What Is the Best Leather Working Kit for Beginners?

Leather working is the ancient art of turning leather into usable objects or art.

It has been around for almost as long as mankind. It was once necessary for survival but is now a beloved hobby for many crafters.

What is the best leather working kit for beginners? The best beginner kit includes all the basic tools, such as a hammer, needles, an awl, groover, scissors, knives, pliers, and rivets, needed for various projects. The Leather Crafting Tool Kit includes these as well as bonus items such as stamps and a cutting mat.

You can create so many items with the proper tools, even if you’re a beginner without any prior knowledge.

Let’s take a look at all of the tools you’ll need to successfully craft your first project, including my recommendations for a beginner tool kit and a few great starter projects. 

The Tools

Having the proper tools makes any project easier and more fun. For working with leather, the basic tools you’ll need include:

  • Hammer, scissors, and pliers.
  • Knife or cutter to cut the leather.
  • Chisel to make holes.
  • Groover to make creases.
  • Awl to make holes wider.
  • Edge burnisher to melt the leather to prevent fraying.
  • Needles for stitching.
  • Stitching pony to hold the leather in place. 

Those are the basics. If you want to embellish your projects with buckles or stamping, you will need a rubber hammer, punches, rivet setters, and stamping tools.

Heavier leathers may require an edge beveler to round out the edges to prevent them from folding. You can learn more about this process here.

Recommended Beginner’s Tool Kit

For a beginner, it’s best to start out with a tool kit that has everything you need.

This takes the guess-work out of finding all the supplies you need and makes it budget-friendly, which is great if you have any uncertainty about dedicating yourself to the craft.

For anyone just getting started, I’d recommend the Leather Crafting Tools Kit. It comes with an amazing assortment of tools (273 pieces), and you just can’t beat the price.

273 Pieces Leather Working Tools and Supplies with...

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This kit by Bagerla really is a great value.

It includes the necessary tools listed above, except for the stitching pony, and comes with a durable box to hold all of the tools so you can store them away easily.

There are plenty of tools to get you started with any project you want.

What makes this tool kit so versatile is all the embellishing tools it comes with. If you’re a bold beginner that wants to dive into the deep end right at the start, this kit is for you.

It includes sewing threads and several rivets with four different colors which can be used on belts, purses, and other accessories. 

A stamp set is also included. If you want to create pieces with intricate detail or engravings, the stamp set will allow you to do that.

It includes stamps with letters, numbers, and shapes like butterflies and flowers. 

A cutting mat and ruler also come with this kit. These handy tools will make measuring and cutting leather easy.

It’s important to have a steady surface to cut leather on that won’t get damaged.

The mat shows several different measurements and grids so you can easily cut any shape you need.

Budget Beginner’s Tool Kit

If you’re apprehensive to spend money on a new hobby that you might not be fully invested in, the Simpzia Leather Tool Kit is budget-friendly and includes the basic tools you need to get started.

Leather Tools SIMPZIA 52 pcs Leather Kit with...

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It has 52 pieces including a knife, a groover, stitching wheels, needles, and chisels (also called punches). 

It also comes with a stamp set featuring 20 different shapes and sewing threads so you can embellish your work.

Since this kit is considerably cheaper than my top pick, there are a few supplies you may find missing.

It doesn’t include rivets, so if you want to make accessories like belts and bracelets that require them, you will have to purchase them separately.

It also doesn’t include alphabet and number stamps, so you might be limited when it comes to engraving.

Just because it doesn’t have a few items doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, however.

It’s a great kit to buy if you want to dip your toes in the water to find out if you’re interested in this hobby.

Stitching Pony – Do I Need It?

Since a stitching pony isn’t included in either of the recommended tool kits, you might think you don’t need it, but it’s an essential tool if you plan on sewing!

What does it do? It holds your leather piece steady while you sew.

Place the leather inside and lock it in place. It gives you full access to both sides of the leather so you see clearly what you’re doing.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a right-handed or left-handed person since it allows you to see both sides.

It’s possible to sew without one, but you will have better precision and control if you do use one.

I wouldn’t want to do without my stitching pony, which I purchased on Amazon. It’s durable, reliable, and well worth the investment.

Leather

Knowing which leather to use can be daunting for the beginner. There are a few different types: top grain, full-grain, split, and bonded leather. 

If you’re unsure what to buy, I recommend Reed leather hides because they’re thin enough to easily work with but durable enough to last.

You can use them for any project, and they’re available in several different colors.

Leather by Springfield Leather Co. is also recommended for beginners. It’s thicker and a bit higher quality than the first recommendation.

This can also easily be stamped, sewn, and cut to be used for any project but is still quite affordable.

Head on over to my guide on the best leather for leather working projects to learn more. 

Projects For Beginners

Now that you know what tools you need and which leather you should buy, you’re ready to start your first project!

Your first project should be pretty simple so you don’t get overwhelmed or confused with intricate techniques that need a lot of practice to master.

Here a few easy ideas to get you started.

You will be able to complete them with the tool kits and leather that were recommended in this article, although you may need to buy a few extra things if you use the budget kit.

These projects only take a couple of hours each so you’ll be able to get some great experience without feeling overworked.

Valet Tray

A valet tray is a functional and stylish home decor piece meant to store loose items like your keys and pocket change. All you need for this project is the following: 

  • A scrap of leather.
  • Copper rivets and burrs.
  • Ruler.
  • Knife.
  • Hole punch.
  • A pen or awl for marking.

Apartment Therapy provides clear, easy-to-follow instructions for this project that will have you feeling like a pro in no time.

Wallet

Making a wallet is a super simple but useful project. You will need:

  • A scrap of leather.
  • Ruler.
  • Rotary cutter.
  • Groover.
  • Edge beveler.
  • Hole punch.
  • Scissors.
  • Sewing needles and waxed thread.
  • Stitching pony.
  • Wax pencil.

You can find all the necessary instructions at The Mr. Lentz Shop.

Belt

A belt might be the most rewarding beginner’s project since it’s a functional accessory you’ll use almost every day. To get started, you will need:

  • Belt buckle.
  • A long piece of leather.
  • Measuring tape (to get your waist size).
  • Rotary cutter.
  • Ruler.
  • Skiver.
  • Hole punch.
  • Edge beveler.
  • Strap cutter.
  • Scissors or a belt tip cutter.

Complete instructions can be found here.

Conclusion

Leatherworking is a hobby that can be picked up by anyone, no matter what your budget might be.

If you want to make sure you have everything you need upfront, the Leather Crafting Tools Kit is a great option to purchase.

If you prefer to start small, the Simpzia kit might be the better choice for you.

Remember to choose the proper leather that will work for your project, and be sure to pick an easy project to start out with, like a tray, a wallet, or a belt

Last update on 2020-10-20 at 17:48 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API