Since 2016


March 31, 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.


Few materials have the classic appeal of leather, though there are ways to customize your favorite items to make them your own. One option is stamping leather, which allows you to add a permanent design to any piece. With a bit of practice and the right tools, you can add almost any embellishment you have in mind. If you’re interested in learning how to stamp leather, our step-by-step guide can help.

Why Stamp Leather?

Stamping leather involves pressing specific designs into the material to create a permanent impression. It allows you to customize any piece, including jackets, bags, belts, bracelets, or wallets. Some manufacturers already stamp leather with their brand, though you can add your own embellishments to create a style all your own.

Various stamps are available, so you can create attractive designs to match the piece or the person using it. These include flowers, leaves, circles, or even letters, giving you the perfect options for any project. You can even add stamps to cover blemishes in the leather and enhance its appeal.

Leather Stamping Misconceptions

When first attempting to stamp leather, many people make the mistake of trying to hammer their design with little preparation beforehand. Though this will technically work, the results will be less than stellar.

The lackluster outcome occurs because leather needs to be wet to soften those fibers and allow the stamp to embed correctly. A hard surface beneath the leather is also required to ensure the correct force is applied while stamping.

Despite how easy stamping tools are to use, you shouldn’t expect perfect results on the first try. It takes time to learn how to place the stamps and how much force to use when pressing them into the leather. Practice on some scrap leather before trying to stamp the gear you actually plan on using.

What You Need To Stamp Leather

When stamping leather, you need the proper material. Though you can stamp any type of leather, vegetable tanned leather is best for beginners.Vegetable tanning takes much longer than other tanning options and is more expensive, so it isn’t as common. Despite the downsides, vegetable tanned leather is easy to work with and retains the stamp better than other types.

As well as leather, you’ll also need stamps. Stamping sets are perfect for manual use, though you can also try a stamping press or hot foil machine. If going the manual route, a mallet, a hard surface, and a sponge are also required.

PHYSICAL - The Admiral Moto

PHYSICAL - The Suede Double Rider

PHYSICAL - The Technical Bomber

Step By Step Guide

Stamping leather isn’t hard, but it does take a few steps to ensure you’re doing it correctly.

Step 1 - Clean the leather

Before you can begin the stamping process, it's essential to clean the leather by wiping it with a damp cloth. Doing so ensures dirt or grime won’t be embedded in the fibers when you stamp the leather.

Step 2 - Wet the leather

Once the leather is clean, take the sponge and wet it. Ring it out until it is damp, and press it to the leather surface. You’ll also need to dampen the underside to be sure the stamping area is saturated.

Step 3 - Prepare to stamp

Place the leather piece on a hard surface and measure the area to be sure the stamp is aligned correctly. You can use a steel square or a ruler for this process.

Step 4 - Use the stamp

Place the stamp over the leather, holding it steady while you strike it a few times with the mallet. Don’t hit too hard, or the results will be mushy and unappealing. It may take a few tries to learn the proper pressure for applying the stamps. Repeat the process with any additional stamps, wetting the leather again if needed.

How to stamp leather

Final Word

Stamping is a simple way to add stylish embellishments to any leather piece. You don’t need expensive tools or high levels of expertise for the process, so anyone can create the unique leather items they have in mind.

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