Hiding in plain sight (wulfae) wrote,
Hiding in plain sight

Leather bag - Tooling.

Table of Contents.

1 - Table of Contents, and why in the first place.
2 - Research.
3 - Designing.
4 - Tooling.
5 - Other Leatherworking Steps.
6 - Dyeing.
7 - Assembling.
8 - Sewing a lining.
9 - Finished pictures!


To transfer a design onto the leather, you have to wet it first. You take a sponge, I would assume an un-dyed one that you’ve bought specifically for this task, and wipe the leather. The leather will be darker because of the water it’s absorbing. You can start working when it’s lightened up a little bit.

(Here’s an article I just found about casing the leather. I never did this, but I would be interested to try and see what the results are! I just wiped the leather with a sponge.)

After your leather is a bit lighter, but still cool to the touch, you can put your design on. I taped the paper on with some scotch tape, and then used an old wacom stylus to go over the lines. Basically you want to indent the leather where the lines of your design are, so you can use any sort of stylus.

Stylus time.

Nice and clear!

After that, you have to cut the lines with your swivel knife.

It’s a really, really neat knife.

For my design, I cut out all the lines except for the edging around the swirly thing in the sky. I wanted to have that be kind of a gaseous thing, so I wanted to use tooling to separate it.

Bam! Cutting around little things like this is hard.

After that, I used a beveller to start defining what is in front of what. For example, the nearest thing to us on the Doctor drawing is his right arm. So I went around that with the beveller. Then I went around his jacket, then his fez, then his face and hands, then the binoculars that he’s holding.

TARDIS started.

TARDIS bevelled.

The Doctor is finished, and the Ponds are started

Ponds are done.

Then I used some of the other tools to do some detailing work, starting with the TARDIS. I wanted the panels to recede, so I used a backgrounder on those. I also tried to get the wood grain of the police box by using the stylus end of this tool to make some lines.

Detail shot.

Finished the shaping of the figures

Finished the shaping of the figures here, and I’m getting ready to start on the background. This. Took. FOREVER. You don’t usually tool such a large area, so there weren’t really any tools large enough to make this not a really tedious task. But I persevered, and it looks great when finished!


Finished tooling! I used a pear shader as well on the figures, to try to give them some dimension.


To separate the grass and the cloud thing from the background, I used a camouflage tool for them. I also wound up using the background tool to stamp out some shadows for the figures, because I thought that would look really neat.

After that, I used the little spoon end of this tool to round off the edges, and sort of model the interior of his jacket.

In the basic leather carving video you can see a really great example of ‘walking’ the tool. The point of working with these tools is not to see the individual tool marks, to but to make a uniform look to the impressions. You don’t want to see the outline of the pear shader, you just want the smooth impression. If that makes any sense!
Tags: crafts, doctor who, leather

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.