tools For Leather crafting

Are you familiar with the word ‘leather smith’? well, this word contains a whole new world of crafting. The leather smith deals with the designing, crafting, repairing, and restoration of leather and its products. Nowadays most people are getting familiar with this kind of crafting. You need to be focused before starting this craft as your business or side work. 

Here we are going to take a quick peek at all the necessary tools which are needed for leather smiths to make a remarkable product. 

Basic Tools For Leather Crafting: 

There are many steps of crafting. A new crafter must be able to take one step at a time. For these, the crafter needs a few basic tools for leather crafting which are really helpful in learning and designing any leather product. These tools help in sewing, punching, making holes, cutting, and many more. The start of leather crafting means managing all these expensive tools, along with that you must practice hard on how to use them. 

The most important tools for crafting are:

  • Leather Piece

It is the most important thing to buy before gathering all kinds of tools and other things. To make a handmade leather product you must have a small piece of spare leather that can be used to practice in making any product. The color and texture of the leather can be researched before buying it. Be careful with all the new crafters, do not buy in bulk amount until and unless you have a new order in hand. 

  • Thread 

The second important thing is to buy thread. There are many varieties of threads that are available in the market. They are natural and synthetic too. since the leather product must be of high quality, the linen thread must be used. They are very strong and have high resistance against heat and climate. This gives the product more strength and durability. 

  • Cutting Mat

Handwork matters a lot whenever we are working in hand-stitched leather crafting. What I would suggest to all crafters who have just started their work in leather crafting is must have this cutting mat. They have measurements printed on them. it is used to cut the leather precisely and neatly. If the leather is cut accordingly, it helps you more effectively in making a leather product. 

  • Diamond Chisels

Leather is slightly thicker and needed these diamond chisels to make the holes on the leather mat. This makes it easier for crafters to stitch the product with accuracy and elegance. There is a variety of sizes and designs of this tool that can help you in making hand-stitching and saddle-stitching leather. 

  • Mallet

If you wish to make any embedded shape on the leather, then this is the best tool to use. The hammer requires not have much force to make the impression on the product. 

  • Scratching Awl

This tool is used for variety of things while working on the leather product. The most common use of this tool is that it is used to scratch on leather for cutting

  • Leather Stitching Needles

The stitching needs a sharp needle to make sure that the leather product is properly stitched. What is important is that these needles must be of the right size else the stitching will look awful and gives a poor impression. However, the holes are already done on the leather but if we used the wrong needle, they would break the needle resulting in poor stitch quality. 

  • Edge Beveler 

This tool is used after the finishing of the product. It has an edge that can smooth the edge of the product resulting in the efficient trimming of leather. 

  • Puncher

There are two types of punchers. Hole punchers and corner punchers. U and V shapes are used for watch straps, and belts They can also be used for other purposes.

  • Edge Burnisher 

Do you like a shinier leather product then you must have an edge burnisher.

An edge burnisher is normally used to burnish the edges along with a burnisher gum which is plant-based. Japanese Tokonole by Seiwa is the most popular one. There are no corrects and wrongs. Leather crafters have different opinions and personal references. Personally, I use edge burnisher in different woods, clothes like cotton or jeans, along with burnisher gums from Wuta, Seiwa, and PMAKS. Sometimes simple water. Depending on the project.

  • Waxed Threads 

A thread seems to be a small little thing, but it does seem to be the most important thing too. It comes in many different colors and sizes. They all want different sizes and colors to give a finished yet beautiful look. If you have any special preferences for color, please leave a note when ordering your product.

Apart from all these tools, there are some more that step up in leather crafting. There are tools that make it easier and more convenient to roll, trim, or improve the durability of the product. 

How I complete my projects?
1. Design

The design in my mind needs to be put on a canvas, for that, I use a pencil and draw my idea down on paper with measurements. Later on, I design it on my Mac in Adobe illustrator. When I am satisfied with the design and layout, I print it out.

2. Choosing leather

The only raw material is leather. The selection of leather depends on the project whether it is a wallet, bifold, watch strap, phone case, and so on. Leather should be accordingly. Some projects need thinner/split leather and some need thicker. 

When the leather is decided for the project, I go on with the next step. 

3. Thread

As mentioned earlier bonded nylon thread is best for leather crafting. The question is waxed or not. The answer is simple, waxed. Machine stitching, it is always non-waxed. But for hand-stitching, it is waxed. 

If the thread is not waxed by the manufacturer, I wax it myself. It´s a simple step. The benefit of waxed thread is to fill “the holes” with wax to make the stitching line more durable and water resistant. I use Bees Wax. 

4. Cutting and gluing pieces together

All steps from this and the future need extra attention and accuracy. 

I start with gluing paper on cardboard or kraft paper. Cutting the design out with a sharp knife. Afterward, I put those cuts on the leather and use a scratch awl to cut out the leather. 

Glue all pieces together with a non-toxic cement glue from Fiebing. 

5. Stitch holes and stitching

When the glue is dried, I punch the holes and start stitching. Most of the projects have saddle stitch which is the most beautiful in my opinion. 

6. Finishing

The last step is also an exciting and important step. I finish all projects of leather projects with edge burnishing and impregnating leather.


The leather industry is an expensive art. Leather crafting is getting popular day by day due to its exciting ideas and entertaining methods. Even though it is not an easy job to do but still people are trying to figure out the straws of this craft. 

Basic tools for leather crafting