by Jane Trash
What you’ll need:
- Embossed Leather Tag Kit
- Low-tack painter’s tape
- Wooden block or ruler
- Hammer or mallet
- Cutting board
- X-ACTO knife
Leather is more receptive to being stamped when it’s damp. Dip your leather pieces into a bowl of water. They don’t need to soak, just dampen them.
Let the leather dry. It’s ready to use when it has almost returned to the color of dried leather.
Try a few mock-up drawings before you start. You can use an X-ACTO knife to trim the shape of your luggage tag before you start.
I found if difficult to eyeball the layout because it’s very easy for a few letters to be crooked and make the whole piece look wonky. So I used low-tack masking tape for my lines. (Tip: If you use a high-tack tape, it can tear at the fibers of the leather when you remove it. You can usually combat this by not pressing the tape down too hard, or use a bit of water on your finger to massage away the unwanted texture on the leather.)
Hold your ruler or wooden block on the tape line and put your letter punch up against the flat surface to ensure straight, properly lined-up lettering.
It’s hammer time. Do your hammering on a steady surface. You don’t need to use that much force — one sharp tap, straight down on the top of the letter punch should suffice. If you didn’t apply enough pressure, you can carefully realign the stamp and do it again.
Working on a proper cutting board will absorb a lot of the sound. (I cheated and used scissors to make a period on the tie clip.)
Gently peel off your layout material. Smooth out unwanted textures (See tip from step three).
Loop your leather cord through the hole to complete your luggage tag.
Use an epoxy to glue your small leather-stamped piece to your tie clip. Let dry and wear!