How to Set Copper Rivets

If you're unfamiliar with copper rivets, they're one of the strongest rivets you can use to hold two (or more) pieces of leather together.  Here's a list of the tools you'll need, but they're also listed in our video below:

  • Leather
  • Copper Rivets & Burrs
  • Copper Rivet Setter (must match your size of copper rivets, e.g. #12, #9, etc.)
  • 5 oz. piece of leather ¾” x 1 ½” or similar (this will be your spacer gauge)
  • Mallet or Maul
  • Ball Peen Hammer
  • Side Cutters or End Cutters
  • Two piece rivet setter

Drop us a line if you have any questions at all! We're happy to help!


Ever wondered how to create a fold in thick leather?!

When you're making a leather box, a bag, or really anything that requires a distinct fold, there are specific tools that will make your job a lot easier! I should mention that this works in thick leather.  In the video below, we're using a vegetable tanned cowhide in 8/9 oz.

First, a gouge is a great tool to carve a channel out of the leather in a direct line.  This is the tool you'll see first in the video.  Sean is using the tool up against a steel square to ensure a nice straight line.  Gouges are available in different styles.  What Sean is using is a vintage tool called a "carving tool."  However, more common these days are "adjustable V gouges" or "adjustable U gouges."  If you think about the shape of both of those letters, that's the shape you'll get from the tool.  The adjustable part is handy so you can take less or more leather out depending on the thickness of the leather or the project you're making.

The second tool Sean uses is called a French Edger.  This tool can be used to skive down the edges of your leather, or as Sean is doing, take some directly out of the middle.  Once he used the gouge to create the first channel, you'll then see him use the French Edger on either side of that gouge to take out another section.  This allows room on either side of the channel for a nice fold.  If you don't take this section out, the fold may have some trouble.

If you have any questions about either of these tools, don't hesitate to drop us a line! We're happy to help!

Tundra Leather
August 15, 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