Is Leatherworking an Expensive Hobby? (Seven Things To Ponder)

So, you just realized that you’re interested leatherworking and want to turn it into a hobby.

However, you realize that, like other hobbies, money for the tools, materials, and other things is as important as the time you invest in it.

Read on to learn how much you need to enhance your creativity in leatherworking.

So, Is Leatherworking an Expensive Hobby?

Leatherworking can be expensive or cheap, depending on your end goal. However, the highest amount you can spend if you’re a novice leather smith is $100 for new tools and materials, if you cannot access any for free. This technical skill has been long practiced for thousands of years. Some people ventured into it to get a source of income, while others preferred it as a hobby.

The trend hasn’t changed even during the current times. So, whether you want to be involved in leatherworking as a hobby or main or side hustle, getting started is all that matters.

See Also: What Are Some Hobbies For Fashion Lovers?

What Does Leatherworking Involve? Seven Questions To Ponder

Leatherwork involves designing, customizing, repairing, and restoring items made from leather.

They include handbags, purses, armor, saddles, wallets, belts, and anything involving leather.

The cost of attending such classes at an accredited leatherworking institution is around $28,000 per year.

Before turning leatherwork into your hobby, ponder the following.

1. Do You Have The Skills Necessary For Leatherworking?

We all have our worst fears, particularly if we’re trying something for the first time. So, it’s okay to feel nervous about your skills.

Fortunately, basic leatherwork is the easiest way to get started. It starts with devising and following a plan.

If a wallet or purse is what you intend to make, create a pattern and prototype to help you measure and cut the materials to size.

Gluing surfaces is the next step before transitioning to marking and punching holes for hand stitching.

Finish the edges, and your product is ready.

Remember, some leather products might need their edges beveled or creased, so you might want to ensure you’re doing the right thing.

2. Which Tools Do You Need?

Any hands-on job relies on specific tools to produce finished products, and leatherworking isn’t exceptional.

Basic leatherwork requires

  • needles
  • strings
  • edge beveller
  • burnisher/slicker
  • beeswax
  • contact glue
  • thin card for making patterns
  • pencil
  • steel ruler
  • leather
  • cutting mat
  • stitching pony
  • etc.

Most of these tools are available online, while some lie around your house, workshop, or office.

However, it’s cheaper to buy the entire kit than tools separately.

For example, Amazon sells leatherwork kits from $12.99-167.99.

Leather prices vary by quality.

Typical materials cost around $4 for 6/ft2, while moderate-quality ones go for $8 for 20/ft2.

Exotic leather can go as high as $75 or more. It will take substantial money and time to buy these tools and techniques to produce a finished product.

3. What About Training?

Leatherwork can be self-taught or course trained online.

However, if you’re 100% clueless about it, there are various resources and videos online you can follow to learn the basic skills in advance.

Enroll in an online course training program if you want to become a professional leather crafter.

Professional leatherworkers who offer courses online charge different rates, depending on what you intend to achieve.

Most courses offer in-depth and step-by-step guides for tackling complex leatherworking projects.

Apprenticeship programs are also available for leatherworking enthusiasts looking to turn it into their career.

You will be required to attend classes, both theoretical and practical lessons.

Afterward, your course instructor gives you exams to gauge your knowledge of leatherworking.

4. What If You Weren’t Born For Leatherworking?

It’s normal to doubt how the project will turn out if you’ve never done it before.

However, giving up before you even start is a deal breaker and may deter you from achieving your leatherworking pursuits.

Mastery involves learning, practicing, and repeating the steps until you achieve what you want.

Don’t be quick to give up regardless of how often you fail. Practice until you become perfect.

Even the world’s best crafters had to learn from their half-baked products before they became masters of their games.

5. How Long Will The Process Take?

The time taken to produce boots can’t be the same as a purse.

Start small before transitioning to other complicated or intensive-focused products if you’re a beginner.

You should finish your project in a few days if you have everything you need and know the steps to make.

If you already know how to cut the materials and use the tools accordingly, a few days should be enough. But if you’re still going through apprenticeship, it may take weeks.

The bottom line is we have different abilities, and no one was born knowing how to use specific tools. Once you learn the ropes, time won’t be a hindering factor.

6. Will You Feel Happy And Fulfilled?

Deciding that you want to turn leatherworking into a hobby means you want something that makes you happy.

It’s not fair choosing something that will make you regret it.

7. What Does It Take To Be A Professional Leatherworker?

Leatherworking has different specialties.

For example, cobblers deal with shoes, and saddle and tack makers produce items used on and around horses, while bookbinders make leather covers for books.

So, knowing the items to specialize in plays a significant role in determining your leather making specialty.

Also, the number of years spent on a specialty vary.

As a leatherworker, you can use a set of tools in your workshop to sew, stamp, join, finish, mold, cut, and even stamp pieces.

The items might include clothing, shoes, personal accessories, hats, armor, or anything made from leather.

Advantages of leatherworking as a hobby include;

  • It’s an ancestral skill accentuating your art of making, helping you achieve personal growth
  • It’s an opportunity to reach out to the world to get a hands-on feeling of the objects in your life
  • Most items are handmade, adding a personal touch
  • Every aspect of leathercraft is original. There’s a unique story behind everything you touch
  • You feel fulfilled knowing you spent your free time crafting something new


Making leathercraft your hobby can help keep your mind open, your fingers on the move, and your inner self at peace.

You aren’t just focusing on making the products for sale.

Rather, you want your mind to appreciate your physical body’s efforts to be creative.

Our price review guide for tools, training, and apprenticeship should help you plan your way around where to source them.

We’ve also provided explanations for the questions you might have if you want to be a leatherworker.

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