There are basically two steps needed in making a leather business card holder for your desk or someone else. Step 1 preparation of the parts and Step 2 is the assembly.
Tools necessary…razor knife, ruler with a center finding indicator, ball point pen, straight edge, edge trimmer, 4 prong chisel, hammer, braiding needle, leather lace, wing divider, finger nail clipper, circle template, scribe and 8 oz or heavier vegetable tanned leather. The most important tool is the center finding ruler. If you don’t have one then you can purchase one here.
Below is what your finished product could look like.
Of course you can alsways add your own garden variety of tooling but for with this particular piece, plain and simple works just fine.
Applique braiding is both practical and beautiful. Once you learn the process you will be amazed at all of the different places it can be used. On this product I used plate 122 from the book Encyclopedia of Rawhide and Leather braiding as an applique because of how it looks. If you don’t already own this book, you should and you can get it here. When you learn these techniques you never need any thread, metal brads, glue or other things to help you in joining leather together. It can also be said there is a harmonious relationship between the leather thong used to join the leather together and the leather itself which complements your entire project. On the back of this business card holder you can see how I used one such technique.
Step 1…I cut out 3 pieces of leather. Two of them were 4 inches long, rounded on the ends and the third piece was two inches in height and 12 inches long at this point.
Go ahead and glue the two small pieces together and clamp them down with edge protected bull dog clips.
Using your “center-finding” ruler, mark the center of what will become the bottom of our leather business card holder on the flesh side; a small mark will do. Later when you wrapping the leather around this base you will want to have the two ends that are joined together line up with this mark so it is properly centered. If you don’t have a ruler with a center mark you can get one here.
When the glue dries on the two smaller pieces, wrap the larger one around and overlap lap it. Make sure the leather is snug around what will be the bottom of our leather business card holder and make a mark for trimming. Be sure when you mark the line for your cut that is perpendicular or leather ends will not join properly.
You can trim what will be the outside of your leather business card holder however you choose, but the picture below shows my choice of the shape. The reason for this choice is that it provides enough space for braiding the two pieces together and the backside is tall enough to support our business cards.
Step 2…once you have your two pieces cut and sized as per the above instructions, you can add some additional tooling if you wish or proceed to dyeing, applying edge coat and adding a clear coat on your final product. Using your wing divider, carelfully scribe a line 1/8″ from the edge on both sides as shown below.
Using your 4 tong chisel, line it up on the line you just scribed and make your slits. When doing the opposite side, make sure you do them so the slits are lined up properly. One tip is to make the first one 1/8″ in from the edge then mark the same starting spot on the opposite side.
The braid I am going to use will be the 8 string simulated braid shown in the Enclopedia of Rawhide and Leather Braiding as plate 122. The only difference is that the two edges I will be working with be “edge to edge” and not where the two are overlapping. The same steps will be used, you just need to visualize it differently.
The following slide show will review the information we just discussed and will show you step by step of how to complete this applique which is from plate 122 of the Encyclopedia of Rawhide and Leather Braiding.