[Gatesedge] Leather thoughts

Cat Clark cat at rocks4brains.com
Fri Nov 7 03:28:15 PST 2008

paul rieke wrote:
> Hello.
> I wanted to ask if you have any suggestions for a leather craft 
> project for children. I have a little craft kit to make comb cases (2 
> pieces of leather) that lace around, and I have an aphabet stamp kit 
> from Tandy. What kind of paint or stain could I use? Do you have any 
> suggestions for other decorative stuff we could do?

Why not make it more medieval?
It's easy to do.  Tandy has some nice
stamps that are in period motifs, notably
the fleur-de-lil, star and leaf stamps.

Laced comb cases are not bad for kids
but they are very modern  though in an
unobtrusive kind of way.  I don't know
if you have any sort of kids-project budget
but a simple belt project is easy and medieval
and gives kids something they made themselves
that they can actually wear themselves. Tandy
has precut belt blanks.  Use the 1/2 inch size.
You need a simple brass belt buckle, a straight
punch and rivets too.  A hefty pair of craft
shears will finish both the billet and buckle ends.
The stamps are used for decoration.  You don't
need to do any special edge treatments. Folks
want to sell all sorts of edge treatments, but
frankly they aren't period and you don't really
need them.

There were such things as period leather dyes
and in all kinds of colors but you can't buy them
anywhere.  Use spirit dye.  Tandy has a line of
colored spirit dyes as does Fiebings (which Tandy
also sells).  Regardless of belts or comb cases,
some kid is always going to spill the dye and make
a mess.  And the dye does not wash out in the wash.
So break the dye out ahead of time into smaller
cantainers and make sure parents know the risks
of dyed hands and clothes ahead of time.

Yes, it's fine to paint in the stamp impressions
with some contrasting colors.  They did it in period
a fair bit (using egg tempera paints). Use acrylic fabric
paint and shop for the best price.  So called leather
paint is just repackaged fabric paint, which is just
repackaged higher viscosity of acrylic paint. So
check out the fabric store, Tandy's Michael's,
Hobby Lobby and their ilk to find who will be
cheaper in the area for this.

Hope this helps.
Therasia, leather nerd

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