I wanted a way of identifying my ski boot bag in case of loss and to differentiate it from anyone else who may have the same one. I could have put a traditional luggage tag on, but I’m a maker after all and I wanted it to look cool and not dangle from the bag as I felt that would be annoying and possibly get broken.
I had been experimenting with Leather Embossing using 3D printed stamps on a small scale and this presented the perfect opportunity to scale up and try something else.
It needed my name and my phone number on and I wanted to have a Ski related design. I had recently had a new tattoo after a ski trip and it seemed like the perfect design for my leather patch. I imported a photo of my tattoo into Inkscape and traced the design. Unfortunately due to some overzealous tidying of my Google Drive and a failed sync… I have lost the SVG and cannot take any in-progress photos to show this technique. 😢
I used Inkscape to generate the text around the mountain design and the edges of the stamp. I also generated a dotted border that would provide a guide for the stitch holes once embossed into the leather. This made sure that everything would be more accurately aligned and neater in the final patch. I could make sure I was totally happy with the design and text size/placement before I got anywhere near a piece of leather. I then mirrored the finished design in Inkscape as I would need the stamp to be mirrored to make the text on the final patch the right way around.
This gave me an SVG that I was able to import into Tinkercad and turn in to a 3D model. I had to import it in stages to build up the final 3D model. I coloured them differently in Tinkercad to make it easier to tweak the design. I made the stitch line 0.5mm shorter than the cut line and embossed image/text so that it would be more lightly embossed than the rest and less likely to show through under the stitches.
I then was able to export to an STL which I sliced in Cura before 3D Printing on my Crealty Ender 2.
I then wet a piece of leather and left the stamp clamped on to the leather overnight.
Finally, I cut the patch around the solid border, punched the stitch holes on the embossed dotted line, bevelled and burnished the edges, and treated it with beeswax before using a saddle stitch in a black waxed thread to sew it to my bag.
I’m really chuffed with the final design. As you may have spotted I realised that as I was going abroad with my Ski Boots, I needed to have the UK dialling code on my phone number, so I added that using a separate stamp to add to the existing patch. I also refined my technique during the course of this process and made another stamp for a friend. I have some further enhancements in mind to make more designs.
The uses for 3D Printing in Leathercraft are really exciting and have really opened up what I have been able to produce.