A leather working guide for beginners:
In this tutorial I will show you how to make an iPhone sleeve out of an old leather bag without having to buy many tools. It’s a starting point if you want to work with leather but you’re not sure if you want to spend hundreds of dollars on tools and materials.
Note: for in-depth hand sewing instructions, please check out my hand sewing tutorial.
The end result is this simple iPhone case:
Let’s get started:
Find an old bag, jacket or other leather item you don’t use anymore.
Cut along the seams
Cut off all hardware and then cut along the seams.
Separate the lining
If there’s lining inside the bag, separate and remove it.
Lining and front piece
Here are the 2 pieces I’m going to use: the lining and the front piece of the bag
Glue lining to leather
Apply glue to the back of the front piece (the flesh side) and glue the lining on.
Cut out the main piece. The piece I cut for the iPhone 4 was around 14.4cm by 13.2cm. Use the phone you’re going to make the cover for as a guide by wrapping the leather around it and mark it.
Fold it in half and cut a rounded corner on one end.
Glue edges in place
Apply some glue to the inside of the edges and glue the piece in place. This will make sewing much easier and keep the leather aligned.
Mark the stitches
Use a ruler and any sharp object that you can find (anything that you can use to leave a mark on the leather) to mark each stitch you’re going to make. Try to keep a consistent gap between each stitch.
Close-up of my markings (ideally you would use a stitching spacer to speed up this process).
Sewing the top
Start sewing around the top opening.
Sew around the top
Once you’re all the way around, you can loop the thread vertically before sewing along the long edge of the case.
Backstitch a couple of stitches
Melt the thread ends
Cut the thread and melt the ends.
Darken the edge
If your lining has a white edge, you can use a marker to paint it black (in case you don’t have any black dye).