How to Add Studs to Leather

Written by samantha volz
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How to Add Studs to Leather
Studding a piece of leather allows you to personalise your wardrobe. (genuine warm leather jacket with zipper image by JoLin from

The distinctive look of leather can conjure vivid images and impressions, from bad boys like James Dean symbolising the epitome of "cool" to hardcore motorcyclists who go where they please. Leather can also prove stylish and practical as a choice for a jacket, boots or a purse. To personalise their leather equipment, many people choose to add studs, which are small metal pieces that can form designs. Because owners can stud their own leather by hand, they can create truly individualised patterns on their favourite pieces.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Leather awl
  • Mallet
  • Pliers or stud press

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  1. 1

    Mark the location on the leather where you want to place the first stud. Press the prongs of the stud firmly into the leather, leaving the prong's precise indentations that show its intended placement.

  2. 2

    Press a leather awl into each of the two indentations to create a small slit in the leather. The slits should be slightly shorter and slimmer than the prongs on the stud. If the awl will not pierce the leather with only your hand pressure, hold the awl firm and gently tap it through using a mallet.

  3. 3

    Push the prongs of the stud through the slits and hold it firmly in place against the leather surface. Hold the stud in place and turn the leather over so that the prongs are now facing up and lay it down on your tabletop.

  4. 4

    Grab the first prong with the needle nosed pliers, jeweller's pliers or a stud press. Firmly press the prong toward the centre of the stud until it is secure and pressed flat against the leather. Repeat for all prongs on the stud. The stud should not turn or shift against the leather when finished.

  5. 5

    Repeat these steps with each stud on your leather until you have formed the desired pattern.

Tips and warnings

  • Find supplies for this project at leather supply stores, arts and crafts stores, hobby shops or Internet retailers.
  • Use a utility knife in place of an awl if necessary to pierce the leather. Protect your work area from awl, knife or prong scratches with a cutting board, wooden board or cobbler's mat.

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