compared to 19.00-39.00.
Casing the leather for stamping and edge beveled. Casing is nothing more than wetting the leather with water, which makes the leather softer to accept stamping, beveling and also folding into shapes. Some say to hold your leather under water but I find that messy to work with and really not necessary. I was taught years ago to case leather using a small bowl of water and a sponge. Wet the bottom (rough side), then the top side with a wet sponge and wait 3-4 minutes for the leather to soften. Also if your leather dries out before your done, it's very easy to just wet the top side again with the damp sponge.
Leather is ready for stamping
I beveled the edges, front and back, this is optional but gives the edges a rounder edge if burnishing edges.
Yes out of order Lol. The edges have been burnished using an edge slicker, you can use a piece of round wood, such as a dowel to burnish also.
Decide what design you want and stamp or cut your design into the cased leather. Here I used a simple tool to stamp the border, a letter stamp to stamp the "D" and marked where I was going to put a shotgun shell on each side, also punched hole for the rivet to hold shell on.
I'm getting ready to dye the lighter jacket, using a wool dabber. I'm going to dye the main body of the jacket with a medium brown leather stain, which is a water stain and you can clean up the dabber with soap & water. Most folks use a rubber glove when using dyes but you guessed it, not me. I could never get use to them and with caution and a wool dabber, I don't get much on me. I keep an old rag to wipe any on me off and rest cleans up with soap and water. You can get the wool dabber and leather dyes at almost all craft stores, or you can just use an old rag to apply stain OR just leave it Natural.
Step 3: Steps to Dye Lighter Jacket
Before using leather stain, with a small craft paint brush put Randy's Super Shene on any leather that you want to remain the natural leather color. I did this to the "D" and then let it dry for 2 hours. When putting the stain on, have a just damp sponge or rag handy to wipe any stain that gets on any part that has super shene on it.
Dying jacket with a wool dabber and medium brown leather stain, mainly everything inside the border lines. Let stain stay for a few minutes and then wipe with a slightly damp rag. Let stain dry for 10 minutes or so before dying border in picture 2
I use a small piece of dry sponge to dye the border, dipping a wool dabber into dark brown leather dye and transferring to sponge on the edge. I then lightly rub the border line with the edge of the sponge, adding more dye as needed and being careful too only dye the border. Also used a very small craft paint brush to touch up any areas that I missed or needed more dye. Be careful with the brush as the dye will run on the stain if you have too much dye on it, better to wipe the excess off as you remove brush from dye.
Dying completed and must dry completely for 4-5 hours, then with an old soft cloth rub leather everywhere with some good pressure. This will buff the leather and dye leaving a shine and removing some dull dye. Then apply Super Shene to the entire leather surface and allow to dry at least an hour before assembly.
Picture 4 & 5
Finished Lighter Jacket
Will show assembly in the next step
Step 4: Lighter Jacket Assembly
Not shown or mentioned, as I completely forgot! You will need 3 rivets- 2 small rivets and 1 long rivet for the bottom, also 2 eyelets for the top holes if you want them. Thick leather as this and thicker really do not need eyelets for a tassel or key ring and clasp. I had them so used them.. If you use eyelets, you will need 2- 1 for each top hole or 1 long shank eyelet, if using 2 short 1s now is the time to set them.
Also not shown is the 2 shotgun shells I mounted. They were cut coin thin using a pipe cutter and primer removed with a nail and hammer, them cleaned and polished with brasso metal polish. then mounted using 2 small rivets.
Pinch the bottom tail together to start a fold, while you keep the holes aligned
Picture 2 & 3
This shows the bottom pinch fold.
Put long rivet thru the bottom hole of the lighter jacket, then thru the 2 holes of the bottom/stop. hold these 3 together and go to picture 5
While holding the rivet in the 3 holes add the bottom outside hole to the 3, the bottom will start to curve and form as you add this. Put the rivet cap on the rivet and set with rivet setter and hammer.
Now when you have the bottom rivet set, you can set the 2 short rivets and this will complete assembly of your lighter jacket. You then can add a tassel or what ever you want to the eyelets.
This shows the bottom of assembled lighter jacket.
******You could use small screws and nuts with washers instead of rivets, will also give it a steam punk look.
Step 5: Suede Lighter Jacket
Here is a picture of a suede lighter jacket that I also made but with hand sewing. Eyelets must be used on suede as its thin and will tear.