Leather craft patterns are sets of instructions demonstrating how to create a craft object or work of art using leather. Projects can include stitching a set of moccasins, stamping designs onto a handbag, personalizing a saddlebag or molding a gun holster.
Leather craft patterns utilize a variety of methods to create different looks out of leather. Leather dyeing is a process that allows color to soak into the surface of a leather object. Dyeing or staining leather is typically done when making shoes, handbags, belts or leather-bound books. Leather painting, on the other hand, is a technique usually used on objects that require minimal flexing or handling, as most paint does not absorb into the leather and may crack if exposed to excessive stress. Painted objects include leather paintings or ornaments backed with stiff cardboard.
Leather stamping involves creating an impression on wet leather using a premade stamp. Carving is also done on wet leather. A design is often sketched onto the leather in advance, and a variety of knives are used to carve out ornamental sections in relief, leaving other areas intact. Popular stamped or carved leather objects include belts, bracelets and keychains.
Leather shaping or molding is done by soaking leather in hot water and shaping the leather by hand or pressing it against a mold. As the leather dries, it stiffens into the desired shape. Masks, holsters and sculptures are created using this method.