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January 22, 2023 3 min read

by Monique Youzwa

Monique has been a full-time freelance writer for over 5 years, plus has a few fiction credits under her belt and is currently working on a novel. When not writing, she spends her time reading, playing video games, hiking, and camping with her husband and daughter.


Leather is one of the most popular materials due to its durability and versatility. It’s commonly used for clothing, shoes, bags, wallets, belts, and furniture. Unfortunately, our leather pieces occasionally need maintenance to keep them intact, which requires the proper tools to put them together, including the appropriate adhesive. If you’ve ever wondered about gluing leather, everything you need to know can be found in our handy guide.

Why Glue Leather?

There are several reasons why you may want to glue leather pieces. First, glue is simple to apply when repairing damaged pieces or creating new projects. Several types of adhesive are available, from temporary options to hold components together during sewing or permanent ones for long-term bonding. Glue for leather is also easy to find, so you’ll always have the proper type for the application in question.

How To Glue Leather

Gluing leather isn’t difficult, but you need the correct tools and the proper method for effective bonding. These will ensure that every project is a success.


When gluing leather, a few materials are essential for the process, with some optional ones to make the job even easier.

First, you’ll need suitable glue. Leather glue is specifically designed for this material, bonding perfectly with porous and fibrous surfaces. For a strong hold, contact cement is also a good option.Craft glue offers a temporary hold before sewing, though it’s best to use the liquid fabric form for these projects.

A glue pot prevents the glue from drying out and usually includes a brush for easy application, though you can also use a flat-edged glue spreader for this purpose. A leather rougher or a wire brush reduces the smoothness of the leather surface for a stronger bond. A roller removes air pockets in the glue and between the leather pieces. Edge clamps or leather weights hold the leather pieces together until the glue has dried. Rags are also essential for cleaning glue spills.


When you’re ready to begin, prep the area you’re working in before gluing. Make sure your work area is clean, with enough room to work on your project and space for all the materials and tools for the job. Lay down paper to minimize the mess from glue spills.

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Step 1 - Prepare the leather

For proper adhesion, leather must be clean, so brush off any dirt or debris. Roughing up the leather with the leather rougher or wire brush should also be done at this time.

Step 2 - Apply the glue

Apply the glue to the center of the leather piece. Then use your brush or spreader to work the glue to the edges. Try to spread the glue layer as evenly as possible for consistent bonding. If using contact cement, you’ll need to apply the glue to both leather pieces and let it dry for about 20 minutes before moving on to the next step.

Step 3 - Press the pieces together

Once the glue is applied to your satisfaction, take the second piece of leather and lay it over the glued piece. Be sure to check the edges to be sure they line up properly. Then press them gently for a few seconds to secure them in place. If working with flat pieces, you can use the roller to smooth out the leather and remove any air bubbles or excess glue. You can also use the clamps or weights to secure the leather pieces until the glue dries.

Step 4 - Clean up

If you notice any glue squeezing out from the leather pieces, wipe it away using the rags. Check the rest of the work area for glue messes as well. Clean your tools before the glue hardens for easier removal.

gluing leather

Final Word

Gluing leather is quick and easy, so leather repairs and DIY projects can be completed in no time. As long as you have the right glue and the necessary tools, even beginners should have no trouble with any leather task they have in mind.

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