Retirement Hobby: Leather Craft
by Sue/North Carolina
As a teenager, I liked doing leather craft in the Western style of Western saddles. I only made small things, like a wallet and a belt, but I kept the tools all these years.
Finally I got them out and added a few stamping tools. You cut with a swiveling knife after impressing the pattern into damped leather designed for carving. Then you tap stamps with a hammer lightly. Finally you dye and finish your item.
The craft is only fun for a long time if you learn to carve floral and other designs that are made up out of many different stamps. If you simply buy a stamp and whack it, where is the creativity in that? You will end up spending too much money. These days, you can buy leather dyes in all sorts of colors and make a pattern with great impact. Leather also lasts a long time and becomes more beautiful over time.
Traditional leather crafted Western belts can also sell for decent money, and be a great gift for friends and relatives.
Vegetarians may not choose this craft. But there is is a lot of beef eaten every year in the United States, why not make use of hides for an endlessly creative pastime?