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If you’re like me, I want to make every moment count in homeschool. And crafts are fun if they are practical and useful. Making leather crafts in our homeschooling curriculum is a fun and unique way to teach some practical skills they can use for life. As a father who homeschools, most of the craft ideas I see are done in 30 minutes and then what?
Leatherworking is the best homeschool craft project you can do because it teaches creativity, and ingenuity, and produces a finished product you can use. It’s a practical way of teaching product design, art and connecting it with photography, filmmaking, and entrepreneurship as a complete project.
Why Leather Is The Best Craft For Homeschooling
Doing leatherwork is the perfect craft for homeschooling because it’s a transferable talent and skill that children can learn for their future. In your homeschool, you can learn many of the classic subjects but leatherworking is a vocation that they can use to develop their creative talents. When they get older they can choose to continue and even consider it as a hobby, part-time or full-time career.
Leather can be used in unique ways to create many daily-use items. This durable material has been around for thousands of years as humans have learned how to make useful and beautiful items. Without leather for shoes, bags, furniture, and many other products the world would need to use other more non-sustainable materials like plastics to make these goods.
Is Leatherworking Safe For Kids To Do?
Leatherworking is perfectly safe for kids to create fun crafts in homeschooling. Certainly, you need to use your own judgment, but at what age are kids allowed to use a pair of scissors? How about riding a bike, skating, rollerblading, surfing, motocross, or mountain biking? How about shooting a gun?
Did you know that the average age for learning how to sew by hand was around 4 years old and there are articles that suggest even allowing a child to use a sewing machine at 6 years old? Much of the high-end wallets and purses we do in our leatherworking business are done by hand, not a machine. So it’s pretty safe. But there are techniques that don’t even require sewing.
You need to be cautious and use common sense when you’re using the tools for leatherworking. But we can give you some general guidelines to follow and keep it safe. There are projects that don’t require any dangerous cutting tools or needles if you feel your child is not ready to use them. And as they get older you can introduce using these tools for other types of projects. Overall leather is very safe for doing crafts in your homeschool.
Sewing, in general, is rather safe, as we checked the Burea of Labor listed only 2 non-fatal injuries on the job per 100 adults in 2020. That’s pretty low and of course, we know we are talking about kids, but you don’t need to do any sewing in leather if you don’t want to. And much of the sewing, in the beginning, is by hand, not by machine sewing.
|Activity||Safe Age to Start||Notes|
|Leather crafts||4||Sewing by hand|
|Sewing||4||Sewing by hand|
|Fishing||4||Can they swim?|
|Shooting||12||What age should youngsters start shooting? – The Field|
|Dirtbikes||3-8||How Old Do Kids Need to Be to Ride a Dirt Bike? – Dirt Bike Planet|
|Bike||4-7||Biking – American Academy of Pediatrics|
|Skating, Rollerblading||5-14||For Parents: Bicycle, In-Line Skating, Skateboard and Scooter Safety | Johns Hopkins Medicine|
How to Start Crafting With Leather
There are simple leather projects that you can start with your children right away that are easy to make in less than 1 hour. You can use simple tools and you don’t need to do any sewing. If you have older kids that are able to use cutting tools and needle and thread you can do more intricate projects. And of course, the older your kids are the more complex a product that you can make.
You can start off with a simple keychain or bag charm. You can make one with their name or initials stamped into the leather. And you can even make a special design and use rivets only for your keychain or charm. You can choose to make a few leather products per semester. We suggest starting with simple projects and leather kits.
You can start with a beginner’s leather kit and they normally come with a few tools. You just need a sturdy table and an area that you don’t mind getting a little dirty. But don’t worry leatherworking does not make a big mess. there might be some banging but other than that other crafts are very safe and quiet.
What Kind of Leather Crafts Can You Make?
The best craft projects for homeschooling are the ones that have a range of difficulties for all ages. When you’re first starting out doing leather, you’re going to usually start off by making simple projects with patterns already pre-made. And if you start with the leather kit all of the leather pieces and parts are going to be cut out and prepared for you. For those kinds of kits, simply follow the instructions to put your leather project together. There might be some sewing or other hardware fastening. Beginner kits might include keychains, bag charms, wallets, and phone case straps.
Leather projects can take from one hour for simple projects to more than 5, 10, or 20 hours for more complex wallets and clutches. It takes a worker at Hermès over 20 hours to make one of their handbags but they cheat and use a lot of automated machinery and tooling.
You Can Sell Your Leather Goods
Leatherworking is a craft that you can develop into a real skill. Your leather goods can be sold and be a source of income. It can become a means of earning money or a lifelong hobby. How cool would it be to be able to make the most unique gifts for friends and family? Just like selling Girl Scout cookies, leather handicrafts are an enterprising skill for kids to learn.
The process of creating, producing, and marketing your own leather goods is an excellent project in developing transferable leadership and entrepreneurial skills. An early experience and exposure to what it’s like to make your own products can be a satisfying venture. We certainly think it’s worth letting your kids work and intern in your own business and it’s the perfect way to include them in the family business.
STEM Education: Leather As A Way To Learn About Design
Learning how to design something is a desirable thing to be able to do. You won’t find many traditional schools teaching about product design. Sure, you can use paint and other media to produce and design things like art. However, with leather, you can design something that can be used and appreciated! Are there any engineers in your family? Leatherworking can be the gateway to tease their interest in engineering and STEM education.
STEM education can surely be a good way to develop the skills for the future. And leatherworking can be a part of STEM education. It’s a traditional process that allows for creativity and an endless range of possibilities. Leather is such a versatile material that it’s perfect for craft projects in homeschool.
Learn more about Design processes and Engineering in this helpful video below
Leather Crafts & Learning Photography & Videomaking
When you make a nice piece of leather-like a keychain or wallet, you probably want to photograph it, right? Leather crafting in homeschool can lead to learning about photography. It’s a great added bonus to crafting leather. They are all related and you can take advantage of the synergy among these lessons.
Beginning photography doesn’t require fancy cameras or equipment in the beginning. A smartphone or even a normal camera is fine to learn the basics of exposure, lighting, framing, and basic photo editing.
Video and filmmaking are other creative possibilities connected to leather crafting. Creative hobbies can turn into professions as well. And the development of this skill is also beneficial to a balanced education including the arts. How children express themselves through a range of media is helpful and a necessary part of a homeschooling experience.
Producing a leather craft project and making a video or how-to guide is a great project-based lesson and can also serve as a creative piece for their educational portfolio. My son loves to make short videos for YouTube even at 7 years old. They are only of his Lego project so far, though.
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