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How to Make a Leather Desk Pad

Updated February 21, 2019

A classic leather desk pad or desk blotter is an attractive, traditional accent to any desk. It also serves to protect your desk from scratches, heat and moisture. You can use new leather you have purchased for this project, or recycle leather from a coat or jacket purchased at the thrift store or found in your own closet. Use the same basic desk pad pattern to make fabric- or paper-covered desk pads for a different look.

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  1. Measure the space on your desk to determine the desired size for a desk pad. Plan on at least 24 inches by 19 inches; however, a desk blotter up to 38 inches by 24 inches may be used for a large executive desk.

  2. Cut a panel of heavyweight art board to the size you've chosen for your desk pad. Cut two additional panels that are the exact height of your desk blotter and 3 1/2 to 5 inches wide. These are the two side panels that will be placed on the left and right sides of your desk blotter.

  3. Cut one large panel of leather 2 inches longer and 2 inches wider than the measurement for your desk blotter. Cut smaller pieces of leather to cover the two side panels, allowing 2 extra inches of length and width.

  4. Center the larger piece of art board on the wrong side of the leather. Apply glue along the edges of the leather and press the leather firmly to the back side of the art board. Clamp into place with clothespins and allow to dry thoroughly.

  5. Wrap and glue the smaller leather strips to one long side of each of the smaller side panels to create the inner edge of the side panels. Leave the remaining three sides free to wrap around the base of your desk blotter.

  6. Put one of the side panels into place, lining the unfinished edges up with the side of the desk blotter. Wrap the unfinished sides of the leather on the top, bottom and outer side edges around to the back of the main desk blotter. Work slowly and neatly to form a neat edge as you glue into place. Clamp with clothespins. Repeat for the other side of your leather desk pad.

  7. Cut self adhesive felt to fit the back of your desk pad. Remove the backing and press into place, covering the glued edge of the leather.

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Things You'll Need

  • Heavyweight art board
  • Sturdy craft knife
  • Self-healing cutting board
  • Ruler
  • Leather
  • Clothespins
  • Leather adhesive
  • Self adhesive felt

About the Author

Michelle Powell-Smith

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.

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