Leather making is one craft that uses a lot of tools. Organizing these tools can be burdensome because you might have difficulty placing them in different spaces depending on how frequently you use each tool. It’s best to put these tools on proper holders to keep them organized and accessible and ensure that your tools will last you a long time.
What are the different leather working tools holders? There are wearable tool belts that come in different sizes and can carry various tools. There are tool holders for desks to keep your work table clear from clutter. There is also a wall rack where you can hang your tools of different sizes, which instantly adds charm to your workspace.
Depending on your budget, need, and skills, you can either purchase any of these tool holders or try making one. Picking one can be overwhelming, and you might even want to have all kinds. But before you go on a shopping spree, remember that it’s ideal for picking a particular holder based on your needs. I’ve narrowed down some of the best options out there to help you identify the type of tool holder you’ll need depending on the tools you have, your budget, and your space.
Wearable Tool Belts
There are different types of leather tool belts. There are the bigger ones that have multiple pockets and can hold plenty of tools, while others have smaller versions, still with numerous pockets, only smaller. Some individual pouches are designed to fit a particular tool. Usually, the smaller ones are suspended around the waist or on belts, while the larger tool belts are worn around the waist.
Tool belts are ideal for those who are always busy with their leather crafting. They are handy, portable, and useful in keeping your work table clutter-free. The only downside is that you might end up accumulating more than one belt because of the different tools you will need during your leathercrafting. You may have to consider where to leave your tool belt and if it’s safe to leave the tools in the pockets after you’ve finished working.
Depending on the tool belt’s materials and the tools it can hold, prices range from $13 up to more than $400. Popular tool belt materials are usually a mix of leather and nylon or leather and canvas. The more expensive ones are purely made of leather. There are a lot of shops that carry these tool belts, such as MacPherson and Occidental Leather. There are also many varieties available online, like Leather Craft Tools, Weaver Leather, and Style n Craft, to name a few.
DIY Tool Belt Instructions
In case you don’t want to spend money on a tool belt you can make on your own, let me teach you how to do it. Start with how you want your tool belt to look like by creating a design and listing down the materials you’ll need. Take note if you want it to look like a traditional belt bag, or if you’d rather have the suspended pouch type.
Identify and measure the tools you’ll want to put in your tool belt. These measurements will be your guide in making the right pocket sizes. Don’t forget to measure your waist as well for the belt length. Create patterns or templates based on these measurements and the layout of your tool belt design. Transfer the templates on your leather and start cutting.
Before sewing the parts together, check the pieces to see if they match the templates and your design. Mark each piece to make sewing guides. Follow along with these guides while sewing. Once you’re done, you can now use your DIY leather tool belt.
Tool Racks for Desks
Another option to organize your tools if you don’t like them dangling from your waist or hips is using a tool rack. There are rectangular and round racks, perfect for long, slender tools like your stamping tools, knives, and awls. These racks will help keep your sharp tools from damage.
Having a tool rack on your work table is an efficient way to clear the clutter while you’re working. It’s also very accessible, making it easy to pick and return whichever tool you need for your current project. On the other hand, a tool rack also takes up space on your table. Most tool racks also come in similar-sized holes for tools, so you might end up placing only smaller and slender tools, like knives, chisels, and etc.
In Tandy, the cheapest tool rack available costs only $9.99, and the most expensive rack sells at $49.99. These are either made of sturdy plastic and wood and can hold stamping tools, knives, chisels, and smaller awls. On Etsy and Amazon, tool racks made of wood range from $16 to over $100. Prices vary depending on the types of wood used in making the racks. Everything comes in different sizes and can hold several tools, but most of these look similar and are typically made to keep slender things like pens, nails, and the likes.
Make Your Own Tool Rack
If you’re also handy with wood and have the right tools, you can try making your own tool rack. Start by picking the shape you want. For this tutorial, let’s make a rectangular tool rack that is 12” long, 5” wide, and 2.5” tall. Cut two pieces of wood that are 12” long and 5” wide. For the sides, cut two pieces of wood that are 2.5” tall and 5” wide.
Mark the top rack for drill guides. For the hole sizes, base them on the tools you’ll put in the rack. In case you have a ruler with sizing holes, you can use that, too. Just make sure the hole guides have gaps in between. Drill on the hole guides.
Use sandpaper to smoothen wood. Apply wood glue to join the sides pieces to the top and bottom racks. Allow the glue to dry completely before organizing your tools. You can also varnish or paint your tool rack if you want.
Tool Wall Rack
A tool wall rack is perfect for those who want to maximize their workspaces or want to create a different atmosphere in their area, as it instantly adds an aesthetic to your space. Wall racks come in different sizes, so you have a wide range to choose from, depending on your tools and the wall space available.
Having a wall rack is ideal for those with smaller workspaces and tables. It’s accessible, especially if your table is placed against the wall. With a tool rack, your tools are well displayed and easy to see. You have to be very careful with installing a wall rack, though, as well as how you’ll place your tools because they might fall from the wall.
Wall Racks are easy to find. You can buy them from your local shops like Home Depot, Target, or IKEA. Most of these shops sell them for at least $10 and some for $50, although these are mostly made of plastic or fiberboard. Tandy sells a unique tool rack made of wood that can either be installed on the wall or placed on the desk for $79.99.
Instructions on How to Make a Wall Rack
You can try making your wall rack if you have the right tools and the skills. Start with creating a layout for how you’ll place the tools on your rack placement. Ideally, smaller and lighter tools are placed on higher areas, while bigger and heavier tools are kept in the lower part of the rack. However, if you can build a well-made and sturdy wall rack, then go ahead and create a layout that is to your liking.
Next, plan out how big or small you want to rack to be. Measure the part of the wall where you’ll place the rack to get an accurate size. As for how you’ll want it to look, usually, wall racks only have a flat surface with hooks and nails to hang the tools. You can add a shelf or two on the top or bottom of the rack’s surface for additional storage.
Prepare your wood making tools. Start by cut wood planks according to the size of your wall rack. Nail the planks together. Use a sturdy elbow for the shelves, if you added them. Put the hooks on the rack, following the layout you created for your tools’ placement. To make your rack look more attractive, use a strap of leather to hold smaller leather tools. Attach this long leather strap using copper tacks, allotting adequate spaces between the copper tacks so your tools can fit properly. Once you’re done, go ahead and display your tools.
Being organized is one crucial trait a crafter must always possess. Having a structured plan or design and being tidy with your tools broadly reflect your qualities as a leatherworker. Of course, one significant step to being organized is knowing the right kind of tool organizer you’ll need in your workstation. Understanding each type and knowing what you need as the type of worker you are can help you decide which leather tool organizer fits you best.