How to Emboss Leather for Homemade Books

Written by filonia lechat
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If you’ve made the effort to write an original story, continue the artistic process by creating a unique leather cover for the book. Once you’ve printed, bound and covered your book with a leather casing, you can create a cover that shows readers the title, author or just an image that reveals a little bit about what’s inside.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Towels
  • Spritz bottle with water
  • Letter stamps
  • Stamp handle
  • Mallet

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  1. 1

    Determine what you want to emboss on the cover of the book. If you’re embossing a title, you’ll need letter stamps; if you want to emboss a design, you’ll need to brainstorm design ideas that you’re likely to find on a stamp. Purchase leather stamps from a craft store or online leather stamping wholesaler.

  2. 2

    Layer towels on top of a secure table. Place the book on top of the towels and use a spritz bottle to spray the cover with water; the cover should turn darker than the spine and back. Wait five minutes to let the water soak in.

  3. 3

    Screw the first leather stamp (such as the first letter of the book’s title) into the stamp handle. Hold the handle in your non-dominant hand (your left hand if you are right-handed) and position it in place on the leather cover.

  4. 4

    Hit the handle with your dominant hand using a wooden mallet or hammer. Gently lift the stamp handle up to see whether your efforts have left the embossed design; if not, put it back in the same spot and hammer harder.

  5. 5

    Unscrew the stamp from the handle and replace it with the next one, then repeat the hammering process.

Tips and warnings

  • Lay out your stamps in their proposed order next to you on the work table. This will help you keep your place and estimate spacing.

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