How to Stitch a Leather Steering Wheel

Written by grace myers
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How to Stitch a Leather Steering Wheel
Create your own leather steering wheel cover to give your car a custom look. (blue chevrolet image by Charles Taylor from Fotolia.com)

Customise your car with a leather steering wheel cover to give it a retro look, add a splash of colour or simply to replace a worn one. By stitching a leather cover yourself, you will save money and get the exact look you want. Classic leather steering wheel covers are usually joined with a baseball stitch. This is an ideal stitch because it is permanent while also flexible and elastic. It pulls the edges of the leather together to form a flat surface to cover the opening.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Curved darning needle
  • Measuring tape
  • Leather
  • Scissors
  • 1/8-inch hole punch
  • Strong waxed thread or fishing line

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Instructions

    Prepare Leather Covering

  1. 1

    Measure the area of the steering wheel that you wish to cover. Many people prefer to cover just the top or bottom of the wheel or either side of the centre area. Subtract 1 inch from this measurement because the leather will stretch over time. This measurement is the length. Measure the diameter of the wheel and subtract 1/2 inch. This measurement is the width.

  2. 2

    Cut a piece of leather to the length and width measurements.

  3. 3

    Punch a hole every 1/4 inch along one length of leather with the hole punch.

  4. 4

    Along the other length of the leather, punch one hole 1/4 inch away from the edge. Then punch another hole 1/2 inch away from that hole. Continue punching holes every 1/4 inch along this length.

    Stitch Leather to Steering Wheel

  1. 1

    Cut a long piece of thread. With the wrong side of the leather facing you, tie and knot the thread to the first hole along the length with no gaps in punches. If desired, secure the needle by knotting the thread to it.

  2. 2

    Loosely wrap the leather over the steering wheel with the wrong side touching the wheel. Position the knot of thread at the desired position around the diameter of the wheel. Classic covers display the stitching along the inside, but it also can be done on the front or back of the wheel.

  3. 3

    Create a baseball stitch by inserting the needle into the hole directly across from the first knot. Pull the thread taut.

  4. 4

    Bring the thread up underneath, inserting it into the hole on the other side of the leather along the diagonal. Continue stitching in this manner for a few inches.

  5. 5

    Continue stitching, always pulling the thread taut. Keep the seam in an even line around the wheel. Adjust it continually to prevent it from twisting.

    Finish the Covering

  1. 1

    Once you have reached the end of the leather cover, tie a few secure knots. Tie another knot to join the side edges of the cover.

  2. 2

    Cut the thread 1/2 inch from the knot.

  3. 3

    Insert excess thread into the seam. Conceal it by pressing and smoothing it down. The cover will smooth more over time, so don't worry if you can see the thread at first.

Tips and warnings

  • Choose a thread colour that contrasts with the leather to add more visual interest.

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