How To Make A Batik Leather Wallet – A step-by-step tutorial

Batik Leather Wallet
Batik leather wallet, front

I love working with leather and exploring ways to decorate it. Here I chose the ancient technique of batik using wax and dye to make a colourful leather wallet.

Batik Leather Wallet, back
Batik Leather Wallet, back

batikwalletside

What your need to make the batik leather wallet

Material
  • Vegetable tanned leather, 1 to 2mm thick is suitable, 36x20cm (14x8in)
  • Waxed thread
  • Sam brown stud
  • Beeswax Leather finish, to enhance the natural beauty of leather and protects it from the elements
Tools
  • Sewing awl and needle to make lock stitches
  • Revolving punch pliers to punch holes
  • Utility knife or leather shears for cutting the leather
  • Self-healing mat
  • Metal ruler for cutting straight
  • Grooving tool, serves to create a channel into which the stitches are set, thereby protecting them from wear and use
  • Edge Slicker to burnish and smooth the edges of cut leather
  • Stitch Marker to mark stitches evenly or use a measuring tape instead
Decoration
  • Water based leather dyes, I used ochre, brick red, cranberry and blue (from Identity Leather Craft)
  • Pieces of sheep’s wool
  • Stiff paint brushes in different sizes
  • Batik wax, soy wax is best
  • Wax melting pot, to maintain the wax at the right temperature during the batik session or use a double boiler (with caution, don’t let the wax boil or smoke, and don’t leave it unwatched)

batikwalletwax

How to make the wallet

Step 1: Cutting the leather

Draw the pattern on thin cardboard according to the measurements given in the diagram.

wallet pattern

Place the pattern pieces on the rough side of the leather as close together as possible and draw around them.

walletpatternleather

Cut out all the pieces with the utility knife and metal ruler. The two little rectangular pieces at the bottom give volume to the interior pocket.

Batikwalletcutting

Step 2: Grooving, punching holes and burnishing

Using the grooving tool, drag a channel around the edges about 0,5 cm (¼ in) in from the edge. This gives you a guideline along which you will sew and make the stitching line look even.

Grooving

Lightly dampen the stitch groove and run the stitch marker around the edges.

marking stitches

Punch holes with the smallest size of the revolving punch pliers. The distance between two stitches should be between 0.5 cm and 0.8 cm. If you don’t have a stitch marking wheel, you could use a measuring tape to mark the stitches evenly.

batikwalletpunchholes

Burnish all the edges with an edge slicker (dampen the edges and rub them with the slicker until they seal).

batikwalletburnishing

Step 3: Decorating the leather

First dye the leather in a light colour using the piece of sheep’s wool, then apply the hot wax with a stiff paintbrush.

walletbatikcollage

Let the wax dry and dye the surface in another colour. You can repeat this process several times, depending on how colourful you want your design to be.

batikleatherwallettutorial

Use an iron (set at a low temperature) and old newspapers to remove the wax once you finished the dyeing.

batikwalletiron

In my design, I dyed the surface first with lighter and then with darker colours using different sizes of stiff paintbrushes to apply the melted wax between layers of dye.

Dye the rough side of the leather with a dark colour.

Step 4: Stitching the wallet

batikwalletwebstitching

I used the stitching awl method to stitch this wallet, but you can use any leather stitching technique you like.

Step 5: Attaching Sam Brown stud

Attach the Sam Brown stud using the screw on the back side. To fasten the stud to the leather flap you will need to punch a hole in the flap and then cut a line from it as shown in the picture below.

That’s it, you finished the wallet! Enjoy!

batikwalletopen

By the way, I made one before with a different shape here is the blog post to it.

how to make a batik leather wallet

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