Things to do in The Village!

So this is me, on a cold snowy day in #TheVillage

The Village is our little area of downtown Hamilton, also known as the International Village BIA.  It encompasses West Street to Mary Street, and King Street to Main Street. It's a cozy little nook that needs more attention, so here I am to shine some light on all the businesses that deserve it!  Please note that the list below is just a personal list, and doesn't encompass EVERY shop in The Village.  It's just the places I know and love.  I should mention that in writing this post, I learned about more I should (and will) be checking out.  For a comprehensive list, click here.

Also, these notes were originally posted for Valentine's Day, so some of the sales/promotions have probably expired.  But check out their IG accounts, FB pages, and websites for current info!

Places to Visit 

Café Oranje (312 King Street East)

Tianna, Chris, and Mina (and their team) have a sweet little nook where you can come in from the heat, cold, rain, etc., get greeted with a friendly smile and get a gooood cup of coffee with beans from local roasters (Vintage, Signal, and Relay).  They also do teas lattes from Parkermann's Fine Tea Co. (I would recommend the Hamilton Harvest tea latte for sure).  They have yummy in house made food, soups, and baked goods, and also feature outside bakers, including weekends donuts from Donut Monster, as well as various treats from the ever-amazing Cake and Loaf Bakery.

I should also mention they have this adorable box of handmade cards from A. Strong Design, and some of the proceeds go to our local YWCA!








Canna Gems (315 King Street East)

Britney and Carina have got some gorgeous glass pendants in stock, made by some of the best flameworkers in North America. This one below is called "Flower of Life" and you've got to see it in person! It's amazing!  They also have a signature line of jewelery, which you can check out in store or custom order!








Cherry Birch General (219 King Street East)

Lisa's got the new shop on the block, and it's a great addition! She's got foodie treats that you can't find just anywhere, and a new home section with awesome soaps, lotions, candles, etc. Ok, now on to the important stuff...she's an AMAZING baker! Literally... the scones, muffins, and cookies are fresh baked daily and are to die for. She's got some awesome coffee and latte skills as well.

My initial post on the BIA's Instragram account was about Valentine's day, but I get the impression Lisa is going to make each holiday something special!

Her Valentine's game is STRONG!

❤Feature Valentine's drink is Raspberry Hot Chocolate (pictured), made with scratch made syrups.
❤Pre-order Valentines treats for you love, including cookies and chocolate dipped brown butter crispy rice hearts!
❤ If you spend $30 in store, she'll even gift wrap your purchase with a beautiful box and ribbon! Foodie lovers - this is a great gift!

Circle Studios (12 Ferguson Avenue North)

Melanie has made this yoga studio into one of the most friendly, inclusive, calming, and all around happy places I've been to in a long time!  I took part on my first yoga class in 3 years the other day, and it was a Warm Vinyasa Flow class during lunch!  The instructor (Pip) was very inclusive and welcoming.  I didn't feel at all out of place.  In fact, I felt right at home.  Melanie also offers Aerial Yoga at lunch, too, which I'm excited/scared to try!  She's got beautiful things for sale as well. Stop in - you'll be happy you did!








Cosplay FTW (225 King Street East)

Check out this awesome Rick and Morty wall! I'm a little embarrassed to admit that Toni and Jo had to tell me what Rick and Morty was....😳 These ladies are so friendly and their store is full up with awesome Cosplay accessories!  All of their plushies and mugs are 10% off until Feb 14th, and you can use the coupon code COSPLAYLOVE10 on their website (valid until Feb 20th)!








Gameopolis (223 King Street East)

Jess and Nick are super fun people and you can tell that straight away, when you walk into their awesome board game lounge. Not only do they sell ALL of the board games, but for $5 you can play any of their 1000+ games (and no time limit👍)!  Did I mention Jess is an amazing vegan baker and they have beer? I feel like I can just stop more words needed.  Pop in, say hi, and play a game or two.  I personally love Braintopia, which I maybe have purchased for more than one person this past Christmas.








Girl on the Wing (181 King Street East)

Whitney takes care in stocking her shop with the most amazing lovely little things! I think her website sums it up - "vintage clothing and nostalgic wares; a well-curated collection of lovely little things; each piece is part of a lifestyle focused on beauty, whimsy and dreams."  You get that feeling immediately when you open the door.  Currently, you should pop in to see her awesome stock of Valentine's Day cards! There's one for everyone!








JH Gordon Books (314 King Street East)

Julie has helped me build almost my entire collection of John Irving works. She's very well-read and can help you find specific titles when available.  Julie has a wonderful selection of new and used books. She only stocks the best in gently used literary fiction, classic literature, award-winning Science fiction and Fantasy, and scholarly and general non-fiction titles. Her new books focus on local authors, which is awesome!

❤ Pop in to see her selection of Valentine's day books, while they last!







Out of the Past Clothing (185 King Street East - soon to be 308 Ottawa Street North)

They've got an amazing selection of vintage/previously owned clothing and accessories.  Sadly, they're leaving us soon (they've got a primo spot on Ottawa Street starting March 1st, so they're not far), so take advantage of their clearance section!  All the dresses that are already marked down, take an ADDITIONAL 10% OFF!








Rock N Tees (199 King Street East)

I've been getting my band tees here since as long as I can remember. And I think I'm in love with these Docs!  Since 1984 (!!) Rock 'N' Tees has been serving the local community with everything Rock and Roll, including band merch, custom printing, converse, Dr. Martens, Vans, etc.

❤ Yea, you could probably get this stuff online.. but why would you? Next time you need some cool Docs or Vans, pop in. You'll be excited by the selection!









Steel City Studio (327 King Street East)

Nadine and Jen are super fun and have total taken co-working in a new direction with their studio.  It's a membership based space for crafters who don't want the hassle of trying to work from home.  You take out your stuff and put it on the kitchen table, and then you put it all away in time for dinner? No thank you!  You can leave your stuff out in this shared studio space (with your own designated "area") and work on it as you can/want to.  They also offer some classes and events, and they're very community based!

I don't have any pics because everyone was busy working when I went by, but what do you expect? Check out their IG and FB pages for lots of fun pics!


Studio 205 (205 King Street East)

Mel, Vito, and Trisha are so welcoming and friendly, you'll feel right at home when you walk in! They have an amazing selection of 100% CANADIAN MADE products, with something for everyone. I literally can't go in without finding something I want to purchase. They have also have yummy treats and make a good strong coffee or latte.

They have a big selection of Valentine's gifts and cards for guys and gals, as well as FREE gift wrapping (every day)!







The Fizz Sandwich and Soda (217 King Street East)

The Fizz opened up last year and Trevor's got a bunch of yummy sandwiches on the menu.  We needed a lunch spot downtown, and he's definitely delivered.  Also - I love soda water, and Trevor does all kinds of yummy sodas, featuring real fruit flavouring! Yum!

Check out his website for pics and information.  He also uses Skip the Dishes!!


Theatre Aquarius (190 King William Street)

It's amazing that we have a theatre this close to us, and I personally need to take advantage of that a little more. They've got three shows on from now through May, and they all sound great.  I'm literally looking into tickets right now.  We've got some great talent in our city, so check it out!


Thrifty Designer (203 King Street East)

Leslie reuses, recycles, repurposes, and repairs quality used clothing.  She's also a hoot; she works with wine on her sewing table so she's a girl after my own heart!  There are so many wonderful items in store, and you can see the scarf I purchased at the top of this post (it used to be a kilt)!









Thuya Floral Arts (191 King Street East)

If you're looking for contemporary arrangements, or something different/specific, Tasha has something for you!  She can definitely help you with any of your floral needs.  Her shop is new, but it fits right into our little village.  Pop in and see what flowers she's got in stock! She's also got a section of modern gifts - so cute.


True Hamiltonian (249 King Street East)

I love the pride I feel when I put on my Hamilton is Home shirt! Max did a great job by making us feel even more united! If you haven't been in lately, you've got to see some of the cool stuff in store!  Everything you need to show your pride in your city!


Tundra Leather (313 King Street East)

This is our shop - check out the rest of your site to see what we have to offer.  Have a custom leatherwork project in mind?! Message us for details.  Need some help with pricing leather, tools, and supplies? Send us an email!


Tundra Music (257 King Street East)

Fender Custom Shop and Master Built Guitars, their stuff is absolutely gorgeous! So many one of a kind guitars and over 300 Fender Custom Shop Guitars!  Stop in if you have any questions for them!


Vintage Soul Geek (279 King Street East)

I have a soft spot in my heart for vintage things, and Nick's definitely always got something amazing! He and Connie have a great eye for beautiful vintage things, and they're always on the hunt for more.  There's ALWAYS something new in there store! Pop in and say hi, you won't regret it! ❤


Zoran Designs (285 King Street East)

Maja has an amazing eye for gorgeous jewellery, and a wonderful selection of unique jewellery! I've definitely got a few lovely pairs of earrings from her shop and they're top quality!  Maja also likes 🍷 (another girl after my own heart)!









Thanks for reading!

Tundra Leather
Written February 14, 2018

DIY Leather Clutch Purse

If you're looking to learn to make your own clutch purse, you've come to the right place! 

If you don't know already, we are a leather supply shop in Hamilton, Ontario, and we sell everything you need to make your own leather goods.  In this post we'll specifically go over what you need to make a clutch purse, and how to do it!

If you're in the area, we also offer DIY Clutch Purse Classes!  You can check out all of our current classes here.


- Leather (5/6 oz. in thickness, approximately 12" x 24") - for more information on thicknesses, click here.
- Hole punch with stitching (we use/sell a hand held spring hole punch that punches a 00 size hole, or 1/16")
- Hole punch for hardware (we use a small belt punch/drive punch) - you could get away with only using this punch for both hardware and stitching
- Harness Needles (size 00, also referred to as 2/0)
- Thread (we use .035", or .9 mm polyester waxed cord)
- Contact cement (we use Stick-Um brand)
- Button stud or other closure
- Rotary cutter or box cutter style knife
- Metal square


1. Use a rotary cutter (or other knife) and a metal square to cut your piece of leather into a perfect rectangle (feel free to make it your own - we only suggest 12" x 24" as a good size)
2. With the good side facing down, fold your leather into a clutch shape, by folding the bottom piece up into the middle, and then the top piece down.  It should look like a little clutch purse.  You can play around with this until you get the size/shape you want.  At this stage, you can play around with the flap, to give you whatever look you're going for!

3. Open the top flap so that all you have is the bottom part folded into the middle (like the clutch is open).  Mark two little dashes at the sides of the leather with pen, so you know where to glue!

4. While the clutch is "open" like this, figure out where you want your closure (button stud or snap).  Simply mark this spot with a dot
5. Punch this hole (through only this first layer) using a belt punch, but then cut a little slit as well - this will allow the button stud to go through easily
6. Use this hole as a pattern to mark the hole underneath, then punch this hole as well (just a plain hole, no slit)

7. Attach the button stud or snap base (keep in mind, button studs are much easier to use for beginners)

8. Using the dashes that you marked on the leather, add glue to the edges - this will keep everything in place while you're sewing

9. When the glue is dry-ish (tacky), after about 1-2 minutes, fold the bottom up to those dashes, to make it look more like a clutch again

10. Mark your stitches onto the leather with a pen (we use a template made out of cardboard, but you can also use the metal square) - to make the cardboard template, measure 1/4" or 1/2" in from the edge of the cardboard and draw a line.  Then measure 1/4" or 1/2" apart along that line, and draw small lines.  When those lines intersect, punch a hole.  This will give you an easy template to use over and over again.

12. Punch through both layers of leather according to your template/measurements
13. Get your needle and about a full arm-span of thread, put a needle onto the thread

14. Tie a knot in the end of the thread and start on bottom inside, so you can hide the knot inside
15. Do whatever stitch appeals to you (blanket stitch, saddle stitch, double loop stitch, whip stitch)
16. When you get to the top of the first side, try to tie a knot on the inside, again to hide that thread

17. Do the same stitch on the other side, and you're all done!






If you have any questions about this blog post, or about purchasing tools/materials, don't hesitate to click here to drop us a line!  We're happy to help!

Thanks for reading!

Tundra Leather
Written February 5, 2018

Winter 2018 Class Schedule

As the holidays wind down, it's time to think about what you'll be doing to get through the rest of this cold winter...

Click here to check out our January - March 2018 Class Schedule!

Sign up online, by phone, or by email!

We'll see you soon...


How to UP your Stamping and Tooling GAME!

Stamping and Tool - Here's a Time-Saving Tip!

Do you ever get so frustrated sitting at your work station tap..tap...tapppping away at your project? Did you know you can save SO much time by using a plastic swivel knife beveler, as opposed to a craftool beveling tool?

Above is a picture of a swivel knife with a blade (left) and a plastic swivel knife beveler (right).  It's got a straight edge, which you put into your swivel knife cuts (similar to a beveler tool), but instead of tapping away, you drag it along, as if you were cutting.  It takes a decent amount of hand pressure, but the results are amazing!

Check out the smooth appearance of the two bottom bevels (using the plastic swivel knife beveler), as opposed to the top bevel (using a regular craftool beveler).  It really gets into the cut to burnish the leather.

Here's a video showing the time savings!

Thanks for reading! Let us know if you have any questions!

Tundra Leather
Written October 26, 2017

All the leatherworking knowledge you didn't know you needed!

Have you got questions about leatherworking terms, measurements, and definitions?

Well...we finally got a new website! It was time to take our website into the 21st century with better pictures, better links, and better information.  Because of this, we now have the ability to share more information with you!

If you check out the "Leather" section on our homepage (see image below), you can see plenty of helpful information to get you started or keep you going in your leatherworking journey.  We often have questions about what different parts of leather are called, or what thicknesses are in ounces, millimeters, or irons.  All of this information is now up and we're happy to share!

If you think something is missing, or you'd like more information listed there, please comment below and we'll do out best to help you access the knowledge you need!

Thanks for reading!

Tundra Leather
Written October 13, 2017

Classes at Tundra in Fall 2017...

Hello Fall...

Our new fall schedule is out, and we're happy to be offering a full range of classes leading up to Christmas.  It's a busy time for us, but we want people to learn the skills they need to make their own Christmas/holiday presents.  Some of our classes are project based, meaning you leave with a finished product - makes a wonderful Christmas gift!  If you don't see a class listed, but you have questions about how to make something, feel free to contact us and we're happy to help you in your project making!

Check out our FALL Flyer and CLASS SCHEDULE (click "sign up now") here!






Summer 2017 Class Schedule


Our Summer 2017 Class Schedule is now out!

Click here to download a PDF copy!

We've just launched a new website, so signing up for our classes is even easier than it was before!  You can still contact us to register (email, phone, or in person), but now you can register online! Keeping in mind that when you "check out" from our site, there will be no payment taken.  You'll receive a confirmation email for the class, but payment is not due until the night of the class.  You can always pay in advance, but it's not necessary.

That being said, we've got a lot of fun classes offered this summer!

Interested in learning more about hand-stitching? Sign up for one of our two hand-stitching classes this summer and you'll learn everything you need to know.  While you won't leave with a finishes product after this class, you'll be able to learn the intricacies of hand-stitching, and ask all the questions you want about different techniques, tools, thread, etc.!

If you're not interested in skills-based classes, perhaps you want to make something that you can take home with you that night? We've got belt making classes, purse making classes, and small wallet making classes!

Check it out and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to call, email, or pop in!


Topical Leather Finishes

Which product is right for which project? A question we're often asked when it comes to sealing up your beautiful work!

Fiebing’s Neutral Acrylic Resolene

This is a very popular clear top finish, mostly used over dyed or antiqued leather. Fiebing’s says it’s “flexible, durable, and water resistant.” If you’re looking for something to avoid stains or spots, this one would work. Best applied with a piece of sheepskin or a damp sponge. It will go on slightly blue-ish, but dry to a glossy finish.

Fiebing’s Neutral Leather Balm with Atom Wax

This is also a clear top finish, which I really like. It’s a liquid wax formula, which allows for a beautiful polished luster effect. Goes on well over a dyed or natural piece of vegetable tanned cowhide. Unlike the Acrylic Resolene, this is not a water resistant top coat, and because of this, it's more susceptible to staining.  This is wonderful if you're going to need to re-condition the piece down the road, as the condition will absorb through the atom wax finish.  Best applied with a piece of sheepskin or a damp sponge. Once dry, buff well with another clean piece of sheepskin or soft cloth. This will really make it glow.

Fiebing’s Bag Kote

Fiebing’s says, “preferred by saddle makers, Bag Kote will give a soft, satin finish no other product can achieve.” It’s the original formula developed by John Fiebing, in the beginning. What we like about it is that it provides depth of colour to a project, while providing a nice satin top coat. If you’ve got something that just doesn’t look dark enough black (perhaps something you’ve just dyed that’s not finished yet), Black Bag Kote will provide that solid black look. We also apply it to finished bags and purses that need an extra black touch up. Not water resistant, but wonderful for depth. Best applied with a piece of sheepskin or a sponge. Available in black, brown, and neutral!

 Fiebing’s Leather Sheen Spray

This is a flexible wax finish spray. It’s great for projects that you don’t want to rub another finish onto. When we’re using Hi-Liter to sharpen and define our swivel knife cuts, we don’t want to be rubbing something on top and risk moving the hi-liter around. A couple quick coats of spray Leather Sheen and you’re good to go. Also good for use on saddles, tack, shoes, and smooth leather bags!
Krylon UV Resistant Gloss Spray This is a tough protective coating that does not yellow with age. It also keeps the colours more true to their original state. We use this top coat when we’re working with coloured dyes that have a tendency to augment when subjected to sunlight (blue, purple, green, red, etc.). This top coat is smudge resistant and moisture resistant.

Tandy Leather Eco-Flo Super Shene

We like this product because it’s a water-based low VOC (volatile organic compounds) version or other similar top finishes. It’s durable, shiny, and water-repellent. Works well on top of a dyed piece of vegetable tanned cowhide. Seals in colour. We use this when we want to then apply Hi-Liter to stamping and tooling. - Apply with a wet sponge - Two solid coats of super shene - Allow to dry completely - Apply Hi-Liter with a brush into your cuts - Allow to dry - Lightly buff off excess Hi-Liter with a damp sponge - Spray with 1-2 coats of Leather Sheen Spray or Krylon UV Resistant Gloss (allowing to dry between each coat)
Tandy Leather Eco-Flo Satin Shene Satin Shene is the same as above, but with a non-glossy satin coat.

If you have any questions about any of these products, feel free to call, email, or pop in and we can show you what we mean with a quick demo!

Thanks very much for your interest!
Kristi Grove,
Tundra Leather
Written July 11, 2016

Looking to weather proof your leather boots before winter?

Did you know that a typical leather boot can soak up to a pound of water? That's not good during our harsh Canadian winters.

Sno-Seal Original Beeswax Waterproofing protects leather from rain, sun, snow, and salt! The beeswax formula dries to a solid wax that stays put in the surface of the leather so it lasts longer.

Part of the importance of leather tanning is to obtain the right amount of oils in the leather. Unlike other products, Sno-Seal acts as a barrier, but does not clog the natural pores of your leather.

Drop in and we'll explain how to go about using Sno-Seal to keep your feet dry and warm this winter!

Much of the above information was taken from the Sno-Seal website, but we thought it would be very helpful in explaining why we really do like this awesome product.

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

Kristi, Tundra Leather


Note: The opinions expressed above are just that - opinions. They are based on our years of working with leather and specifically the experiences of Peter and Sean. Tundra Leather is not responsible for the use of this product, or the damage it may cause if used incorrectly. Please read and follow all product labels. Always, always, always test products on a discreet spot prior to apply to the whole item; it's almost impossible to go back. Please contact us for more information at 905-527-7745.