Leathercrafters Share Their Incredible Creations In This Online Group, And Here Are 77 Of Their Most Impressive Ones

Awl. Beveler. Burnisher. Skiver. Maul. These are but a handful of tools one can use to craft something spectacular using a very special material that we human folk have been accustomed to for millennia—leather. 

From the simplest keychain to the most intricate handbag, the artistry that is present in this age-old craft cannot be understated, and now, dear Pandas, we’re gladly sharing some of our favorites from the subreddit r/Leathercraft. Housing over 323k talented humans and leather enthusiasts, the community celebrates each creation and teaches beginners all the handy tips and tricks they could ever need. 

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It’s wholesome, it’s inspiring, and it’s incredibly important that you vote on your favorites. Whilst you’re happily scrolling through this list, we’ll be discussing the broad history of leathercrafting, as well as looking at alternatives to animal-based leather, and the potential future of the craft. So enjoy! And if you’re craving more afterward, here’s one more, oh, and another

#1 Leather Custom Backpack “Foxes”. Tooling, Carving And Hand Painting

Image credits: ArtKozhMast

With a plethora of different bits of fabrics and finishes to choose from these days, it’s easy to forget how much history there is in fashion, how much artistry goes into it, and how much forethought it takes to develop the trends of the future. But its humble beginnings can be traced back to one material—leather. 

Of course, leaves and fur added to the mix of materials, helping shield our ancestors from the cold, the rain, and the peeping eyes of snakes in apple trees (we know what you did to Adam and Eve!). Scientists have never agreed on when humans began wearing clothes, and the estimates suggested have ranged greatly, from 40,000 to 3 million years ago, with the greatest likelihood lying at about 107,000 years ago. 

The earliest confirmed leatherworking tools date back to the Stone Age in 5,000 BC. During this time, leather was used for shelters, clothing, and shoes. The oldest known pair of leather shoes were discovered in Armenia, dating back to 3,500 BC.

#2 My Newest Axe Sheath – The Bat Sheath

Image credits: Zoom2Ruin

#3 Here Is My Completed Wizards Hat!

Image credits: Caveman775

Leatherworking sees the use of such techniques as molding, dyeing, carving, stamping, and fabrication. Apart from being used for practical reasons, leather has also been used extensively for art. Decorated, painted, and embellished by ever more skilled leather workers, what used to be a purely practical material has turned into an artistic medium. 

The most important thing to consider when working with leather is exactly that—the leather. According to The Crucible, all leather differs in tannage, weight, temper, and finish. Leather made from cowhide is the most widely available and versatile type of leather; however, vegan alternatives are becoming more and more popular in the mainstream. 

#4 A Very Witchy Leather Belt That I Made!

Image credits: hakunamamerel

#5 My Lotr Messenger Bag In All Its Glory!

Image credits: Mrhydez

#6 I Make Leather Polar Berd

Image credits: mariusparvu

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Vegan leather is a material that mimics leather but is created from artificial or plant products instead of animal skins. As explained on Leatherskill, there are six main differences between real leather and vegan leather: finish, durability, cleaning requirements, breathability, fire resistance, and manipulation. 

While real leather can have visual imperfections, vegan leather usually has a more uniform finish. Real leather is more durable in the long term, whereas vegan leather is less delicate in the short term. Real leather needs specialized cleaning care, while vegan leather can be cleaned with a wide variety of alcohol-based products. 

Real leather is breathable; vegan leather is not. Real leather is naturally fire and heat resistant, but vegan leather can melt and emit toxic substances. Real leather can stretch and shrink naturally, whereas vegan leather can get structurally damaged with too much form manipulation. 

#7 I Finished Recovering The Eragon Series :d

Image credits: Madmorda

#8 Made A Butterfly Bow Tie For Friend’s Wedding

Image credits: pasuli

#9 Thor vs. Jormungandr Wallet Finally Completed!

Image credits: swifthammerleather

The most commonly used materials for synthetic leathers are polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU), which are plastic-based materials. There are eco-based vegan leather alternatives, made of materials such as cork, kelp, and even pineapple and cactus leaves, and mayhaps we’ll see more of those in the near future. 

Although vegan leather seems like the correct ethical choice, one must also consider the sustainability side of things. The Environmental Profit & Loss, a sustainability report developed in 2018, stated that the impact of vegan-leather production can be up to a third lower than real leather.

“The impact of real leather is driven by land use and GHG emissions associated with animal agriculture,” Sandra Sandor, the creative director of Paris Fashion Week label Nanushka, explained to Harper’s Bazaar. “The livestock sector is the world’s largest user of agricultural land through grazing and the use of feed crops.” 

#10 Jacket I Made. First Post

Image credits: FirebirdLeather

#11 Handmade Boots

Image credits: ARAGONT_studio

#12 Made A Saddle Bag For My Touring Bike!

Image credits: BuckRafferty

However, despite vegan alternatives being thought to have a lower impact on the environment than the real thing, it does have clear drawbacks, particularly when it’s made from plastic. Sustainable designer Jourdan Norcose of Boyish Jeans believes that “Leather is a love-hate story.” 

“Vegan leather can be made from plastics which take years to biodegrade, so it’s actually worse for the planet than regular. People think it’s better because it says vegan on it, but that’s because people aren’t taking the time to really learn about what they’re buying.” 

If you are thinking of buying vegan leather, look into what alternatives the brand is using and be aware of the detrimental effects of plastic-based products. If you are opting for real leather, read up on the brand’s tanning processes to find out how they create their pieces and be aware of their ethical processes.

The most common types of leather—veg tan and chrome tan—have very different tanning processes. Veg tan leather is tanned with tannin-rich vegetable oils that have been extracted from tree bark. This type of leather typically takes a longer amount of time to create. It is considered higher quality in comparison to chrome tan. Chrome tan leather uses chemicals to tan and is a faster, less costly process. 

#13 I Made A Pair Of Boots For My Partner

Image credits: dimgshoe

#14 Pork Dumpling -> Coin Dumpling

Image credits: pasuli

#15 I Make Leather Toolbag

Image credits: CreativeAwl

Although it may seem like a very particular craft that is full of intricacies, leatherworking is actually a great skill to pick up for beginners. The start-up costs are relatively low, and the basic techniques are easy enough to grasp before moving on to more advanced projects. Not only can it be a fun hobby, but it can also be used to craft usable items, such as footwear, clothing, backpacks, purses, furniture, and more. 

According to The Crucible, there are a limitless number of possibilities when you are starting to plan out leather projects. But as a beginner, one should start with something relatively simple: a card wallet, a keychain, a pet collar, or a belt. It will teach one the basic skills of preparing, cutting, casing, dyeing, stitching, beveling, and burnishing leather, opening up pathways to more complex projects. 

As you continue your exploration of incredible leatherwork, don’t forget to comment and vote on your favorites, and let us know—would you ever consider taking up leatherworking? What would you make? 

Have a good one and see you all in the next one! 

#16 A Briefcase That Took Me 4 Months To Make

Image credits: BortSkampson

#17 First Step Away From Knotwork Tooling Towards Something More Realstic

Image credits: yedishish

#18 Work In Progress Of A Wallet I’m Working On

Image credits: swifthammerleather

#19 My First Leather Bag Is Now Done And I Made It!

Image credits: traumahealerr

#20 Made Two New Cassette Tape Bags! Idk About Y’all But I Love The Colours On The First One

Image credits: FlashAnthropy

#21 Made A Croissant Purse

Image credits: Paintyee

#22 Completed Leather Armor

Image credits: VicodinNights

#23 Made A Ghost

Image credits: Paintyee

#24 Leather Shark Coin Purse

Image credits: cbail-leather

#25 Finally Made Something I’m Comfortable Posting

Image credits: Soendaleather

#26 Mr Pink Doesn’t Tip So I Left Him Out

Image credits: mariusparvu

#27 Lobster, Recreated In Cowhide

Image credits: Gullex

#28 I Made A Leather Assassin’s Jacket

Image credits: CreativeAwl

#29 I Made A Roll-Top Backpack

Image credits: CreativeAwl

#30 The Support I Got For Me Work Here Is Incredible! Here Is Another Of My Favorite Projects, Which Eventually Turned Into A Quiver For Archery

Image credits: graeber_leather

#31 I Made A Briefcase With Laser Engraved Map

Image credits: CreativeAwl

#32 This Little Bat Barrette I Just Made Is Cracking Me Up

Image credits: riverofchex

#33 Here’s Another Backpack, Second Ever

Image credits: crashmath

#34 Whale On The Hand~

Image credits: pasuli

#35 A Make A Backpack And Dyed By Myself

Image credits: CreativeAwl

#36 I Stole The Idea From An Amazon Product I Discovered In A Friend’s Living Room. It Looks Much Better In Leather Than It Did In Cheap Plastic!

Image credits: taod86

#37 A Leaf Mask Made Out Of Leather

Image credits: Mrhydez

#38 Finally Finished!

Image credits: superkirbz13

#39 Banana Holster

Image credits: fitzomania

#40 A Dragonscale Bracer I Made As A Gift- Heavily Inspired From Skyrim

Image credits: swifthammerleather

#41 Couple Of New Flasks I Finished Up Tonight

Image credits: badmoodleather

#42 All Leather Mask I Made For A Pro Wrestler. This Was Right After Shaping, Before Accessories And Paint

Image credits: RockwellMasks

#43 I Guess I Am A Fish Lover.. Present To You, Puffer Fish Pin Cushion

Image credits: pasuli

#44 First Project I Don’t Want To Hide In A Drawer

Image credits: 22south

#45 I Make An Old School Mini Bag

Image credits: CreativeAwl

#46 Leather Carving Handmade Boots

Image credits: ARAGONT_studio

#47 My Husband’s Graduation Present! I Created The Template And Hand Stitched The Whole Thing. No Rivets, No Glue. Tooled Front With An Etching Of My Husband’s Grandfather’s Handwritten Notes And Schematics. (My Husband Is Graduating In A Degree His Grandfather Had Also Studied In)

Image credits: deence12088

#48 Thanks For Checking Out One Of My Backpacks Last Week. This Was My First Big Leather Project From Last Summer. Working On A Similar Project For A Client Now

Image credits: williewonkasan

#49 I Made A Two Duffle X Bags

Image credits: CreativeAwl

#50 I Made A Yule Goat Mask & Costume. The Yule Goat Is An Old Swedish Folk Lore Creature Who Delivers Presents On Christmas Eve, Or Helps Santa Deliver Them. (This Is Not A Ppe, Nor Is It For Sale.)

Image credits: VettvillingArt

#51 I Started Leatherworking So I Could Make Myself Some Larp Stuff, And So Far Very Proud Of It!

Image credits: ryulis99

#52 Female Leather Armour Set I’ve Been Working On For A Commission

Image credits: such_the_fool

#53 I Just Graduated From Medical School!

Image credits: jcliment

#54 This Bag I Made Is A Hoot!

Image credits: Midgetforsale

#55 Finshed My New Shoes – Going On To Next Project To Put My Learnings Into Practice

Image credits: Julian_Shoemaker

#56 Knitting Bag I Designed For My Wife. -Do You Think There Would Be An Interested In A Pattern ?

Image credits: KronBjorn

#57 Diving Belt For My Son Who Is A Qualified Diving Instructor. Marine Inspire. This Is The First Tooled Belt I Made

Image credits: Ant_Gregory43423

#58 Made Some Handsewn Boots In Veg Tan Calfskin

Image credits: Big-Contribution-676

#59 A Little Ghibli Inspired Bookmark. (Wip)

Image credits: ShnootShnoot

#60 Some Handmade And Handcarved Shoes I Made

Image credits: CoopTheDuke

#61 Made Myself A Hatchet Sheath

Image credits: Pehryn

#62 Rick And Morty, A Wallet For Cards, A Little Process And The Result

Image credits: latypovkirill

#63 Made A Foldable Foraging Bag In Preparation For Berry Season

Image credits: PhantomGinge

#64 These Boots I Made For Walking

Image credits: itallianrapidfire

#65 Finished! This Is Sirloin The Cow

Image credits: dhgrainger

#66 Skoll And Hati Wallet Completed!

Image credits: swifthammerleather

#67 Leather Craft Literally Got To My Head

Image credits: mariusparvu

#68 Made A Leather Gingerbread House Box

Image credits: Paintyee

#69 A Map Of The Great Lakes Region I Carved (Tooling/Small Goods)

Image credits: Gain_Professional

#70 Tooled Wallet All Finished Up. Time To Reveal Our Newest Original Design

Image credits: swifthammerleather

#71 Hey Sexy Mamas!

Image credits: mariusparvu

#72 The Edges On My Latest Card Wallets!

Image credits: Deli_Meat

#73 Vest And Pouch I Made For My Site. Enjoy!

Image credits: Calypso_the_Seawitch

#74 First Project Ever, I’m So Proud! Mistakes Were Made But I Learned A Lot

Image credits: I_AmEvilStopLaughing

#75 I Made Leather Boots For Men, Its For Winter Season

Image credits: Mealm

#76 First Leather Project Of The Spring! I Love Making Armor

Image credits: _scareodactyl

#77 Made A Gopro Case

Image credits: aesopwashington

Source: boredpanda.com

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