Welcome to the Liberty Leather Goods blog!
Hello world :), this is my little nook of the internet, and adventure into leather craft. I’m just getting started and thought it would be fun to share the journey with others that are interested in it too.
Maybe some of my research and many mistakes will help save you some time, or at least provide a bit of entertainment and a few laughs 🙂 as I learn how to make things with leather. I welcome all thoughts, ideas, and comments, let’s do it together.
Who Am I?
I’m glad you stopped by, here’s a bit to get to know me: I live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a really cool city that mixes the history of the old with the freshness of the new. The United States was conceived, founded, fought for, won, and established right here.
I’m so lucky to get to walk around and explore the neighborhoods that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and many others lived in and walked around every day.
They’re truly an inspiration. Below is a photo of the corridor to Ben Franklins house, he walked right through here!
What Does Philadelphia History Have to Do with Leather?
So I’m a bit of a history fan. It’s so easy to escape into imagining the conversations the Founding Fathers of America were having at the time. New ways of thinking, built on old-world experience, creating something new that would last generations, and be useful to the people that had it.
Great leather work shares a lot of these same values, and led to the name, Liberty Leather Goods. Great leather work should be timeless, valuable, crafted with the highest quality, and get better with use.
How can you not get super excited after watching the quality and precision in a video like this?? 🙂
The level of craft started to have an appeal. Working with a material that came from nature, gets better with age, and is incredibly useful. And to produce things by hand in a time when so much is machine-made.
I Had to Try It 🙂
So here I am, looking for a new hobby. There are so many great crafts and trades, so the search was on. Some require really expensive shops with specialized tools, or produce final pieces that take up a lot of space. Others require long apprenticeships to acquire the right skills, or one to live in a specific climate or region.
Then leathercraft caught my eye. It uses natural materials that have rich, unique smells, requires a skill that can be improved over time (I certainly have a looooooooong way to go! so that’s a fun challenge), it can be done on most any surface like a table, and only requires a basic set of tools to begin.
Also, many leather goods are functional and can be looked at like they’re tools for daily life (belts, wallets, bags). It’s like using tools, to make tools – so cool! haha. I was hooked.
Leather Working Classes? School of Leather? Leather Working Projects?
Where do I start? Google of course haha. I searched for leather working, leather craft, leather goods and went down the rabbit hole of examples, tips, tools, methods, videos, materials, approaches, anything and everything leather. Whew, exhausting.
Did I still like it that that point? Yep! So on I went; more videos, more blogs, more articles, tips, and examples. There are some really knowledgeable and experienced leather crafters out there, with great content to share. I was getting a feel for things and thought it would be fun trying to make something.
Leather Projects for Guys
Anyone can surely be an exceptional leather craftsperson. As a guy, I was thinking what would be a good first project to try my hand at leather working and I might even be able to use myself if it came out somewhat acceptibly. A few ideas came to mind:
- Leather wallet
- Leather belt
- Leather keychain
- Leather coasters
- Leather headphone cable wrap
After some thinking, I decided to make a belt. After all, the guy in the video above made one and it looked so cool 🙂 But more realisitically, it would expose me to a few new tools and some basic leather working methods that would offer a good feel for things. …And off we go!
Time to Learn How to Make a Leather Belt
I got some tools and decided a belt would be a good start, pretty simple and hard to mess up too badly (I wrote about the full experience in this post about how to make a leather belt). It was fun! Awesome. I also realized that I spent a huge amount of time upfront just learning and researching before making.
It’s of course fun to get our hands on things and make as soon as possible, so I thought the lessons learned along the way might be helpful to others out there, and this blog was born. Here is a photo of some of that initial work.
It’s not fancy at all, just a work bench, a few basic tools, and endless opportunity to learn and create. And that’s one of the great things about leather working, it doesn’t take a lot in order to do a lot. The focus is on the leather craft.
The belt didn’t take too long, and soon I was able to hold it in my hand, try it on, and wear it. Amazing, I was hooked. And then I started thinking about all the other leather projects I could get into and tools I could learn to use. Uh oh, so many cool ideas! 🙂
Great to Meet You
Truly, thank you for stopping by. I’m really, realllllly new to this, like 1 project new. So no expert here, I’ll take all the help I can get! – I’m eager to learn by doing and be a resource to others. The leather community is generally really open and supportive, which is awesome.
I hope to be a small, positive contribution to that as interest in the field continues to grow. If you’re interested in leather working too and want to see if it’s for you, click here to read my article about starting leather craft.