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.
Want to learn how to hand stamp and dye leather? Let’s get started.
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).
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.
Three: 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.)
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.
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.
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!
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.
I’d love to know, what would you stamp into leather? Your initials or name? A meaningful word or saying? Or something else?