Leathercraft Project

What is it All About?

In this project, you can learn the construction of small leather articles involving carving, stamping and lacing.  You can start with simple articles, such as a coaster, and learn the skills to advance methods of decorating leather such as filigree and figure carving.

Grow in Your Project


  • Learn how to prepare leather
  • Choose designs for your leather project
  • Learn to trace designs onto leather
  • Understand basic tools and how to use them
  • Practice cutting leather
  • Learn how to finish your leather products
  • Learn how to lace


  • Learn how to sharpen a swivel knife
  • Learn how to camouflage with leather
  • Practice smoothing out your decorative cuts
  • Learn how to attach snap buttons
  • Identify different types of leather
  • Understand the history of leather


  • Learn how to tan your own leather
  • Make a leather sculpture
  • Be able to skive your leather
  • Dye your own leather

Click Here for Leathercraft Project Member Resources

Take Your Project Further!

  • Learn the history of leather
  • Look in your closet and around your house to see what leather items you own
  • Do comparison shopping to see if it is best to make your leather garment or buy them
  • Make a piece of clothing out of leather and model it at a Fair
  • Take a class about leather. Tandy Leather offers classes and shows throughout the United States
  • Visit a leather store
  • Visit a factory that makes boots or other leather products
  • Look at videos on YouTube about tanning and other processes in leather making
  • Talk to your art teacher about the art of leathercraft
  • Visit a saddle maker

Applying Project Skills to Life

Enhance Your Communication Skills

  • Give a club demonstration on how to use a swivel knife
  • Host an event at your library to show the public the types of projects you can make with leather

Get Involved in Citizenship and Service

  • Make leather bookmarks that can be handed out at your local library
  • Make leather Christmas ornaments to share with your family and friends or donate them to a local hospital or nursing home

Learn about Leadership

  • Teach how to make a simple leather project at 4-H camp or your club meeting
  • Make items to display in a craft fair. Share your knowledge with the public at the craft fair

Showing What You’ve Learned

  • Make a poster displaying the different types of leather tools
  • Create a display showing the different types of leather
  • Create a book or binder of designs that you can use on leather
  • Make something out of leather (bookmark, belt, purse, etc.)
  • Make a display on how leather is tanned
  • Show what different dyes do to leather
  • Do a display on the history of leather
  • Make a sculpture using leather

Adapted with permission from Wyoming State 4-H, Project Information Sheet, Leathercraft. Retrieved from: https://www.uwyo.edu/4-h/projects/expressive-arts/leathercraft.html.

*Resources available at your local Extension office or shop4-H.org.

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