From where I’m sitting, the only thing better than genuine leather is a genuine man, with said leather, working on our house. Who agrees with me here?
So, when I received this unbelievably gorgeous hide from the Leather Hide Store, I knew it was destined to become something for my man. He has spent a lot of time helping me out lately–rearranging furniture, hanging shelves, painting my new sewing room. He needed a thank you gift in a big way, and preferably something that helps us both out.
I made him this Leather Tool Roll so that his tools look good in the house, and he feels extra cool carrying them around.
Why this tool roll is awesome, according to my husband:
- “I like how it holds all my favorite tools in one place.”
- “Now I can leave my tools in the house without making a mess.”
Here are the specs on this Leather Tool Roll:
- Measures roughly 13.5″ wide by 9″ high when the top is folded down.
- Each of the five pockets is 2.5″ wide and 5″ deep.
- Holds five of my husband’s favorite tools.
- Rolls up for easy carrying and storage.
- Includes a leather handle on the inside for hanging on the wall.
Scroll down a little further for the full tutorial on how to make your own Leather Tool Roll!
Fold the bottom 5″ of the leather up to create the pocket.
Using the top of the fold and a clear ruler, make a mark 1/4″ from the edge on both the right and left sides.
Place a second mark 2.75″ from the mark on the left. Continue marking the leather every 2.75″ until you reach the final mark on the right side. You should have six marks, all 2.75″ apart, in a straight line 10″ above the bottom edge of the leather.
Carefully lift the bottom edge of the leather and press it into the glue. Make sure the edge is straight.
You should allow this to dry for 15 to 30 minutes before moving on to the next steps, so that the glue will not coat your sewing machine needle while you sew.
I like to use paper clamps to hold the leather together while it dries, and the weight of the tools to press the leather pieces together.
After the glue has dried, begin marking your stitching lines for the tool pockets. First, draw a line 1/4″ from the edge. (I then used paper clamps to hold the edge in place). Draw a line every 2.75″ from the top to the bottom of the pocket. (NOTE: The glue dots you placed earlier should be directly in line with the top of each stitching line).
You can see my faint lines in the picture below.
Pick a thread. Sometimes I like to use contrasting thread, but this time I chose to use some that matched perfectly.
Load a leather needle into your machine. These are thicker and stronger than universal needles, and are sharpened so they can pierce through the leather.
Play around with the straight stitch settings on your sewing machine until you find a stitch that looks great on your piece of leather. I used a stitch length of 3.5 on my Janome machine, and didn’t change my tension. Just make sure you check the tension on both sides of your stitching and make adjustments accordingly. Both sides of your stitches will be visible on the finished product.
Take your leather to the machine and start sewing! First, sew along your marked line 1/4″ from the right edge, back stitching at the start and finish. Add another row of stitches 1/8″ from the right edge to fortify the outside edge.
Go slowly as you stitch! Your machine will be working hard sewing through two layers of leather. You may need to help guide the leather under the needle, as each presser foot deals with leather differently. Hold the back of the leather with your left hand, and the front with your right, and guide it through at an even pace.
STEP : Add the Strap
Cut a long strip of leather measuring 3/4″ wide by 31″ long for the strap. Sandwich one short end in between the leather on the left side of the tool roll. There is no need to clamp this in place; you can hold it in place while you sew.
Back at your machine, stitch the final line on the left side, holding the end of the strap inside the seam as you go. Add a second row of stitching 1/8″ from the edge for extra strength. And now you’re finished stitching the pockets!
NOTE: If your presser foot has left scars on your leather, I have good news! You can rub most of them off with your finger. The oils in your skin will help to rub the marks out. Over time, the leather will become scuffed and marked in many different places and those presser foot marks won’t be noticeable anymore.
STEP: Add the handle
Once you have sewn all the pockets, it’s time to add the handle. Cut a long strip of leather measuring 1″ by 14.5″. Place it in the middle of the tool roll, with it’s bottom edge exactly 9″ from the folded bottom edge of the tool roll.
Line up the ends with the sides of the tool roll.
Stitch the handle down by sewing 1/8″ from the edge until you come to your mark. Create a box with your stitches and sew back to the edge. Repeat for the other side. You will now have an open handle in the middle of your tool roll.
Congratulations, your tool roll is complete!
Now, roll it up!