Tutorial | How to Hand Stamp and Dye Leather

I love a good monogram. So, it should come as no surprise that I added a little bit of personalized flair when I sewed my Colette Cooper bag. It was actually pretty easy to make the hand stamped and hand dyed leather initial tag that I attached to the bag and I’m already planning some more hand stamped leather projects for the future.

How to Hand Stamp and Dye Leather Tutorial at Sewbon.com

The Cooper Bag on Sewbon.com

Want to learn how to hand stamp and dye leather? Let’s get started.

Materials

Instructions

One: Cut the leather to the desired size. I cut my tag to be 3/4 inch by 3 inches using a straight edge and a rotary cutter. Also, it’s good practice to always cut the leather on the flesh side (wrong side).

How to Hand Stamp and Dye Leather Tutorial at Sewbon.com

Two: Moisten (aka case) the leather with a damp sponge – first on the flesh side (wrong side) then on the grain side (right side). This will cause the leather to swell and soften, which will allow the leather to take the impression from the stamp. In the picture above, the top piece of leather is dry and the bottom piece of leather is damp.

How to Hand Stamp and Dye Leather Tutorial at Sewbon.comThree: Place the center stamp upright in the middle of the leather and hit it evenly a few times with the mallet. (Hint: It’s always a good idea to test how many times the stamp needs to be hit to get the desired impression on a scrap piece of leather first.)

How to Hand Stamp and Dye Leather Tutorial at Sewbon.com

Four: Repeat for the rest of the stamps, keeping an even distance between the letters working your way out from the center. If the leather dries before finishing the stamping, rewet the leather per step 2.

Five: After the stamping is complete, allow the leather to dry completely.

How to Hand Stamp and Dye Leather Tutorial at Sewbon.com

Six: Apply a coat of leather dye according to the instruction on the package. I actually applied two coats of dye to get a darker color.

How to Hand Stamp and Dye Leather Tutorial at Sewbon.com

Seven: Once the leather dye has dried completely, apply the Leather Sheen according to the instructions on the package to shine and condition the leather. Once the leather sheen has dried, the leather tag is ready for use!

How to Hand Stamp and Dye Leather Tutorial at Sewbon.com

Bonus: To attach the leather tag to the bag using cap rivets, punch holes the same size as the rivets in the leather using a leather punch. Mark on the bag the placement of the holes and punch the same size holes out of the bag. Finally, attach the leather tag to the bag by hammering the rivets.

How to Hand Stamp and Dye Leather Tutorial at Sewbon.com

How to Hand Stamp and Dye Leather Tutorial at Sewbon.com How to Hand Stamp and Dye Leather Tutorial at Sewbon.com

I’d love to know, what would you stamp into leather? Your initials or name? A meaningful word or saying? Or something else?

  • Salberries

    I stamp my surname on wet leather and just dry it and sew it on my clothes. I’m not sure how, but cutting leather with my sewing scissors actually sharpens them and my machine doesn’t seem to care at all when I’m sewing through the leather. I don’t finish the leather off with anything – I just leave it raw. It holds just fine. Thanks for the ideas though, your bag label looks fabulous!

    • http://www.sewbon.com/ Erin

      Thanks! :) That’s awesome that your scissors and machine can handle the leather without a problem!