Saturday, 21 September 2013

Leather Craftsman for a Day

Folds were made inside with the small silver tool on the left
This afternoon I went to a company-organized workshop to learn how to make a cardholder out of leather.

The leather pieces were held together with double-sided tape
There were two shades of leather to choose from -- a tan colour and chocolate brown. I was forewarned the latter was a thicker leather and harder to work with, but it was the shade that appealed to me so I decided to grin and bear it.

All the pieces were cut out for us, though we had to make two folds in the long piece by scraping the fold on the inside of the leather with a small tool.

And then to hold the other pieces in place, typically you should use glue, but since this was a one-day workshop we used two-sided tape instead.

We made holes using a small fork and a hammer... hard work!
Once that was done, now came the hard part. With a mini pointed fork, we made holes along the edge of the cardholder by hammering it into the leather. We made lots of banging noises and it was pretty tough pushing through all the layers of leather. It was tiring to say the least! But it was good to get our aggression out.

Now came the really hard part. After choosing which thick thread to use and threading it through two needles at each end, we now had to sew the leather pieces together. We were taught to poke the needles on each side through the hole and pull the thread all the way to make stitches. This was why it was important to make good holes with the fork earlier...

Then we had to stitch the leather together using two needles
Needless to say this task not only called for strength in the fingers, but also digits that were made of steel. We poked ourselves many times, some fellow participants howling in pain with some blood surfacing too. I was not immune either and at one point even broke my needle as I tried to wriggle it through the hole using pliers. I got another needle and re-threaded the existing thread and plodded along.

I finally finished after three hours! The instructor helped with the final stitch and then cut the thread and used a lighter to melt the waxy thread together. I also embossed my initials on the inside.

My completed cardholder with embossed initials!
It wasn't after we were finishing the cardholder that the instructor told us our company's business cards were too big to fit in the cardholder! Oh well... my Octopus card fits nicely in it though...


  1. Where did you do that workshop? Looks like quite good fun. Hilarious that it doesn't actually fit your company's business cards though!

    1. HI littlekoo -- we did the workshop in one of our office boardrooms! But if you're interested the instructor has a Facebook page: