Dyeing and Slicking the Edges of my Leather Straps

I make all the straps for my purses but order my leather blanks from a supplier in Saskatchewan because he understand leather better than I do, and has the equipment to cut them exactly the same length. All the rest I do myself.

First up is to take the sharp edge off, and that is done with a hand held beveller. I run it along the edge of the leather strap at a slight angle and it shaves off a tiny bit to round out the edges. All four sides have to be done, and I’m left with a whole pile of fun curly cue stuff!

Then the edges must be dyed to match the leather, so out comes my little dauber, which is dipped into the dye and run carefully along the edges. You can see below, the before and after, or in this case, the after and before!


Here is the dye, which has clearly been used, and the Gum Tragacanth that I use, both of which I get from Tandy Leather. The Gum is used to help slick the edges to a nice, smooth finish.

Dye and gum.JPG

I’m not a city slicker, as I live in the country (haha), but use a wooden slicker tool attached to my drill, and spin that along the edges to create a nice smooth finish. 


Now you can slide your strap along smoothly and carry your new NNT purse with confidence. After that, out comes the rivets and swivel clasp to finish the strap. The holes are measured carefully and punched by hand with this punch and a rubber mallet, then hammered in with the same mallet. My shoulders are always pretty tired after a day of strap making!


Tada! The final resulting strap, dark, smooth edges and sturdy hardware. It’s ready to clip onto your bag. The next step is to punch holes in the bag itself and attach the strap tabs with more rivets. My work is never done! Tomorrow is another day, but right now, it’s wine o’clock…..