Tools for Decorative Leather Studs

Written by adele eliot
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Tools for Decorative Leather Studs
Adding decorative studs to leather is an easy process. (leather belts image by timur1970 from

Adding studs to leather items can transform your clothes and accessories into original items. Whether you're customising bags, jackets or belts, leather studs are an easy addition to make. To add decorative studs to your leather items, you will need some basic tools. These are easy to source and can usually be purchased from the same store as the studs themselves.

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The type of stud you use will dictate what tools you need to insert them into the leather. There are two types of studs: one with two prongs at the back and studs with a screw on back. According to online retailer Leather Supreme, pronged studs are the most common type of stud to use on jackets and other clothing, while the screw back studs are used more for heavier items like saddlebags.

Masking Tape

Masking tape is useful if you are using multiple studs to pattern a piece of leather. Applying thin pieces of masking tape to the leather will help you outline your stud design before permanently marking the material with an awl or stud. Once you have the masking tape template in place, you can use a pencil to mark underneath it in exactly the spots where you want to position the studs.

Awl or Utility Knife

Unless you are inserting studs into very thin leather, you won't be able to push them through the material without making a hole first. An awl or utility knife is useful for this step. For studs with prongs, you will have to make a hole for each prong, while studs with screw backs only require one hole. Online stud store Studs and Spikes recommends making the hole slightly smaller than the prong or the screw back, as this will help the stud sit snugly in the material.


Pliers are useful for bending back prong studs once you have inserted the stud through the leather. The metal can be stiff, so it is much easier to use pliers to ensure the prongs sit at a 90-degree angle to the stud, flat against the back of the leather. This avoids them catching on material under the leather or causing discomfort if the studs have been placed in clothing.

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