DIYdiy projects

DIY Project: Leather Folders

by Grace Bonney

Design*Sponge | DIY Project: Leather Folders
I’m an avid believer in surrounding ourselves with things that inspire our work, because after all, work is what we spend most of our time doing. Though, maybe we can’t exactly watch our favorite TV shows or sip on scotch while we work (as much as I know that those things inspire me), we can always personalize the very things we work with every day to make them a bit more special. So for the papers, receipts, notebooks, tablet, e-reader – whatever it is that you keep around your workspace – these leather file folders will provide chic, stylish and fun storage for them. –Amy Kim

Click through for the full how-to after the jump!

-leather (smaller folder uses an 8.5 x 11″ piece and larger folder uses an 11.5 x 18″ piece) *We used black and natural leather we found online
-rotary cutter and/or X-ACTO knife
-two leather stitching needles
-waxed thread
-leather awl


markings 1. Use a pencil and ruler to draw out the tab shapes on opposite ends of the leather.

rotary cutter 2. Cut along the pencil lines with a rotary cutter and/or X-ACTO knife while holding a ruler right along the lines for straight cutting.

You should end up with a piece of leather that looks like this:

filer folder cutout

mallet 3. Fold over the leather so that the bottom edge comes up just a little short of lining up with the top edge and use a mallet to pound along the fold. Cover the leather with a towel to protect it from mallet marks.

threaded 4. Thread a stitching needle and poke the needle through the thread.

twisted 5. Pull the needle through the thread, then twist the thread tight.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 to the other end of the thread.

awl 1 7. Pierce a hole with a leather awl through both layers of leather near the bottom corner of the folder.

stitch 1 8. Insert one needle into the holes and pull it through until the center of the thread is between the two holes.

9. Switch the needles to the opposite hands and pass them through the same holes again one at a time. This creates a double loop with the thread.

pulled tight 10. Pull both ends of the thread tight.

awl 2

11. Pierce another hole along the edge of the folder.

stitch 2

12. Insert the needle on one end through the hole to the opposite side and pull it through tightly.

stitch 3

13. Insert the needle on the other end through the same hole to the opposite side and pull tightly.

14. Repeat steps 10-13 along the entire edge.

15. At the last hole, knot each end of the thread and cut off the excess.


16. Lightly pass a lighter flame over each knot a few times. You’ll see the wax from the thread melt into a ball.

17. Repeat steps 5-16 on the opposite edge of the folder.

DIY Leather Files

Black and natural leather file folders


Leather File Folders


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