Embark on Your Fall and Winter Projects with the Right Leather Craft Essentials

The mums and pumpkins are out and the days are getting shorter. If you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about the leather craft projects you look forward to completing this holiday season.

Looking for inspiration for your next project? Check out Getting Started in Leathercrafting hosted by experienced leathercrafting instructor Chuck Dorsett. It’s full of fun project ideas for expressing your creativity and gives a great overview of tools to get you started on your leathercraft journey.

Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran leatherworker, the key to the success of any project really does come down to two things: having a plan before you start and selecting the right tools for the job at hand. We talked to our resident leather crafters here at Weaver Leathercraft and got the lowdown on the products they are sure to always keep near their workbenches.

7 Essentials Every Leather Crafter Needs

1. Steel Square

There are many steel squares on the market. What we like about this one is that it’s backed with non-slip tape. As a result, it securely grips your project and helps prevent unsightly scratches.


 

2. Utility Knife

Olfa® invented the first snap-off blade cutter in 1956 and this ingenious design is still going strong today. It’s so easy to snap off the old blade edge so you have a fresh, sharp blade that ensures accurate, safe results every time you use this knife. Its comfortable, cushioned grip is an added bonus.


3. Poundo Board

This board will pay for itself many times over by protecting your knife edges and hole punches from dulling and chipping. When you take care of your tools, you give them the best shot at providing a lifetime of reliable performance.


4. Revolving Punch

You’ll have the capability to cut holes in sizes 1-6 at your fingertips with this quality punch. With a pressed steel construction and heat-treated steel tubes, this is a workhorse on any leather crafter’s bench.


5. Rivet Setter

When choosing a rivet setter, it’s great to look for one that sets a variety of rivets and snaps for versatility. This one easily sets 4P 20 line snaps, 4P 24 line snaps, 2200 double cap rivets, jiffy rivets, and 2205 segma snaps.


6. Mallet

This is one of our top mallet picks. With a Gar-Dur™ ultra-high molecular weight plastic head that won’t mar leather, this mallet delivers maximum power with minimum bounce.


7. Single Shoulder

The budget-friendly single shoulder is perfect for smaller projects and experimenting with new techniques while offering a high quality 100% veg tannage with no harsh chemicals. We love the way it tools, carves, and molds. You can opt to leave it natural or dye it for a custom shade.


Now is a great time to take stock of the tools and supplies you currently have and invest in quality, reliable products that will serve you well for years to come. Take a few minutes before starting your next project to decide if there are any essentials missing from your workbench.

 

Homeland Craft: Veterans Turn To Art Therapy

By: Stephanie Bates from Military Travel Mama

Recreational therapy incorporating artistic designs can be very effective, here’s a site which goes into greater depth. To summarize, as it turns out, the designs of the mind can sometimes be “abstruse” or “oblique”, especially among those who focus on overcoming emotion with willpower, like military men, what lurks beneath the surface, can be hard to draw out.

Arts and crafts sort of sidestep direct conscious thought, allowing the subconscious to exorcise ideas otherwise kept hidden. Sometimes repression has deliberately pushed memories into the ether of the past. Sometimes certain memories play themselves on repeat in the mind of the veteran, and an art or craft can get the record out of the “loop”.

All these things being said, the kind of arts and crafts veterans will be drawn to may be somewhat counterintuitive to most therapists. While some adults may be perfectly content designing sculptures with clay, painting, or embroidering something, veterans may need a little additional stimulation. Perhaps their means of artistic expression involves metal work.

Maybe an enterprising officer prefers to make short films, take astonishing still photography, or write songs. Many veterans find themselves interested in projects which have an artistic nature not immediately apparent, like rebuilding a car or fixing up an old machine. Oftentimes sculpture that takes skill and responsibility for proper handling of dangerous equipment can be a good choice, like that involved in shaping metal coins.

Designing Challenge Coins

Starting hobbies for veterans is important because they open up so many opportunities for them to network and find new passions in life. There are many stories of such companies, that were started by veterans after finding their passion after coming back from deployment. One such story is Embleholics, and they even help inspire and motivate veterans toward therapeutic artistic creation.

Challenge coins can be customized easily, and you could make the craft about designing your own challenge coins. Veterans are no stranger to the kind of work which may produce a filigreed piece of metal for a special occasion, and they may even enjoy the task.

You might buy challenge coins as an example, and from there let the veterans put existing skills to work.

Realistic Considerations

The truth is, one-on-one therapy with the best counselors may yield nothing, depending on the individual. Especially with those who have seen combat, there exists a disconnect. They’ve been in “the trenches”, as it were. They’ve had to end a person’s life with their bare hands and face the utter horror of human ability—positive and negative. It’s not like in film and movies.

Between lost comrades and necessary duties, there are many stresses which come into the mind of a soldier, and at any level in the military. An officer must sometimes send men to their deaths and know he’s doing so in the act.

It doesn’t matter how mentally fit a person is, that’s something that will weigh on the soul, and which isn’t likely to be talked about in casual or therapeutic conversation. Still, designing a challenge coin commemorating a unit, or taking still photography, or making metal sculptures can let the mind release the painful memories through art.

Art Therapy

Artwork is therapeutic to those who make creation of such things their life’s purpose. Those who aren’t trying to make any statements can likewise find cathartic release, and sometimes may even find what they’ve produced resonates with the public.

Whether you’re working at the VA and looking for activities to stimulate veterans, or you’re working with someone in your family who has seen active duty, getting veterans involved with arts and crafts can have some positive collateral benefits worth considering.

Bio: Stephanie is the founder of Military Travel Mama; she is the wife of a military professional and mother to two children. Follow her blog for more about military life, military discounts, family trips, healthy eating, and parenthood.

In addition to more traditional arts and crafts, leatherworking is another creative outlet for veterans considering art therapy. Weaver Leathercraft offers a wide range of supplies perfect for both novice and advanced leather crafters. As a heartfelt thank you, Weaver Leathercraft is honored to offer a 5% discount to retail customers who have served or are currently serving in the United States military.

The Supplies We Sell are the Same Supplies We Trust

Did You Know?

Weaver Leather has an average of 4.3 million pieces of hardware and 50,000 pieces of leather in stock at any given time.

As a manufacturer with 45 years of experience handcrafting quality leather goods, we’ve learned a thing a two along the way about the importance of having the right supplies for the job. When you purchase leather and supplies from Weaver Leather, you can be confident in knowing that they were hand-picked by our team of experts for the ultimate in performance and quality.

LEATHER

As a leather supplier, Weaver Leather is unique in that we cut, sew and work with many of the leathers you’ll find on our website. We source leather from some of the world’s top tanneries and work with them to develop high-quality leathers that ensure beautiful end projects.

HARDWARE

Our team knows the right hardware can make all the difference in the beauty and function of your end product. Our team works closely with our suppliers to bring you hardware that meets our strict specifications and quality requirements. If you look closely at our hardware items, you’ll notice that our dimensions are oftentimes thicker than others you’ll find on the market.

TOOLS

From hobbyists to professionals, everyone will find just the right tools to meet their needs and budget. A great all around selection from Master Tools, C.S. Osborne, Horse Shoe Brand and more ensure everyone has access to the same tools our craftspeople depend on every day.

MACHINES

With a shop full of machines our team counts on to enhance productivity, we understand the importance of choosing the right machines and having expert technical support available if you ever have a problem or questions. From sewing machines from Adler to Weaver-built Master Tools machines, we have machines to make any task easier.