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Hello from Iowa, USA- The Hawkeye State

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Hello from The heartland of the U.S.A.   I am new to Leather but very eager to learn and begin to learn a subject I have been facinated with for years.  I hope it will keep me occupied and satisfied in middle age through retirement (if that ever happens). 

Everyone here seems super helpful and I like the community feel.  I am sure I will have tons of questions as I venture into this area.  

I have no tools, or books at all. So my first question where to start.  Any suggestions would be great.   Thank you. 


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Start simple. Box cutter, rulers,(cork backed if possible) punches from Harbor Freight. You can get a lot of tolls cheaper if there are not labeled leather working. Make key fobs, braclets, minimalist wallets. They are small prices of leather that you can practice the fundamentals over and over. And you then have some small x mas gifts for friends and family. Jlsleather a member here has some free patterns on his website and also he sells small pieces of project leather on his Etsy site. All his leather is Hermann Oak or Wickett and Craig. Good stuff. Good luck have fun and say good bye to your retirement fund. Lol

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Welcome, on the small item approach do several of the same thing in batches. You will gain experience faster, spending more time with each step. If you botch one, save it for a tester on the next step. This way you don't have to start all over (that is frustrating).

As for books, these are my recommendations.......

The Art of Handsewing, Al Stohlman.

Leather Tools, how to use them, how to sharpen them, again Al Stohlman.

These are two cheap books that pay off huge dividends.

If you are not comfortable with sharpening, you'll have to learn. I was at it for awhile before I realized I had to know how to sharpen things.

If you can find F.O. Beard's "Leather Secrets", it has some of every technique, pattern, and process. It really is a wealth of information, although dated.

Have fun.

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