DIYdiy projects

DIY Project: Leather Organizer

by Grace Bonney

Leather Organizer 7
Leather has become one of my favorite materials with which to work. Even though tracking it down can feel like a pain (although I’ve shared some tips below), working with leather is sort of a dream. It’s super durable. It has many of the creative flexibilities of fabric but…no fraying! And the textures are amazing. While this project creates a practical storage system for mail and notes, its real value is in its showcase of three lovely leather textures and colors. (And, if leather isn’t your thing, vinyl is a great alternative with almost all the same benefits!)

Click through for the full how-to after the jump…

-wood plank
-brass nails/escutcheon pins

-utility knife
-cutting surface

My wood plank is a 1×8 cut down to 20″. If woodworking isn’t your thing, the hardware store will happily cut it down for you. If you need leather, Etsy is a wonderful place to source samples and scraps for small craft projects like this one. The brass nails/escutcheon pins are an easy find in the hardware aisle of your local hardware store.

Leather Organizer 1


1. Depending on the size of your plank and leather, you may need to cut your leather to size using a utility knife, ruler, and cutting surface. My plank is about 7.25″ wide, so I cut my leather to 6.5″ wide by 10″ tall.

Leather Organizer 2

2. Begin to attach the storage pockets to the wood by laying the first piece of leather face down an inch or so from the top edge of the plank. Hammer a brass nail into place at the top center of the leather. To avoid smashing your fingers, hold the nail in place with a set of pliers.

Leather Organizer 3
Leather Organizer 4

3. Fold the leather in half, and secure each of the top corners with nails.

Leather Organizer 5

4. Repeat with the other two pieces of leather ensuring to evenly space the pockets.

Leather Organizer 8

Leather Organizer 9

Suggested For You


  • Love this simple project. You can often find scraps and larger pieces of leather in discount fabric or sewing supply stores. Pro tip: if you like working with leather, you will LOVE using a circular cutter, like the one Olfa makes. Best for straight cuts with a ruler, the circular cutter pushes down on the leather as opposed to pulling on the stretchy leather in the direction of the stroke of the knife, so the cuts are much straighter. And with less pressure and more control, I think it’s safer, too. Works great on vinyl and every type of textile that you cut with the use of a ruler. Well known to quilters, of course, and fantastic with leather.

  • This project is awesome :-) My boyfriend and I are dairy goat farmers in the Adirondacks. My boyfriend’s family owns a small tannery in the Hudson Valley: They partner with as many local farms as they can to utilize the hides, including our own goats! Their latest partnership is with the Marlow empire – but you can purchase individual skins directly through Pergamena for a project just like this!

  • I just bought some leather this weekend! I’m planning to make iPad sleeves with it, but this looks like a great project for my next batch. Seattle people, get to MacPherson Leather Company in the ID for a dizzying selection and lots of scraps sold by weight.

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