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Brand new and never tried leather craft before

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  • Brand new and never tried leather craft before

    Hi everyone.
    I have watched recently a few tutorials on how to make leather watch straps and really want to try it out. I love watches and the idea of making leather straps for my collection really appeals.
    What I need is some advice on tools to buy for a beginner, leather and other bits and any recommendations would be fantastic.

  • #2
    I would like to try this for my first project:[URL][/URL]


    • #3
      Hi, welcome. I'm new to leather (and this forum), myself.

      As far as obtaining leather, I've bought some scrap leather from Brettuns Village, out of Maine. They have a variety of scraps, and they charge an average of $35 for a 5lb box. Shipping is free within the continental US, and (I think) Canada. You'll want to note the average scrap size and guage, before you order that 5lb box, though. (Some of their scraps can be ordered by the pound, too).

      I chose to start doing projects with scraps, because I feel no pressure in playing with it; if I screw up, well it's scrap, so who cares. I can also just practice technique, without feeling like I'm ruining good leather.

      My first project was a wetformed holster; pics are in the project section of this forum. I made it from scraps.

      As far as tools go, I ordered a tool kit from Amazon. I paid $50 or $60 for a large kit (several needles, 3 spools of thread, set of pricking irons, awl, swivel knife, stamps, etc.) The low low price is reflected in the tool quality, however. To be fair, I didn't expect much at that price point, and the cheap tools let me know that I DO enjoy leather work, and they suffice for now. Later, I will upgrade my tools, piece by piece.

      I will note that the thread that came in my kit, is probably too thick for watch bands.

      I know that Brettuns Village has a variety of miscellaneous hardware for leather projects, but I'm not sure if watch band buckles are in there. Weaver Leather or Tandy may have those.

      You'll likely benefit from a device known as a "Stitching Pony", which is basically a clamp that holds your project as you stitch. There are tutorials on YouTube, on making your own. Check them out.

      I'd also recommend looking at a variety of other project tutorials on YouTube. You may come up with a novel strap design, from watching a keyfob, bracelet, or notebook cover tutorial. I've got a number of projects, rolling around my head, from watching something, and thinking "hey, I can apply that technique to this kind of project". And, you know, why limit yourself to watch bands?

      Good luck!

      Oh, yeah... Weaver Leather has great tutorials on YouTube. Tandy has some decent ones, too.


      • #4
        Thanks for the advice. I’ll have a look at these tutorials. I’m in the UK so I will need to find a supply of leather from here probably.


        • #5
          There is a fab shop in the West Midlands that have lots of scraps to use to try different techniques on. It’s manorside fabrics.


          • #6
            I’ll check them out.
            Any in the Glasgow area that members know about? It’s my nearest city.