Project: Upcycling Ethically Sourced Leather Scraps

The origins of the materials I use are just as important to me as my intentions of use, final outcome,  and the impact on the world thoughout.

Sourcing Leather

Each of my leather accessories is sourced from a cobbler, who sources his leather from Aurora Shoe Company‘s scraps, who sourced their leather ethically and locally from Horween Leather Company.

So in a way, they’re 3 times upcycled/recycled! So far I’ve used this project to create accessories like brooches, and leather patches. However, I’m always open to more suggestions! I have found quite a love for painting on leather after all ?.

Leather Types

The types of leather I use are:

  • Horween Leather: a beautiful high-grade full-grain leather. It’s flexible, and ages in unique and beautiful ways. In fact, they’re what NFL footballs & NBA basketballs are made from. The two colors I work with are:
    • Black
    • Olive
  • Veg-Tan Leather: a thicker leather at 8-9 oz. It is a vegetable-tanned cowhide that is top-medium grade from Springfield Leather Company.


What do I do with the leather? Like stated earlier, I’ve found various ways to put this leather to good use. Like painting them and turning them into custom leather patches & brooches for people. The leather is so thick, it is able to hold up well and wear in a cool way. I’ve even been experimenting with layering the leather and testing what all I can do with it in that sense.

   I’ve also had my husband cut out rectangles for me, which I then paint and turn into trays. They have been focused around being Dungeons and Dragons themed, but I can do about any theme. I think they would actually be perfect for keys or candy (that’s what we tend to use some of them for, haha). Recently, I’ve even been experimenting with painting leather wallets, cases, and bags that he’s created. I more-or-less can’t help painting on any surface I find.

Various Creations

Do you also play around with leather? I’d love to see/hear about your projects!

Thanks for listening, and as always —

stay strange,

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