|Time required||Complexity||Tools & Supplies|
Common for leathercraft
I really wanted to try out punching dotted patterns into leather to see how it would look like and I thought that it would be a good excuse to make coasters (was making the coasters an excuse to punch some holes…or was it the punching idea that was an excuse to make coasters…I’m not so sure).
This project will be a two part tutorial because the base can be used for other coasters and I might try out other sets designs in the future. This specific tutorial will concentrate on how to make the 6 coasters. This is the tutorial explaining how to make the base.
- Leather dyeing
- Saddle stitching
- Edge burnishing
- 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 5mm hole punches
- Scissors or X-Acto knife
- 2 teeth stitching chisels
- Applicator for the dye
- Edge slicker
Bill of Materials
- 4 oz veg tanned leather
- Leather dyes
- Leather cement
- Leather finishing product
I am using two different kind of leathers here: 3oz calfskin for the lining that will be at the bottom of the coasters and 4oz second grade cowhide for the top that will be punched through. This is what I had available and I thought that the calfskin would make a nice lining for the base. You can of course use the same leather for both lining and top part.
The free pattern can be downloaded here.
Printing and cutting the pattern
The PDF for the pattern can be found here.
Print it on A4 paper and cut-out the pieces of the project.
Make sure that the pattern is not resized by checking your print settings. You can check if it was printed properly by measuring the test box on the pattern to ensure that its sides are 25mm long.
Print on thick paper to make it easier to trace the shape on the leather. 200g/cm2 and above is ideal (as long as your printer can handle it)
Tracing the circles onto the leather
Use a compass to trace on the cowhide 6 circles on the cowhide with a radius of 47.5mm (diameter=9.5cm).
Dyeing the leather
I dyed this piece with a diluted mix of ebony and hazelnut.
Punching-in the patterns on the coasters
Center the patterns on top of the circles that you traced earlier.
Secure with tape.
Punch out all the required holes.
When you’re done punching, pat yourself on the back.
And cutout the circles.
Preparing the liners
Trace 6 circles on the leather that you will use as the liner. You want them slightly bigger than the last circles we prepared. I went with a radius=5.5cm.
Dye the smooth side with the same mix that you used for the other piece of leather.
Cut out all the circles (no need to be too precise here).
Coloring the background
This is the rough side of the liner; thus the side that will be visible through the holes punched on the top.
I had some fun over this part. I kind of liked the idea of making such a beautifully colored background just to completely cover it up except for a few dots.
You can apply some leather conditioner to the rough side to smooth it out.
Gluing the two sides of the coasters together
Apply leather cement to the colored rough side of the liner, and to the rough side of the perforated top.
Join the two pieces together. I used a kitchen roller to apply pressure.
When all the pieces are glued, carefully cutout the excess liner.
Stitching the coasters
Trace your stitching line around the coasters with a compass and perforate the stitching holes.
I chose to use different thread colors for each coasters. Choose your own adventure.
Burnishing the edges
Sand the edges to smooth out any irregularity.
I applied the same mix of dye we used earlier to the edges to darken them.
Finally burnish the edges. I am using Tokonole and a wood slicker.
At that point I punched my logo under all the coasters.
Finally apply some leather finishing product on your pieces and give them a good rub.
I hope you enjoyed following along this tutorial. Please consider posting a photo of your creation in the comments below. It would mean a lot to me to see my little projects out into the world as you make it your own.
Any feedback/question about this tutorial or project idea that you’d like to see posted here is and always will be more than welcome.