• Box template, available at BHG.com/DIYLeather
• Spray adhesive
• 2 poster boards
• Sharp utility knife
• Cutting mat
• Metal ruler
• 4–5-ounce veg-tan leather
• Leather marking pen
• Leather gouge
• Crafts knife
• Spray bottle filled with water
• Leather stain (we used Eco-Flo Waterstain in Blue)
• 2-inch foam brush
• Detail brush
• Binder clips
• Leather punch
• Rivets and rivet setter
• Wood mallet
Download template. Using spray adhesive, glue the template to poster board. Use a sharp utility knife and ruler to cut out.
Lay template on leather. Trace the perimeter with a leather marking pen. Mark the corners, handle holes, and inner lines of the box.
With a leather gouge, create grooves along marked lines about half the depth of the leather (A). Be careful not to go too deep (practice on a scrap before you start). Grooves will allow you to bend the leather with a nice crease.
Cut out the box using a sharp utility knife and a metal ruler. Cut the holes for the handles (a smaller sharp knife like a crafts knife with #11 blade works well) (B).
Prep for staining on a piece of poster board. With the smooth side facing up, use spray bottle to saturate leather. To get an ombré look, below left, mix stain with water in a 50/50 ratio. Using a foam brush, evenly apply one coat of stain to longest part of the box that will form the handles and the bottom. Also apply a strip of stain to the sides along the bottom, including the end flaps. Allow to dry slightly, not completely. Using spray bottle, saturate the leather again and reapply the stain in the same places. Allow to dry slightly, not completely. Add water to your stain. Saturate the leather again. For your third layer of stain, apply it to the same places but add an additional strip. Allow to dry slightly, not completely. Continue these steps until you create a nice gradation. Allow to dry completely.
For the inside of the box, apply one or two coats of stain to the entire area. Use a detail brush to stain the edges. Allow to dry completely.
Saturate the leather, front and back. Fold the box along the gouge lines. Fold one direction and place a heavy book on top until the folds hold the shape. Repeat with the opposite side. Clip on binder clips (pad to prevent dents) to reinforce shape (C). After box is dry and maintains shape, remove clips.
Flatten box and lay template on top. Mark three holes on each end. Use leather punch to punch holes that are slightly larger than your rivets (D).
Fold box and attach rivets. You may need to use a wood mallet to fully fasten.