Making a Leather Plant Hanger

In this post, we’ll be showing you how to make a leather plant hanger using just a few simple tools and materials.

What you will need:

Plant with pot – we used a fake plant in this tutorial but you can use real if you’ve got a green thumb! Clearly, we do not! 🙂

Leather of your choice, we recommend 4/5 oz. or heavier.
Leather we used
Strap Cutter
1/4″ double cap rivets
Rivet Setter
Knife
Maul or Mallet
Hole Punch, 5/16″ and 3/32″
Brass Ring

Step 1:
Measure your plant pot using a ruler or string starting at one edge and going underneath the pot to the opposite edge.

Step 2:
Using the wooden strap cutter, cut two straps measuring 3/4″ wide and trim to the length you measured on your pot (ours is 11″). Cut two straps 5/16″ wide x 32″ long. You can make these longer or shorter based on how low you want your pot to hang.

Step 3:

Clip or round the corners of the 3/4″ straps if desired using a knife or round strap end punch. The straps can also be left as is.
Using the 5/16″ punch, punch a hole at each end of the 3/4″ straps.
*Pro-tip: if you want your plant hanger to have more of a polished look vs. rustic, use some water and a canvas cloth to slick the edges.

Step 4:
Using the 3/32″ punch, punch a hole in the center of each of the 3/4″ straps. These will be the rivet holes.

Step 5:
Criss-cross the two 3/4″ straps at a right angle and set using a double cap rivet and rivet setter.

Step 6:
Thread one end of one of the 5/16″ pieces of lace through one of the holes on the 3/4″ strap and tie a knot on the outside (smooth side of the leather). Tie the other end on the opposite end of the same strap. Repeat with the other piece of lace.

Step 7:
Slide a brass ring over the top of the laces to keep the lace together. This will help keep the laces together when hanging.
Slide the leather holder under your pot, and it’s ready to hang up!

This works for a variety of sizes and shapes of pots!

Check out some of our other project tutorials here!

Cuts of Leather

Choosing the Right Cut of Leather

When choosing the right cut of keep these two practices in mind.

  1. A tannery sells a whole hide or cuts it down into smaller sections.

  2. Hides are cut for affordability or because of waste (yield to the end users) to the production shop.

Crafter’s Considerations

  1. Budget is a consideration when purchasing a cut of leather.

  2. What will a crafter’s work space accomodate?

  3. As long as a crafter gets a quality cut of leather, a smaller cut is more affordable and easier to work with in their shop.

Leather Cuts

Whole Hide or Hide

  1. Contains 45 sq. ft. up to 50 sq. ft. of leather.

  2. Measures approximately 8.50 ft long by appro. 8 ft. wide.

  3. Typically, whole hides come in chrome tan because of need for the garment and upholstery users. Larger panels are cut for sofas, chairs, etc.

Half of a Hide

  1. Contains approximately 24 sq. ft. of leather.

  2. It is a big piece of leather if you have a small work space.

  3. When buying smaller cuts you will be paying more per square foot. The value comes when you pay a little bit more to have a piece of leather that is manageable in your work space.

Double Shoulder

  1. Measures approximately 14 sq. ft.

  2. It is a cut that has both of the shoulder blades on the hide.

  3. Belt makers like the double shoulder cut because you can cut across the hide instead of lengthwise.

Single Shoulder

  1. A single shoulder is a double shoulder cut in half.

  2. It is a very affordable piece of leather.

  3. All manner of projects are created from single shoulders.

Bellies

  1. Makes a great piece of leather for people who are new at leathercrafting because of the ample amount of leather and affordability.

  2. It is trimmed off of a side and it is the least preferable piece for a production shop but great for the leathercrafter.

Leather pieces more common to production shops:

Single Bend

  1. Has the belly and part of the shoulder cut off.

  2. The leather is high yield, low waste.

  3. Measures approximately 30” across and 60” in length.

  4. Great for belts.

Double Bend

  1. Measures approximately 60″ wide.

  2. Great for production shops.

Single Back

  1. Measures approximately 18 – 20 sq. ft.

  2. Width is 28″ – 30″

  3. Length 85” – 110”

  4. Yield and efficiency

Double Back

  1. Measures approximately 36 – 42 sq. ft.

  2. Width is 55” – 60”

  3. Length 85” – 100”

  4. Yield and efficiency

Leather crafters, as long as you start with a quality leather the cut is more dependent on your budget and your workspace.

Veg tan is always more expensive than chrome tan because it takes longer to tan a hide with the veg tan process.

Learn more about: Leather Cuts here

The Leather Element: Part 6

In today’s video, Chuck is back with some more shop tricks and tips. Chuck goes over how to fix a metallic patina on your leather after dyeing, lengthening the life of your punch tubes, and matching up your groove lines on a project. Another tip is how to space out conchos and spots on a strap so they are all spaced evenly. We hope this information is helpful in your day-to-day work in the shop!

Leather Tanning

What is chrome tanned leather?


  1. Chrome tanning leather is a process that uses chromium salts to tan the leather.
  2. 80% of leathers tanned today are chrome tanned.
  3. Chrome tanned leather is used for upholstery and garments.
  4. Chrome tan leather is usually 1 oz. – 5 oz. thick.
  5. Colorful suede is chrome tanned.
  6. Don’t use chrome tan leather to make holster and knife sheaths because high chromium salts react to metal.

What are the benefits of chrome tanned leather?

  1. Chrome tan leather offers beautiful rich colors, a nice supple feel and are available in prints.
  2. Chrome tan leather is less expensive than vegetable tanned leather because of the tanning process. It takes two days for the chrome tan process compared to almost 30 days to vegetable tan leather.

What are the uses for chrome tan leather?

  1. Use chrome tanned leather to make coats, vests, skirts, pants, purses, bags, briefcases, backpacks, duffel bags and for upholstery projects like sofas and recliners.

What is vegetable tanned leather?

  1. The recipe for vegetable tanned leather has changed very little over millennia.
  2. Vegetable tanning uses natural elements called tannins to tan the leather. For example, oak bark is used in oak tanning.
  3. Veg tanned leather is 1 oz. – 37 oz. in thickness.

What are the benefits of vegetable tanned leather?

  1. Veg tan leather is great for stamping designs. Just wet the top grain and it retains every detail.
  2. Fantastic for carving after wetting the top grain.
  3. Easily add a groove line for decoration or a guide.
  4. Bevel edges and slick or burnish leather edges for a professional finished look.
  5. Use a swivel knife to cut intricate designs. A backgrounder tool will allow you to develop pleasing detailed designs in the leather.
  6. Dye veg tan leather to produce gorgeous true colors.
  7. You can antique, top coat veg tan leather or add Atom Wax to pop dyed colors.
  8. To create unique finishes, paint veg tan leather with acrylic leather paint.
  9. You can mold and form veg tanned leather. The lighter the weight, the more detail you can get in the mold. The heavier the weight, you’ll get more durability, but less detail.
  10. Veg tan leather has to be natural in color is a myth. You can buy English bridle, holster, strap, harness, bridle and sole bend veg tan leather that is dyed and available in a number of colors.

What are the uses for vegetable tanned leather?

  1. Vegetable tanned leather is great for holsters, sheaths, belts, horse tack, handbags, totes, wallets, etc.
  2. Veg tan is the best choice if you want to tool, carve, dye, mold, groove and paint leather.

Leather Weight or Thickness

How to choose the right leather weight/thickness

  1. Expert leather crafter Chuck Dorsett suggests three basic weight groups for your projects.

  2. Leather weight – 8 to 9 oz., 1/8” or 3.5mm is standard belt weight

  3. Leather weight – 4 to 5 oz., 1/16” or 1.5mm to 2mm is standard pouch weight

  4. Leather weight – 1 to 2 oz. through 2 to 3 oz., 1/32” or 1mm. For chrome tan leather, it is the standard garment weight leather. For veg tan leather, it is the standard liner weight leather.

8 to 9 oz., 1/8” or 3.5mm is standard belt weight

  1. It has plenty of depth to stamp and tool.

  2. It is great for belts, holsters, laptop bags, saddlebags and the sky is the limit for project ideas.

  3. It is a durable leather weight but it will not mold as well as a lighter weight leather.

4 to 5 oz., 1/16” or 1.5 mm to 2 mm is standard pouch weight

  1. This weight provides beautiful molding and forming capabilities and the ability to make corners and molded designs.

  2. Great for pouches, cuffs, mystery braid cuffs, masks, traditional scabbards and purses.

1 to 2 oz. through 2 to 3 oz., 1/32” or 1 mm

  1. For chrome tan leather, it is the standard garment weight leather.

  2. For veg tan leather, it is the standard liner weight leather.

  3. Veg tanned leather will produce a great mold at this weight but it is not going to have a lot of body and thickness at this lighter weight.

  4. Great for tassels, 4 strand keychains, arm guards, liners and molding leather.

Important info about lining leather:

  1. When you have beautiful pieces of leather at this smaller 1 – 3 oz. weight and you want to make a project that requires a thicker leather (like a purse or holster), you can line that leather by using contact cement and adding another piece of leather. The resulting leather will look, feel and react as one piece of thicker leather.

  2. Just remember that when lining leathers, you can take just about any leather weight and bump that up to make a heavier weight.

  3. While learning how to work with leather weights you are going to mess up a project now and then. Just remember it is a learning process and will teach you about proper weights for different types of leather projects.

Learn more about leather thickness, see this comprehensive
Leather Thickness – Leather Weight Chart