I began working with leather seven years ago when I stumbled across it during the hunt for the perfect collar for my dog, Paco. Since I’ve never taken a class, most of the following techniques are either self-taught or passed on to me by old-time leather workers.

When working with leather, remember that it falls under the same rules as wood, metal, and stone: measure twice, cut once, and when you can’t beat it, learn to work with it.