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Leather Craft Ideas – Inspiration for Your Next Great Project

Eventually, it can be easy to run out of steam when making leather goods. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, crafters have various options to refresh what they’re working on. I’m going to take a look at a variety of different leather craft ideas that might be worth trying for your next project. 

Regarding leather crafting, some ideas that are new and worth exploring could include sunglasses cases or passport wallets. Different materials and skill levels will determine which leather craft ideas will be worth trying for you. 

Having run out of ideas for leather crafts recently, I thought it would be interesting to see the work of my fellow crafters. So let’s look at some ideas that will serve as fresh inspiration for your work on your leathercrafting journey. 

What are Leather Craft Ideas?

Sometimes, knowing exactly what you want to make can be difficult. After all, you can only make so many wallets, right? I’ve put together some leather craft ideas to keep something fresh on your workbench whenever you need to hit the creative reset button. Various projects use different materials for crafters of varying skill levels to try. So let’s jump into it!

A Man Cutting Leather - Leather Craft Ideas - Liberty Leather Goods
A Man Cutting Leather

Leather Craft Ideas by Material

Faux Leather Craft Ideas

Faux leather is any material that resembles leather but is artificial. Sometimes, it can be made with plastic, which will significantly reduce the cost of the leather and make these ideas a lot cheaper. Some popular projects for faux leather crafts often involve using a Cricut, which has a variety of faux leather sheets to choose from. Projects like faux leather earrings or decorative bows are worth checking out.

Thin Leather Craft Ideas

Thin leather doesn’t refer to a specific kind of leather but the thickness of leather. Usually, anything below 3 oz. (1.2 mm) is considered “thin” leather. Some uses for thin leather include bookbindings (or rebindings), lightweight bags, or wallets. Given how thin leather is not particularly resistant to puncturing, projects using this type of leather likely avoid an environment where sharp, pointed objects are involved. Therefore, something like a leatherbound journal or notebook might be a good leather craft idea

Leather Belt Craft Ideas

Regarding leather belts, the simple thing would be to take a leather belt blank, install hardware, and put a stamp on it. However, if you want to try something different, tooling can be a great option for making leather belts. Though time-consuming, the resulting product feels closer to a piece of art than it does to an item meant for daily use. And if upcycling is involved, using a leather belt that’s still in good condition can allow you to make something like a leather camera strap or a leather plant holder. 

The paradigm project for a beginner in leathercraft is a three-pocket cardholder.

Soft Leather Craft Ideas

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Soft leather often makes the ideal material for handbags and other hand goods. Because these products are usually held, their soft leather touch adds to the perception of high quality. Other items made with soft leather include purses and upholstery, which need to be soft to accommodate comfort. Suede is an example of soft leather. It has practical uses such as suede shoes or clothing. 

Leather Lace Craft Ideas

There are quite a few leather craft ideas you might try if you have leather lace. Leather lace earrings would be a simple one to start with. Depending on the thickness of the leather lace, you might try making a simple plant hanger. Braiding leather lace can also be a popular idea, expanding the number of projects you might explore, such as braided leather cuffs, bracelets, and drawstring pouches with a leather lace drawstring.

Leather Craft Ideas by Experience Level

DIY Leather Projects

There are various DIY leather projects out there; in fact, most leathercrafting is DIY. However, if one is just starting, it can be handy to explore DIY leather kits, which provide all the materials you’ll need to make a product from start to finish. These can help dip a toe into the proverbial water of leathercrafting, which is often an accessible way to get into leathercraft.

Making a Leather Wallet - Leather Craft Ideas - Liberty Leather Goods
Making a Leather Wallet

Leather Project for Beginners

The paradigm project for a beginner in leathercraft is a three-pocket cardholder. The most straightforward is made of four rectangular-shaped pieces. However, despite the simplicity of a three-pocket cardholder, this is a chance to display and demonstrate attention to detail. So despite the minimal build, a true craftsperson can make even a simple three-pocket cardholder shine.

Another project for beginners might be a leather pincushion. Since leathercrafting involves quite a bit of sewing (especially when done by hand), having a pincushion handy to hold all your needles can be beneficial. A useful and aesthetic pincushion can be made with two pieces of leather, some adhesive, a hole punch of some kind, and some cotton swabs.

Free Leather Project Ideas

Expert leather crafters on social media or YouTube can offer free leather project ideas. Some of them will even offer free patterns for various leather projects! Not only will they give a design, but there will also likely be an accompanying video that will take you through the steps to create the item is also likely.

A Leather Football Pattern - Leather Craft Ideas - Liberty Leather Goods
A Leather Football Pattern

Handmade Leather Craft Ideas

A handmade leather craft is produced without machinery and is often of superior quality. They require a particular amount of care, craftsmanship, and time to process into final products, but their longevity and durability may be worth it.

Pure manual processing gives the product a strong personality charm highlighting the unique status and appeal of hand-crafted leather products, according to a publication about handmade leather creation by Miao Wang and Qinwen Wei in the Journal of Physics. Popular handmade leather craft ideas are:

  1. Bags
  2. Wallets
  3. Jackets
  4. Gloves
  5. Keychains

Leather Project Patterns

A leather project pattern is a template providing the information you need to cut specific leather shapes to form a design. A leather project pattern can be a helpful guide for adding a unique and custom design to a leather craft. These can be purchased and downloaded from retailers like Amazon and Etsy with simple printing directions, cutouts, and assembly instructions. Leather project patterns make great templates for crafting leather that you’d like to add a little style to. 

Types of Leather Craft Ideas

Leather Craft Ideas for Guys

Some leather craft ideas for guys include watch straps and wallets. These are relatively easy to make, though difficult to perfect. Other ideas might be sunglasses cases, or leather flask wraps for the whiskey enthusiast

Whatever approach you take, it may only take an idea or two to get your sales going!

Leather Craft Ideas for Her

Leather craft ideas for ladies would include items such as wet molded makeup trays, long wallets, and handbags. These may take a bit more skill to make, but they can increase your skillset tremendously and would make for some excellent gifts.

Leather Craft Ideas to Sell

When contemplating leather craft ideas to sell, it’s essential to consider two routes. One route is to make products people use daily, such as wallets, key fobs, and leather coasters. When you break into the market, these will likely be the items most people want to purchase.

A Leather Key Fob - Leather Craft Ideas - Liberty Leather Goods
A Leather Key Fob
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LeatherCoach™

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However, the downside to this approach is the high amount of competition. Selling leather goods may not have been as common online in the past, but now, the market is flooded with leather influencers and makers who are highly skilled crafters who are great at marketing. This gives this first approach to selling leather crafts a high bar of entry.

The second approach would be to find a specific niche and meet its need. For example, there are not too many leather bike bag makers out there, but leather has decidedly found a place in cycling regarding leather seats (e.g., Brooks saddles). Finding a niche like the cycling industry and making leather crafts that fill those needs would be an easy way to corner a small part of the market and grow from there.

The difficulty with this route is finding the niche and filling it so that you continue attracting customers. Whatever approach you take, it may only take an idea or two to get your sales going! For those who are seriously interested in furthering their business, Song and Zhao have recently published an article in Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research that details some new ideas for the development of handmade leather goods. 

For a simple leather craft idea, check out this video detailing how to make a minimalist front pocket card holder.

Related Insights

Is leather craft a good hobby?

I might be a bit biased, but yes, leathercrafting is absolutely a good hobby! Not only do you end up with finished products that can be useful to you or worth selling to others, but you get the gratification of learning and applying knowledge in various ways. 

What can you do with faux leather?

Anything you might do with genuine, full-grain leather can likely be achieved with faux leather. If longevity is the goal, faux leather will not perform as well as full-grain leather, but that does not limit how faux leather can be used. 

The Leather Craft Project Ideas That Real People Like Most

I asked people what their top 3 leather craft project ideas are (either completed or waiting to begin).  Here is a table representing the percentages of their responses and what I learned from the poll.

Leather Craft IdeaTimes Selected
Leatherman or knife sheath20%
Sunglasses case6%
Tool Roll7%
Dopp kit6%
Wallet, passport case, or billfold27%
Purses and bags14%
Holster7%
Belt7%
Bookmark6%
The Leather Craft Ideas That Real People Like Most

Final Thoughts

As you can see, leathercrafting has a lot of potential when it comes to variety. Sometimes, it’s okay to make something that you’re totally unfamiliar with – that’s often the way that we can improve on our craft in other areas. I hope this article has introduced some new ideas and new projects to you to work on the next time you’re at your workbench. 

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