As the new year kicks off many people are making plans for what they want to accomplish in 2023. This could include new places to visit, achieving career goals, exploring life goals, and trying out new hobbies! If you’re looking to learn a new skill this year, we suggest leatherworking. Leatherworking is one of the oldest crafts in history and is the perfect hobby to keep your hands and your mind active. It doesn’t require much to get started and it’s a great alternative to zoning out in front of the TV. Also, as we’ve mentioned in other blog posts, your creations can be sold or given as gifts to loved ones. Leather is a material that can easily be repurposed and it never goes out of style, so why not create something with love that can be passed down for generations!
Where You Should Begin
A great place to get started is with an idea! Having a project idea in mind is useful for many reasons, but mainly it’ll keep you motivated and excited to get to work, and you’ll know which tools to invest in to make your idea come to life. Once you have your idea, we recommend visiting a craft shop to get some beginner supplies. You may also check local thrift stores or online marketplaces for used options that are less expensive. Just make sure the tools are still in good condition and are tools you’ll actually use. Research is recommended and we’ll discuss that more, later in this post!
If you’re struggling with what to do for a project, we suggest checking out our website for ideas. Since we offer a variety of items with different styles, we’re confident our options will get your creative juices flowing. You may even begin to notice a style that you prefer. Sticking with a particular style in the beginning may be beneficial in developing your skills. For additional help, check out our previous blog post that discusses some specific tools used for leather crafting and get even more ideas in our repurposing and recycling leather goods blog.
How You Should Research
Back to your new hobby… an important beginner recommendation is to do your research! Learning about the types of projects and leatherworking tools needed for projects is one thing, however, there is so much more information out there with regard to styles, lingo, techniques, etc. Checking out websites like ours, along with leatherworking forums is a great way to educate yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Everyone has to start somewhere, and forums are a great way to converse with people who share the same interest and excitement in leather crafting that you do!
Why You Should Practice
Since this new exploration of yours will require some sort of an upfront investment, we recommend finding bits of scrap leather to practice on. You’re going to mess up. It’s a learning process. Try not to be too nervous, instead get comfortable using one or two tools on a piece of leather scrap, before moving on to your actual project. This way if your “practice makes perfect” is taking a little longer than expected, you won’t get discouraged wasting leather for your actual project. This is also a good way to reuse older leather material instead of just getting rid of it. You can practice on belts, purses, bags, or even jackets that are no longer being worn. Once you feel comfortable and confident in your abilities, you’ll likely be more motivated to invest in a wider variety of tools and take on more complex and larger projects. Another plus is that if your practice items turn out better than expected, well then you’ve just upcycled an old item that was considered a scrap!
We at Texas Saddlery are excited about your new venture into the leatherworking and crafting world! We hope that you will find leather crafting as fulfilling as we do. Whether you’re looking for a side business to earn extra income, or just want to learn a new skill, working with leather will prove to be a rewarding endeavor! As mentioned before, we hope you’ll take the time to comb through our website, checking out some of our handcrafted items and reading through our previous blogs. We are confident you’ll be able to expand your knowledge and find inspiration in all that we produce. The Texas Saddlery team wishes you the best of luck on your new leatherworking adventure!