Sewing a Personalized Leather Tool Roll

Craft & Design Workshop Yarncraft
Sewing a Personalized Leather Tool Roll

One of the great things about the maker movement is how it attracts people from different walks of life, different skill sets, a range of ages, and people from all over the world. Each person brings their own personality, interests, and style to their making activities. A great case in point is Minni, a maker from Finland. She calls her new YouTube channel Minimalist Maker, and true to the name, her projects focus on (so far) leather and wood projects with a minimalist sensibility. To date, she’s done things like a simple wooden stool, a no-sew leather eyeglasses case, and a wood and brass candle holder.

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In this project, Minni decides she wants something a little more durable and attractive to hold her chisels in than the cardboard box they came in. While many makers migt do something totally utilitarian and drab-looking, Minni designs and sews up a gorgeous gray, soft-leather tool roll that wouldn’t look out of place as a stylish handbag. Red carpet tool couture?

We’ve been talking here recently about the idea of creating your own tool mark, a “brand” that you use to identify your tools. In this video, Minni ends up sewing her “MM” (Minimalist Maker) logo into the cover and on the strap of the roll. This obviously fits in with the fashionable handbag-quality style she was going for, but it just as easily serves as a useful tool mark for keeping track of her tools. An “MM” branded into the handle of each chisel would complete the identification.

I love how, in addition to the Materials and Tools lists in the videos’ descriptions, she also always includes a couple of useful tips. For this video, she offers:

Never use steam when ironing leather.
Use iron-on stabilizer on the soft leather edges.
Use good ventilation when gluing, contact cement can have a very strong smell.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn


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