How to Do Leather Stamping

Stamping is a simple and lovely decorative technique used to enhance and embellish leather goods. It is reminicent of the Old West - Clint Eastwood comes to mind bursting through saloon doors decked out in a leather holster and belt, each bearing the decorative marks of a skilled leatherworker. Although a traditional technique, there are many ways to modernize and freshen this age-old craft. The beauty is that it's super simple and only requires a few tools, which makes it accessible for even beginners.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle of water
  • Steel slab or thick granite surface
  • Metal leather stamps
  • Hard, thick, leather
Leather stamped belt
Leather stamped belt (Image: Final leather stamped belt)

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What You'll Need

Step 1

See last slide for supply list

Supplies
Supplies (Image: Supplies)

Step 2

Dampen your leather by spritzing it with water. It shouldn't be soaking wet but must be moist or the leather will crack.

Spritz to prep
Spritz to prep (Image: Step 1)

Step 3

Hold your stamp in place firmly and steadily with one hand while hitting it once with the hammer. If the stamp moves even slightly, and another hit is made, it can leave a double impression. This cannot be fixed.

Hold and hit
Hold and hit (Image: Step 2)

Step 4

Spritz the next area you would like to stamp and repeat the stamp. Keep going until your pattern is complete. Spritz when the leather feels too dry.

Repeat pattern
Repeat pattern (Image: Step 3)

Tips & Warnings

  • Leather used for leather stamping must be hard and thick. Soft leather cannot be stamped, it will not hold an impression at all.
  • A hard surface under your leather piece will help the stamp make a crisp impression. Granite slabs or steel slabs are ideal.

References

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