Children's Leather working workshop for EMF camp


In a bid to qualify for a presenter’s ticket for EMF camp, I have offered to do a Leather working workshop for Junior attendees of EMF camp. This is an attempt to gather all the information together so that it might actully happen, if I get the nod.

Workshop outline

The idea behind the workshop is that the attendants will be able to buy a leather kit that contains some pre-cut pieces of leather that they can sew together and personalise.

Current ideas for designs:

  • keyring
  • wallet

Equipment needed

  • Punches for personalisation
  • Hammers for punches

Material needed

  • Leather
  • Thread (several different colors)
  • Needles (they will be part of the kit)
  • Split rings for keyrings

Things to decide

  • Design of keyring
  • Design of wallet


  • Laser cutting speeds from trials:
    10 mm/s @ 20% seems to work pretty well
    30 mm/s @ 70% seems to also work
    Cutting can be done from the back to avoid scorching.

  • Laser engarving settings:
    200 mm/s @ 15%

Saddle sticking instuction

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I can supply some thread, if you can let me know what sort of lengths you’ll need I can drop them off at the space. 7 colours available.

I have made this even simpler!
I have bought 3 x 260m reels of leatherworking thread - when they arrive I will donate them to the space for this project.

(I picked black, red and “green”, which more of a turquoise - could have bought purple so we have Makerspace colours but it’s more of a pale clover pink so I thought the red would be better)

Thank-you very much Claire!! I was looking at leather sewing thread on Friday with a view to ordering some, but unfortunately none of the experts where at the space, so I had to leave the job half finished.

I haven’t really worked out how long the pieces of thread want to be.

For the keyring, a coarse calculation would be: 5cm diameter => 15 cm circumference => 30cm including thread going through holes => approx 40cm pre thread. 2 threads per kit => 80cm * 30 = 2400 cm = 24 m.

The wallet will take quite a bit more thread…

Any idea where is a good place to get the leather from? Also I need to work out what type of leather to buy.

The piece of top layer of skin leather that Matt has got at the space seems to cut nicely on the laser-cutter and looks nice, but it may make the kits too expensive.

Any input from non-fakers would be greatly appreciated. :wink:

@stochastic_forest would be able to advise where the cheaper “splits” he got came from.

The other recommendation is to look up where a local “Scrap Store” is and get a membership. Scraps of all sorts of materials, and if they have a bin of leather bits you can just get a variety.

(Most of the places I’ve looked on ebay, etsy and online have been pricey, even for small offcuts).

I’d start with a guess, try one of each and see.
For a test of each, you could laser-cut mock-ups in card, and when we have the thread (of which there is plenty per reel) give it a go, allowing for reef knot and working in ends.
Dismantle, measure and record the length, but allow a little extra just in case.

Another good source is places that sell and/or repair leather jackets, etc.

Referencing the other thread on here about key rings - combine forces, and have the hand-stitched workshop keyring kits also include some panels that have a nice laser-etched design. SHM? A letter? Pretty knot-work shape?

I have a the thread. Meant to bring it Tuesday but forgot, will try to remember next time…

Great news!

Have just heard from EMF and the proposal has been accepted, so I better get my skates on to make this happen :rocket:

Hope the thread does you well (and thanks for the lasercut keyring kit to try out :slight_smile: )

Of use? Buy One Get One Free on veg-tanned splits:

How did it go?
Could the threads be put somewhere obvious please (like in Julian’s box at the space) so I can grab them back - happy to donate more thread as & when there are more workshops :slight_smile: