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How to glue leather to leather

Updated February 21, 2017

Leather is a durable yet flexible material, making it perfect for use in clothing and many other products. Sometimes, when creating leather products, it is not possible or desirable to stitch leather. Gluing leather can help you create a nicer-looking do-it-yourself project or repair an item that has come apart.

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  1. Clean the part of the leather you want to attach. This removes dirt, grime and other material that could react with the glue and prevent a strong bond from forming. Scuff the leather with wire wool or sandpaper to create a rough surface that will help form a stronger bond.

  2. Apply a thin coat of rubber cement--the kind used in shoe making--to one of the pieces of leather you plan to attach. The glue should be applied in a thin layer covering the area rather than solely in the centre or around the edges. This helps make the bond stronger.

  3. Put the pieces of leather together before the glue begins to dry. Hold the pieces together, applying even pressure across the area being glued. You may wish to use a book or other heavy object to keep the pressure on the bonded surfaces, because the glue needs at least an hour to set.

  4. Tip

    The glue works best at a temperature of around 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It also releases fumes as it dries, so you need a well-ventilated area. Consider using a space heater if you plan to work on your project in a cold garage or patio area.


    Leather is easily marked and damaged, especially if the pieces are thin. Consider protecting your leather when it is under pressure during the gluing process by covering it on either side using a piece of thick leather; which will take the brunt of the pressure.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rubber cement
  • Wire wool

About the Author

April Kohl

Based in the United Kingdom, April Kohl has been writing since 1992, specializing in science and legal topics. Her work has appeared on the Second Life News Network website and in British Mensa's "LSQ" magazine. Kohl holds a Bachelor of Science in physics from Durham University and a diploma in English law from the Open University.

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