Working with Templates
For many of the projects in this book, as well as projects you find online, you’ll need a template to get started. Like the patterns used for sewing, templates ensure that your leather project pieces are the correct shape and size. It’s important to transfer the template to the leather correctly to achieve great results. Downloadable templates for the projects in this book can be found at idiotsguides.com/leather.
Cardstock or chipboard
Precision knife or paper scissors
Hole punches (if needed)
Masking tape (optional)
1 Print and cut out the template pattern. Download and print electronic patterns. (If using a paper pattern, copy the pattern onto a clean sheet of paper so you keep the original pattern intact.) Cut out the template pattern.
2 Trace the template pattern. Using a pencil, trace the template pattern onto to sturdier stock, such as cardstock or chipboard, to make the template.
Mechanical pencils make consistently thin marks, as opposed to regular No. 2 pencils, which can get dull. The thinner the mark, the cleaner your cut will look.
3 Cut out the template. Cut out the cardstock or chipboard using paper scissors or a precision knife (for thick chipboard). If holes are needed, punch them using the hole punch size indicated in the project.
Instead of cutting out the paper pattern, tracing it onto cardstock, and then cutting out the template, you could choose to place the paper pattern over the cardstock and cut straight through it with a precision knife to create the template.
4 Roughly cut the leather. Using your preferred method, roughly cut the leather into a shape slightly larger than the template.
5 Secure the Template. Secure the template to the leather by holding down tightly with your opposite hand, applying masking tape (for garment leather), or securing with spring clamps (for vegetable-tanned and bridle leather).
6 Trace the template. Using the mechanical pencil, trace the template onto the leather. Remove the template to begin your project.
To make the most of your leather, position the template as close to the edge as possible before tracing.