How to use the 2D/3D Leather Stamps

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Leather Stamping

   The Craftool range of 3D/2D leather stamps are designed to be used with untreated vegetable tanned leather, they provide a quick and simple way to add detailed images to your leatherwork projects. They cover a variety of subjects from animals to Celtic themed images. They will work on predyed leather but the impression will not be as crisp.  Besides the stamps a stamping handle will also be needed, and a rawhide or a poly nylon headed mallet/maul, this will protect both the tools and the stamps. Never use a metal headed hammer.

               The last item you will need is a good solid and flat surface to stamp on. Marble or granite slabs are readily available from garden centres, or even places that make/sell kitchen worktops, these help towards creating a good, deep, impression. Make sure the slab is thick enough to do the job, I have had several crack on me whilst working.

               Now place your cased leather on your chosen surface, position your stamp where you want the image to be, and holding the stamp handle in an upright position hit it several times with your mallet to make an impression. Personally I prefer to tilt the handle after the initial impression has been made, working in a clockwise direction I.E. up, right, down, and left. I find it helps create a cleaner and smoother impression. With the stamps you are in the unique positon that if your unhappy with the impression the of the stamp it will slide back into the mark with a little effort allowing you to re-strike the impression. Always make sure that you are holding the handle firmly whilst striking it with the mallet, this helps to prevent the stamp from bouncing.  Bouncing will create multiple impressions of the stamp on your project which is obviously unwanted. In most cases the item number printed on the stamp is the bottom of the stamp.

               Once dry you can further enhance the image with acrylic leather paint, and or dyes such as Fiebing’s or Eco-Flo.

Alphabet Stamps

               These work in the same way as the 3D stamps. However a good tip is to spell out your word on the leather using the stamps, replacing already used letters with a different one. This not only allows you to see if the word will fit but give you a rough idea of how it will look on your project.

               If you want to stamp the word DAD for example use the letters DAE. By butting them up against each other and placing them back into place after stamping, the gaps between the letters on your project will all be the same. In the case of words like DAD, stamp the middle letter first, taking away the letters either side before stamping, then slide it back into the impression, carefully place the D next to the A, take away the A stamp and strike the D impression, then repeat for the last D. This will also help to keep the stamps straight if that is the look you want.

More Tips and Tricks

               If you are working on a large project it may be advisable to protect the part you are not working on with a piece of Perspex or similar. Make sure it is larger than you project as the edges may dig into your leather.

            Stamping can cause your leather to become misshapen, this can be avoided in three ways –

Use masking on the rear of your project to help it hold its shape.

Temporarily glue your project to a thick piece of cardboard using a non-permanent glue.

Roughly cut out your project before stamping it. Once you are finished make all the final cuts and complete you project as normal.


Happy Stamping :)


Tools Needed



Container of clean water

Rawhide or poly maul/mallet

Stamp handle (8200-01) or (8197-00)

Carving concentrate – optional (2621-02)

Marble or granite stamping surface
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