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DIY 101: Leather Projects

by Amy Azzarito


Like the perfect pair of boots, leather can be that je ne sais quoi to DIY projects. From drawer pulls to plant hangers, it’s the perfect DIY material – durable, long lasting and it just gets better with age. Every time we take a team trip to Brimfield, we wander around lusting after the patina on the vintage leather pieces. Of course, that patina comes with a price tag to match, so it’s definitely more affordable to create your own leather goods and just sit back and wait patiently for that patina to appear. (If you want to rush the patina factor, all of these projects can also be made by reusing vintage pieces like old leather belts, vests or even leather furniture pieces. Check at your local Salvation Army or thrift store for pieces that may no longer be fashionable but are made with beautiful leather.) And if leather isn’t your thing, all of these projects can be made using vinyl or fabric as a substitute. –Amy

Leather Resources

Where to Buy:

  • Tandy Leather is a national chain that has been operating since 1919. You can also order online.
  • Pergamena is a small tannery in the Hudson Valley with a fascinating and long history.
  • Etsy is a good resource for small pieces of leather. Just search in the craft supplies section.

What to Know:

  • ABCs of Leatherwork from Tandy Leather (with nearly 100 of experience working with leather, they know their stuff!)
  • Leatherworking Tool Basics –  If you get hooked on working with leather, here’s suggestions for leather working tool kit.

More Projects:

  • Martha Stewart’s Leathercrafts – for an entire series of leather projects with an emphasis on personal accessories
  • DIY leather pouf from Brittany Makes
  • Textured leather pillow and wood and leather magazine holder from A Beautiful Mess
  • 12 projects to make from an old leather sofa from Vintage Revivals (including an impressive leather sling bench and leather pillow)

Image above: This small woven leather stool works equally as well as a small table or chair.

Image above: Sculptural leather plant hangers with the perfect little triangle decoration allow you to have space for even more plants.

See more leather projects after the jump!

Image above: A leather desk organizer keeps all your paper clutter in check and looks great doing it. (Vinyl will also work for this project.)

Image above: Simple leather dowel and wood trivets take only a couple of hours to make. The navy leather cord is the perfect finishing touch.

Image above: This hanging leather shelf was made for less than $15 out of recycled leather belts and found wood.

Image above: A countertop wine rack made of simple pipes and strips of leather is pretty perfect for tiny spaces.

Image above: Easy leather drawer pulls can dress up even the plainest furniture.

Image above: This little magazine/mail rack could also be adapted to be used as a firewood holder.

Image above: Leather coasters inspired by the geometric patterns of Islamic tile design. Quick and easy, they make the perfect housewarming gift.

Image above: Not only will you look cool toting your lunch around, but this leather lunch bag also looks equally fantastic hanging on a hook in your home.

Image above: These leather cup jackets allow you to turn any jar into the perfect vehicle for that hot drink.

Image above: A quick and affordable way to make curtain tiebacks using leather cord, colorful beads and string.

Image above: The perfect mail basket to keep the clutter off the table.

Image above: Another leather coaster project. This one uses a spray bottle and dye to add a little color.

Image above: A sweet leather sketchbook to record all your innermost secrets.

Image above: If you’ve blown your tech budget on a new iPhone, save your money on a case and create your own using leather. 

Image above: Give a simple shelf a little dash of luxury with leather “upholstery” and brass tacks.

Image above: A bit of paint and leather was all it took to completely transform this IKEA dresser into something pretty darn fantastic.

Suggested For You


  • AH! I just bought a hide and have been trying to figure out how to use it all up.
    This is excellent, thank you!


  • Amazing ideas! You’ve inspired me to buy a good piece of leather and to start DIYing!!! Thank you for sharing!

    The Mama Gazette

  • I almost could not believe it , pvc pipe painted black and some leather tape can be a very elegant wine store . This motivates me to start doing DIY.

  • I just started crafting with leather and is addicting! Great ideas! Thought I share with you another source for getting a gorgeous hide at an awesome price at Darby Smart
    and I made a leather scarf from this hide ;)

  • I made that leather cup holder and have absolutely LOVED it. I purchased the leather scraps at a local Tandy shop that, sadly, has disappeared. Thanks for the great DIY projects.

  • Ha! I just started Renske’s minimalist Tote bag, which was featured on your blog ages ago. (it has a leather strap…)

  • Leather decors give a very Elegant look. Excellent idea for using leather in a right way…! Cheers:)

  • I adore the office organizer! Woven letter is also so so pretty.

    Warm Regards,

  • Leather has a way of bringing everything up a notch. Thanks for the great ideas

  • Have a bag full of leather I gathered! Might be time for a new project! Definitely pinning this one!

  • ​You are amazing!!! I’m an Accessories design student living in NYC, and I buy leathers from District Leathers. They have amazing leather selections and their service is great. Check them out if you need leather. https://www.districtleathers.com/