Braiding a Foundation Knot

I will expand on this posting later – just want to get the video out there quick.

If you are looking at this on Facebook, I do not think the videos shows up – so you will have to look at this post in the original blog:  

LeatherLearn Blog

Thanks to my friend Mark Sampson, my capcam works excelent so that you can see on the videos exactly what I see!

Come back often – I will have this instruction much more complete with all the do’s and dont’s of tying this knot.   Suggestions and feedback will be most welcome to j  at

Here is the basics:

Second part:

Please ask questions if anything is unclear!

Quick effective belt

Need a fast gift?

This is a pre-embossed belt.  I used water and spirit based dye to roughly add the red and green and purple to the belt design.  I worked fast to get a more organic look.  I did not want a detailed dye job.

So after that was done the belt did not look so hot at all.  

Then I sprayed the belt with two layers of Supersheen to create an even partial resist and coated it with Chestnut Tan High-lite stain.   It outlined the tooling and gave the belt, even with the red and green, a very natural look!


Neck Purses

With Christmas around the corner, you may want to make a few quick gifts for the young kids in your family: a small coin pocket that hangs from a lace around the neck.

Their shape is not very crucial, so you can just draw up your own pattern from looking at these pictures. Even the construction of these are not complicated, so just study the pictures and let me know if you have a question.

The pieces of leather cut and decorated
Assembly is simple
The finished products

New take on Basketweave

Tom of Boarshead came up with this idea and I will probably mostly do basketweave backgrounding like this!

This is a piece of leather stamped with the basket weave background and Block-out resist painted on every second line of stamping
After applying Dark Brown Antique Gel

This one was done by Tim:

Ons this piece only the 'tops' of the weave was coated with Block-out. You can still see some spots that have not dried completely.
Medium brown Hi-Lighter (Tandy Item #2608-03) made this design come alive.

Here is another one I tried – this time with Super Sheen and a mix of Briar Brown and Raisin Mahogany Eco-Flo Hi-Lite Stain.

Embossing a Bird

Here are the first photographs of my latest embossing project: embossing a grey African Hornbil.

The first two photos show the design transfered to the leather, cut with a swivel knife and all the key lines beveled. The purpose of this is to be able to see the design outline on the back of the leather. So the leather needs to be well cased – the water has to penetrate right through the thickness of the leather.

The leather used is a 4oz Royal Meadow Tooling Cowhide – beautiful soft stuff that ‘almost carves itself’!

The Design
First Bevelling

The beveling shows on the flesh side of the leather.

On the Back

I trace the plug on a thicker leather and make sure I trace all the important lines of the design so that I have guides to help me sculpt the plug. After tracing, I cut the plug out smaller than the original design. I reduce the size of the design for the plug by the thickness of the leather that will be over the plug – that piece that I beveled the original design on.

Plug Cut Out
Smaller by Thickness

A French Edge Beveler and a scalpel blade are now used to shape the plug – this is done like a panel sculpture and you need to take care to so it with as much perfection as you want to show in the final carving. Even the slightest bumps show through to the surface. The sharpness of these tools are absolutely crucial to the success of this step.


You will see that I did not include the tail of the bird in the plug – according to the photo the tail is in the background and so I want that to be clearly ‘in the background’.

Plug Ready

Now the outline on the back of the tooling piece is covered in rubber cement and the plug turned front side down to be glued in place. Carefully place it in the outlines you see at the back. I use rubber cement so that at this point the gluing is not very permanent and you can still move it.

An optional step before this, is to stretch the inside of the design a bit by rolling the leather over a small marble rolling on a flat surface.

Glued on Back

The rest to follow soon!