How to Use Leather Scraps

Written by chyrene pendleton
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How to Use Leather Scraps
Use leather scraps to make crafts such as leather bookmarks. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

The next time you see a pile of leather scraps, view these bits of leather as treasures you and your family can use to create a wide range of leather crafts. Besides suede leather, the majority of scraps you will find are vegetable tanned tooling leather, with both a smooth and a rough side. Create leather items for yourself or others. You can also have family craft nights where your children can use their imagination to create leather art, toys and functional crafts.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Scrap leather
  • 6-inch round object (optional)
  • Leather shears
  • Hole punch
  • 18-inch leather lace
  • Leather glue
  • Stones (optional)
  • Beads (optional)
  • Feathers (optional)
  • Paint
  • Paper
  • Silk bead cord with a tassel

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    Native American Medicine Bag

  1. 1

    Draw an outline of a circle 6 inches in diameter onto a piece of scrap leather with a pencil. Hold down a 6-inch round object onto the leather scrap and trace around it if you need help drawing a circle.

  2. 2

    Cut out the circle carefully with a pair of leather shears.

  3. 3

    Punch 13 holes using a hole punch in your leather circle about 1/2 inch away from the circle's edge.

  4. 4

    Insert an 18-inch leather lace into one of the holes on the smooth side of the leather circle, and then weave the lace in and out of the holes as you make your way around the circle. Use the same colour lace as the circle or use a contrasting colour.

  5. 5

    Insert the lace into the hole you started with, so you now have two lace pieces entering the same hole.

  6. 6

    Press the middle of the circle on the rough side, and then pull up on the two leather lace ends. You now have a medicine bag. Native American Indians used medicine bags like this to hold items such as herbal medicine for healing. Glue decorations with leather glue to your medicine bag if you desire, including feathers, beads, stones or Indian symbols.

    Tassel Bookmark

  1. 1

    Cut a scrap of leather into a rectangle in the length and width you desire with leather shears.

  2. 2

    Punch a hole on one end of the leather rectangle using a hole punch.

  3. 3

    Loop a silk bead cord with a tassel, insert it through the leather hole, and then pull the tassel through the hole and loop of the cord. You now have a leather bookmark with a tassel.

Tips and warnings

  • If you want to stamp your leather scraps with metal embellishing tools, use a sponge with clean water and evenly wipe both sides of your leather pieces. The leather will become darker and will be ready for stamping. Avoid using water from metal containers, since this water will stain the leather; only use plastic or glass containers of water.
  • Make your leather crafts shine by applying a little leather finish with a damp sponge to the smooth side of the leather. Buff the leather with a clean, lint-free cloth to increase the shine. (See Reference 2)
  • Find leather scraps at fabric and craft stores, usually sold in bags at discounted prices.

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