Handmade Giving for Men - FREE Leather Tray Tutorial

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Handmade Giving for Men - FREE Leather Tray Tutorial

Welcome to the next installment of Handmade Giving! Today we are rounding up our favorite handmade gifts for guys - including a new free pattern! Men can be hard to buy gifts for, much less make, but it's not impossible! We've tracked some of our favorite that we think would be great for any guy on your list. But first we want to share with you our latest project - the leather tray. The leather tray has a classic look that honestly anyone would love, but it works well for men as a bedside table catch-all in the large size which finishes at 4" x 5". The small size finishes at 2 1/2" x 4" and perfectly fits business cards and adds a little style to any desk. The large size requires about an 8" square of leather while the small size uses a 6" square. We have a good leather selection in the shop as well as leather scrap bags that could work well to create your own tray. (Feel free to check out the contents of the scrap bag to make sure it has what you're looking for. Ordering online? Let us know what your plans are and we'll make sure you receive what you need.) Print the Leather Tray Pattern and cut out the pattern. Trace the pattern onto the suede side of the leather using a chalk pencil. Cut the leather using a sharp scissor, rotary cutter, or blade such as an exact knife. (Leather will dull your fabric scissor, so best not to risk using that.) Following the pattern piece, score the leather on the suede side. For thinner leather (2mm or less) scoring the leather with a Bamboo Point Turner should be sufficient. If you are using a 3mm or thicker leather you may need to score it by actually cutting into the leather just slightly on the smooth side of the leather. This will create a grid-like effect on the leather that looks nice. Mark the points from the pattern onto the leather. To do this, stick a large needle or awl through the circle on the pattern, then match it up on the leather and mark the point with a pencil. Fold the edges up on all sides of the tray (work the leather a bit if it doesn't want to stay folded) then fold the triangle corners in to connect with the leather side perpendicular to it. Clip into place using Wonder Clips. If you plan to hand-sew the leather in place you can just thread a large sewing needle and stick it through the leather to connect the triangle tab with the tray. If your leather is too thick to get the needle through you may need to pre-punch the holes using a leather punch or an awl. Stitch all four triangular tabs. We used a double strand of polyester thread and went back and forth several times to secure each tab. If you would rather rivet the tray together mark the points from the pattern, then use a leather punch or awl to create a hole. Fold the triangular tab in and mark the spot the hole matches up with on the tray. Again, create a hole using the punch or awl. Insert the rivet through the two holes and place the back piece on the rivet. The rivets we have in the shop temporarily snap together, which is helpful to keep your tray together while you prepare the press the rivet together. Stop in the shop to use our press to finish this step - we would be happy to show you how! Otherwise there are rivet sets that you can purchase for home use that just use a hammer to set the rivet. Enjoy your leather tray! Here are more great gift ideas for men:

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