Monday, 16 November 2015

Learning Leathercraft with Jim Linnell – Lesson 10: Creating A Wallet Interior

Join us in this weekly video series with award-winning leatherworker Jim Linnell!  In this series, Jim teaches viewers to create a wallet from scratch, including lessons on tooling, dyeing, finishing, construction, assembly, and lacing.

Find the free pattern for this project on the Leathercraft Library at



Materials Used In Lesson 10:

Bag Stiffener

2-3 oz Vegetable Tan Leather

Utility Knife

Poly Cutting Board

Small Round Punch

Adjustable Creaser

Horn Creaser


A few things learned from this video:

For cutting patterns that you intend to use many times, it’s good practice to trace the outlines on to bag stiffener to make the pattern reusable.   Write on each piece the project name and how many pieces to cut, and then punch a hole in it so the pieces can be kept together with a key post.

For the wallet interior, we will be using 2-3 oz vegetable tan cowhide leather.  Using a thinner leather helps prevent adding much weight or additional bulk when the wallet is folded up.

Lay out the patterns on your leather to ensure you get the most out of your piece.  For the wallet pockets, reverse the pattern pieces to cut left and right versions.

Take a common pencil and draw around the outline of each of these pattern pieces.  The cut will be on these pencil lines, so this light mark will not be an issue.  Remember to trace slots on the project as well.

When cutting the pattern out of the leather, there are a lot of different options.  Traditionally a round knife may be used, or a good pair of shears could work as well; however a utility knife gets the job done and it is easy to keep the cutting edge sharp by replacing the blade.

Using a high density plastic cutting surface will protect the blade as you are cutting and won’t drag.  Using a cutting knife on wood or hard rubber may result in the blade sticking in to the cutting surface, making it difficult to cut a clean line.

When cutting a pattern piece out of a side of leather, it may be easier to first trim around the piece out so that you are not struggling with a large piece of leather.

When cutting the slots on the pocket, notice that there are holes at either end of the slit to help the pieces fit together.  A simple way to accomplish this step is to use a small round punch on the holes, followed by cutting the line with your knife.

Use an adjustable creaser to add a decorative crease along the edge of a pocket for a finished look.  Adjusting the creaser to your preferred width, lay one edge of along the outside of the dampened leather to act as a guide for the crease.  To get a good impression from this tool, you will want to apply a significant amount of pressure, however you can also go back over the line multiple times to give it more prominence.  A creaser is preferred for to accomplish this aesthetic as the blunt edge on the creaser compresses the leather whereas other tools, such as a wing divider, would instead scratch the line in to the leather.

The adjustable creaser can also be used to add an accordion pattern to the middle interior piece so that it will not wrinkle when folded in half.

When folding a piece of leather, such as the interior double wallet pocket, dampen the top layer of the leather and then form the piece.    Using a tool such as a horn creaser can help add a bit of pressure to cleanly get a nice crease.  Allow the piece to dry in that shape.

Learning Leathercraft with Jim Linnell – Lesson 10: Creating A Wallet Interior

Join us next week as we begin coloring and assembly of the wallet interior!