Bamby02

Wallet craft time?

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Hi,

I'm considering to try to make some wallets to sell, I have no experience with leathercraft however. What would you say is the approx time to create some? both simple and more complex ones? Also if you would recommend tools i will need for this, I have seen some videos read couple articles but otherwise I'm complete beginner. Do you think it is possible and effective to make some extra bucks this way?

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You dont state where you are living in the world and that may make a difference

You can get quite well made far Eastern wallets from £5.00 to £20.00 in England that scoop up the low cost not worried customers and wallets by top end firms at a few £100.00 plus

The strange thing about both is that they  are all well made by a skilled person, one often by low waged person who just makes on part of the finished product and the other a craftsman who makes the whole item exceedingly well using the worlds best materials and leathers

Back to your question, few will pay for a product whilst you learn your trade and skills, but if you keep learning the skills there is no reason why you can't sell after afew months of hard work, but some have the skills to learn very quickly others never get the skills

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I live in central Europe (Slovakia) and I do believe there is space to sell some, especially when i see what are people around willing to pay for useless and essentially  garbage items.  The biggest mystery for me however is the production time so i can make some calculations before I take this road.

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Production time is based on how much design detail you put into the intended product and how much time you will need to make each wallet as you have designed it.  You control the whole process and that process will take more or less time based on our experience level.  There is no fast and set rule on time as we all require a different amount.  For example, there are wallet designs that I make starting at 2 hours for a plain Jane version with the same base design requiring up to 6 hours for an intricately carved and tooled version; the level of work and detail all have a factor into that.  Now, with no actual experience or skill to put into the equation (as you have stated) these same wallets could require at least 4 (or more) hours as a basic version all the way up to 12 or more hours for the intricate version.  Furthermore, the skill, experience and techniques required to all of these various tasks is not something that happens overnight or can just be applied on day one.  These things require time and practice to get to a level where what you produce can be sold for a reasonable price; this price will be able to be increased as you get better but it should be said that until you have a grasp of the basics of design, cutting, finishing (dye, stain, seal, etc.), edge finishing, stitching/lacing, and everything else it takes to complete just one project, you will not be successful at trying to go down the road that you are heading towards at this time.  Do not take this as a suggestion to not even try as that is not the case here.  The suggestion, from myself as well as what @chrisash is getting at is to first learn all of the elements that go into making an item, practice them until you can produce repeatable results that look good, and then give it a go.  If you do it the right way and take in any advice or guidance provided by those here who offer it, you can start working towards what you are trying to get to but you have to be patient.  There isn't a single person within these forums or anywhere else on this planet who just had an idea, asked a couple questions, watched a video, and then went to work producing sellable items that made them money.  Everyone has to start somewhere and you have come to the right place to get the help you need, as long as you are willing to listen to us and follow the guidance that we offer.

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@NVLeatherWorx, you should copy and paste that post somewhere for the future. It covers a lot of bases for newcomers.

To the Op. We all started out with little to go on making things for ourselves, family, and friends. 

If you are just looking to make some extra money with your first projects then you are not ready to commit to leather crafting.

If you want to have some fun while you learn a craft, that could eventually lead to some income, then give it a try.

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Ditto to @NVLeatherWorx and @bikermutt07.

I'd just add that you need to love the craft, for itself, FIRST. You must jump in, try it, deal with the failures and frustrations associated with starting out, and still have a passion for the work. 

If you truly enjoy the craft itself, it is certainly possible to make money in the future. If you're considering this in order TO make money, it's unlikely that you'll either develop the skills, OR make a decent amount of money. It takes MANY hours to get "good".

Sure, many here started out hoping to be able to make money in the future, but I'd bet that no one here got into leather crafting FOR the money initially. I think that most started out as a hobbyist, then started selling some things to friends and acquaintances to help pay for that hobby, THEN, made the serious decision as to whether or not they wish to make it a business. @bikermutt07 was 100% correct about being ready to commit to leather crafting, itself.

So jump in and try it! If you do find that you love it, you CAN succeed.

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10 hours ago, JazzBass said:

Ditto to @NVLeatherWorx and @bikermutt07.

I'd just add that you need to love the craft, for itself, FIRST. You must jump in, try it, deal with the failures and frustrations associated with starting out, and still have a passion for the work. 

If you truly enjoy the craft itself, it is certainly possible to make money in the future. If you're considering this in order TO make money, it's unlikely that you'll either develop the skills, OR make a decent amount of money. It takes MANY hours to get "good".

Sure, many here started out hoping to be able to make money in the future, but I'd bet that no one here got into leather crafting FOR the money initially. I think that most started out as a hobbyist, then started selling some things to friends and acquaintances to help pay for that hobby, THEN, made the serious decision as to whether or not they wish to make it a business. @bikermutt07 was 100% correct about being ready to commit to leather crafting, itself.

So jump in and try it! If you do find that you love it, you CAN succeed.

Nice addition to what has already been said @JazzBass and you are correct.  I started learning this craft when I was 8 years old (that is about 46 years ago) and I have spent the time since then on a continual learning spree while also working the craft and selling around the globe.  It was not the idea to learn this craft for the money but it was to eventually be at a level where I could make money with it.  Over these years I have pretty much learned, and worked, every aspect of this craft from the simple little things like key case, through handbags and fashion items all the way up to Saddle making so I have committed to my craft and I do love it very much.  However, we have all seen newcomers come and go here in these forums because they obviously thought that you just pick this up one day and be a raging success even though the information has been openly shared about what it takes.  In your case alone, you have opened yourself up within these forums with the intent on learning as much as you can from those who are willing to share and in return you have been able to share some of your experiences with others which is how this all comes together.  I remember when @bikermutt07 first entered these forums and introduced himself; he had questions that were abundant and had already made some simple little mistakes in direction and thinking before he got here but once he started getting information and guidance he was in search of more and has taken what he has learned, put it to use, and has also become a great contributor of guidance, wisdom, and friendship.  I have seen how your passion for what you are doing has shaped your presence here and I am glad to see how quickly you have enhanced your skills enough to be able to give back for those who are where, as you said, have all started out.  And one of these days I will make it down to Vegas, got some family there, and maybe we can get to together and chat a bit in person.  After all, I am only about 386 miles North of you.

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Threads like this one are why I keep logging in. Helpful and constructive truths that are also wrapped in camaraderie.

To the OP, don't be afraid to fail when making things. We all have scrap boxes with rather interesting and/or ugly cast offs our mothers wouldn't compliment. Also, don't be afraid to laugh and shrug it off. Continually improving your work will get you to a sellable item. It may not be tomorrow or even a month from now, but at some point if you are diligent, you'll see something after you finish it that is worthy of being sold. That said, also be prepared to spend your initial setup costs without a means to pay it back for a good while. I have a thousand or so dollars into this and may have sold $300 over the last few years at a hobbyists pace.

Patience and welcome!

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Thanks for the honorable mention, @NVLeatherWorx. I try to pass along what I can. You mentioned coming down to Vegas sometime and that would be awesome, but I don't live there.

You may have seen me mention buying a sewing machine from there, but that was a 54 hour hotshot trip from Shreveport, Louisiana. But, who knows where this crazy blue ball will carry us someday.

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@NVLeatherWorx Yes...saw that you're in Fernly!
I've been wanting to get up there to see Bob Mernickle (who made a nice double gun rig for me, several years ago), meet Cal Eilrich, and do some fast draw - haven't done it in years. If I came in last, i'd still have a great time!

Anytime you're in Vegas, I'd love to meet you. If I lived in Reno, I'd probably ask for an apprenticeship of some sort, or just bug you into being a fly on the wall. LOL.

@battlemunky "Don't be afraid to fail..."
That's possibly the BEST advice of all. It took something like 2000 "failures" for Edison to make a practical electric light. When he was asked about this, he said something to the effect that he never failed - it simply turned out to be a 2000 step process. (wish I had the exact quote).

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