Anybody good at tooling leather?


So I want to start a multipart series of classes with leather working stuff - making a western style gun belt being one of them. But I know some people are going to want to tool the leather (and I do too). Could anyone walk me through tooling enough to get the classes off the ground? I appreciate the help!


Funny you should mention that - someone recently stepped forward, interested in teaching leather tooling. I’m trying to figure everything out and would be more than happy to include you in any discussions.


Yeah, met Shelly tonight in spinning class. She said will be teaching leather tooling soon(ish). I’m guessing this might be the same person??


@HankCowdog is also talented at tooling leather.


Shelly is amazing!



I’m trying to get more classes on the regular going for Leather, so anyone who wants to teach any type of project/skill is most incredibly welcome.


The only thing I can make is dog collars.


Which has been offered as a class in the past and very well attended! :slight_smile:


For now…


I made a holster for my 22LR revolver several years ago. I’m not sure where the plans that I used came from, but this link follows the approach I used pretty closely, and includes sufficient detail to set you up for success.

Differences in approach are that:

  • I included a welt between the front and back to open up the pouch somewhat
  • I modded the angle where the leather folds over the belt so that it could be used as a cross-draw holster, which sits more comfortably when on horseback.

For the belt itself, I used a Tandy Kit for a Ranger-style belt (now out of stock :frowning: ). I like the Ranger style because the wide belt is supported but it uses a smaller, less intrusive belt buckle.

Here is a web example (mine is not accessible for a photo ATM):


(pulled from here:

Note that the Ranger belt shown does not have any “tooling” on it, but still looks quite nice. The one I made included a “keeper” that the large leather belt portion would slot into behind the buckle. I recommend this as it helps the belt ride straighter across the front of your body.


I’m mostly familiar with the tactical side of sewing, but I’ve done belts similar to the one you described

I’ll be on the lookout for tooling classes! many thanks everyone.


Shelly is going to start teaching tooling classes. She and her husband Daniel are very talented leather workers. Shelly co-taught the pen sleeve class with me. She was great.

Here is the purse she did.


There is tooling and there is stamping. Tooling can be quite ornate. Stamping can make things attractive with such things as borders and is quite easy to learn and master. Tooling takes a while to get good at. Catch me sometime and I can give you some ideas