Leather is a strong yet soft material that is very unique. It is durable, yet soft enough to be crafted into beautiful products that are each unique to the crafter. In addition, stamping or engraving the leather adds personalization and quality to the leather product. If you have ever seen someone with a leather bag, leather belt, or leather wallet that is engraved with their initials you have probably instantly recognized that the item looks very expensive and elevated from just a plain bag, wallet, belt, or other item. If you want to bring your new leather item to the next level but don’t want to pay a big price for it, or if you want to put a personal touch on a gift, we will help you learn how to engrave your leather to add a nice touch for you or your loved one.
There are a few things you have to prepare before you can engrave your leather. First, you have to make sure you have the right leather and the correct tools. It is important that you purchase a top grain leather for this project that does not contain a finish already. Other types of leather like suede or faux leather will not work for this project. In addition, you will need leather shears, engraving tools, water, and a sponge. For other more advanced leather engravers they may use other tools like carbon paper, laving chisels, and a leather burnisher, but those are not necessary when you are first starting out.
Easy Steps How to Engraving Leather
Prepare the Leather
Before you start your work on engraving the leather, you have to prepare the leather. First, you use your leather shears to cut it to the correct shape and size that you want for your project. If you are engraving a piece of leather that is already the shape you want like a belt or wallet you can skip this step. Also, it is helpful to trace the leather on a piece of paper so you can see how much your leather has expanded while you are working on it so your letters or design stays proportional.
Soak the Leather
For this step, you can either submerge the leather completely for 20-30 minutes in order to completely soak it. Then you will have to wait for the leather to dry to the correct semi-dry texture that you need to work with it. If you do not have the extra time that this process requires, you can easily use your sponge to wet the leather. In order to do this, you need to wet both the smooth top side, and the bottom fleshy side enough to soften the leather so you can work with it.
Engrave the Leather
Now you are ready to actually do your engraving! In order to do this, you need to use your engraving tools and a leather mallet. You place the tool on the line that you want engraved and gently tap it with your leather mallet to ensure that your leather does not get cut. It takes practice to know how much pressure to use, so it might be helpful to practice on some test pieces of leather before you try it on your final project. Also, any other things that you want to do to the leather like dye it, treat it, or put a special finish on it, must be done after you have finished all of your engraving.
Now you are all ready to engrave your leather to give it the personalized look you want. Now all that is left is to have fun with it. It does not have to be a stressful process, and you should enjoy creating your beautiful work of art!