Any leather artisan knows about bulldog clips and their practical use when working with leather. So stop right now stop what you are doing and go to Office Depot or Staples and buy all of the 3 inch bulldog clips that both stores have. If you get 100 of them you will not have too many, believe me there will be times when all are in use. Now that you have the clips take some leather scraps that you normally use as a liner and cover the metal edges completely and glue them in place.I find these clips as important a tool as any I have, especially when constructing leather centerpieces. I use them to hold sides together so I can punch holes equally spaced around the edges. If I am gluing sides together I use them to hold the pieces together till the glue is dry. If I am braiding edges together I use them to hold the pieces together making it much easier to do my braiding. And the really good thing about all this is that your leather piece will not get scarred by the bulldog clip.
Below is a photo of punching holes where I choose to use a #6 on my rotary punch and how I use my bulldog clips to hold two sides together so I can effectively punch holes and have them line up exactly as I want them.