Craft is about design thinking… But you need pencils, pens, rulers and notebooks to get started

If you’re thinking about joining my online leatherwork mentorship, there’s a few things you need to get started.

Pencils

When you’re getting started with a craft like leatherwork you realise really quickly that a lot of it is about design and design thinking.

And this means the three Ps:

  • Plans
  • Patterns
  • Prototypes.

For the design process, in my work, I like to have some good pencils, pens, a sturdy notebook and steel rulers handy.

You need to have pencils and pens handy for drawing plans and making notes.

Fortunately, you probably have all of this lying around your home or office.

Pens

As well as a good pencil, I also like to use black ink gel pens for drawing plans.

You should use pencils and pens that you like to hold. There are some pencils I really like if you’re stuck for ideas in the image up top.

I can’t stress enough the value of using old-school tools like pencils and notebooks if you really want to level-up as a craftsman.

Steel rulers

A steel ruler is best as you can cut against it without destroying it. You can use a plastic ruler or another straight-edged object, but you might find you start carving pieces off it.

I work in metric, usually with millimetres, so I recommend either a 300mm or 400mm steel ruler. I also use a much heavier 400mm steel Builders Square, but that’s another purchase that can wait until later as well.

After awhile, you’ll want to get a few different sizes of steel rulers. They all come in handy for different projects.

Here’s a picture of my collection of steel rulers. As you can see, not all rulers need to be straight…!

Even though I work mainly in metric, you’ll see that some of my rulers also use inches.

This isn’t my preference, but sometimes it’s just handy for me to convert between the two especially if I’m working with a pattern that someone else has made.

Click the image below if you want to order one from Amazon. Expect to pay around USD$10.

Notebooks

If you follow my work, you’ll also see shots of my notebook. I often like to sketch plans or make notes using blank ink gel pens.

You need a notebook is for drawing plans in and making notes about what you do. Just get a cheap one if you’re not sure what to do.

Later you can buy something more expensive and make a beautiful notebook cover for it. I like to use hardback Moleskine notebooks with grid pages like the one in the images below.

The gridlines make it easy for me to draw shapes or get things in proportion. A maths book would also work.

Here are some of my notebooks including a couple that I made leather covers for.

Later you can buy something more expensive and make a beautiful notebook cover for it. I like to use hardback Moleskine notebooks with grid pages like the one in the images.

The gridlines make it easy for me to draw shapes or get things in proportion. A maths book would also work.

Here are some of my notebooks including a couple that I made leather covers for.

Later you can buy something more expensive and make a beautiful notebook cover for it. I like to use hardback Moleskine notebooks with grid pages like the one in the images.

The gridlines make it easy for me to draw shapes or get things in proportion. A maths book would also work.

Here are some of my notebooks including a couple that I made leather covers for.

Yes, you can record your notes and plans on a computer or device. However, I like to encourage people to work with physical tools as well.

This means making and taking notes the old-fashioned way. Watch out as it can be addictive…!

Click the image below if you want to get a Classic Squared Moleskine like the ones I use. Expect to pay around USD$13 for something like this below.

But remember, you don’t need to spend that to get started. Just get a cheap notebook for now.

How To Make Cool Stuff – 50 Minute Craftsmanship Masterclass & eBook

Why You Need to Have a Hobby - Morning Brew with Hunter Drew Episode 50 Graeme Smith

Embrace the Way of the Craftsman

Do you remember what it was like to hang out in your grandfather’s workshop? Do you want to know how to literally MAKE meaning in your life and the lives of others? Do you want to get in touch with the idea of doing a job well for its own sake?

Making, building and creating ARE thinking and you can learn to do it. You can learn a craft and even make the nice things that you want to have. Embrace the Way of the Craftsman and discover how today.

NEW – How To Make Cool Stuff now comes bundled with FREE 50 Minute Masterclass

  • As well as this ebook and some other freebies, you’ll get my 50-minute masterclass – Exploring Craft and Craftsmanship

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CHECK OUT HOW TO MAKE COOL STUFF – LEARN NEW SKILLS, DO A GOOD JOB AND EMBRACE THE WAY OF THE CRAFTSMAN BY GRAEME SMITH

Click the link below to find out more about How to Make Cool Stuff – Learn new skills, do a good job and embrace the Way of the Craftsman

Learn how you can kickstart your leatherwork hobby with the right tools for cheap

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Make your own cool stuff out of leather

If you’re reading this it’s might be because you imagine what it’s like to make your own cool stuff out of leather. Just think of it… wallets, bags, all kind of accessories… There’s so much cool stuff to make. Here’s what you’re thinking right now:

  • What’s something creative I can do that won’t break the bank?
  • Do I really want to get started with leatherwork?
  • What tools do I need to buy?
  • How do I avoid spending too much money before I know whether I’ll like it?

Pay what you want for this short guide and I’ll answer all your questions. Read more here and check out SMITH BROS on Instagram.

CHECK OUT SMITHBROS LEATHERWORK QUICKSTART TOOLS GUIDE BY GRAEME SMITH

Click the link below to find out more about Smith Bros Leatherwork Quickstart Tools Guide

Using Medical Scalpels for Craft and Leatherwork

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Because an insanely sharp knife doesn’t have to break the bank

Everyone has their own idea about what to use for cutting leather and other materials. But we can all agree on one thing – a craftsman needs a good blade. Whether you’re starting out or not there is nothing worse than blunt tools.

  • Are you tired of sharpening blades?
  • Are you sick of snapping the tips off Exacto knives?
  • Have you been wondering what to get to replace that rusty Stanley knife?

Pay what you want for this short guide to using medical scalpels for craft and leatherwork. Read more here

CHECK OUT USING MEDICAL SCALPELS FOR CRAFT & LEATHERWORK BY GRAEME SMITH

Click the link below to find out more about Using Medical Scalpels for Craft and Leatherwork

Follow Smith Bros on Instagram

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Follow Smith Bros projects on Instagram

Follow Smith Bros projects step by step on Instagram. I make all kinds of stuff from short, fun Sunday afternoon projects to much longer more involved work.

You’ll be able to see the exact tools and techniques that I use to create cool stuff that I love to make and use.

CHECKOUT SMITH BROS LEATHERWORK ON INSTAGRAM

BY GRAEME SMITH

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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