Every leathercrafter should own a leather stamp. This solution, however, poses a few problems in terms of price, availability, and design. What if you could create leather stamps at home with 4 simple steps using tools you already have?

To make a leather stamp, sand off the head of a stainless steel bolt. Cut away the negative spaces around your image using a marker or an etching solution. In order to create a cleaner, more distinct stamp, sand off the uneven or sharp edges.


1. The bolt head is sanded off

If there are any markings on the head of the bolt, sand them off. If you wish to achieve a smooth finish, begin with a coarse grit, then move to a finer one. 

2. Sign off on your design

Use a fine-point marker to darken the stainless steel bolt head once you have decided on the design. Awl an etched design onto the bolt head. 

3. Use the Dremel to cut out your design

Your design can be cut out with the Dremel. This step will be easier and more efficient if you have a disc-cutting tool. If you prefer, you can create irregular patterns with the diamond-engraving bit of the Dremel. 

To remove negative spaces from your design, use a metal file and sandpaper if you do not own a Dremel. Taking longer but effective.  

4. Finishing with sand 

Use sandpaper or a fine grit file to remove any rough edges. During sanding, the bolt head can be dipped into a water basin for better results.


The design can also be etched on the metal before drilling off the excess metal to reveal the positive image, or a 3D printed leather custom stamp can be made. 

A 3D printer can create custom stamps

A 3D printer can create custom stamps

A great quick-curing resin, 3D printing, UV lighting, and 3D modeling software are needed in order to create leather stamps. The DIY is only recommended if you already have the necessary material, equipment, and software. 


Create your embossing effect by laying out your images in black and white, with black for the image and white for the negative space. To reverse this effect, reverse the layout. 

Once you have printed your image, cure it as usual.

You can mount small images to metal rods so you can stamp them easily. Larger images can be left as they are. It can be sandwiched between press plates and pressed in your arbor press.  

Metal etching can be used to make custom stamps

Metal etching can be used to make custom stamps

By etching your images directly onto the stainless steel piece, you can also create your own stamps by filing or dremeling the negative spaces from the images. A few salt, batteries, and clips are all that is needed for this simple etching.


  1. Stencil your image on sticker paper and prepare it.
  2. Place the stencil over the area you want to etch on the stainless steel sheet and remove the release tape before sanding. 
  3. Your battery pack (4 AAA batteries) should be set up, and the (+) and (-) wires should be connected to the stainless steel and the drill bit, respectively. 
  4. Add salt to water and stir until dissolved. 
  5. Then etch the image with the electrode for about 30 seconds after adding some salt water. 
  6. Removing the stencil is as simple as wiping it off with a paper towel. 
  7. If you are not satisfied with the quality of the stamp, use a Dremel cutting tool, drill, or file to remove the negative spaces. 
  8. Stamps can be refined by sanding them.  


The process of making your own leather stamps is not without challenges. Let’s look at some answers to the most common questions regarding custom leather stamps since we don’t want to grope in the dark.  

There is a lack of crispness in the design

Especially if this is your first time working on a project like this, you can’t expect your DIY leather stamps to be perfect and crisp. You can improve its appearance by using suitable materials and by starting with simpler images. 

Your expectations must be lowered first before you can deal with it. Don’t stress out about things you have no control over. 

Next, make sure you have the right tool. Make your custom stamps look professional by using a metal file and sandpaper. Also, it allows you to refine the image of your own stamps more easily. 

There is no deep impression left by the stamp

Stamping leather on vegetable-tanned leather is all about getting as deep an impression as possible. Its shape allows it to handle stamping and heavy tooling. It is used by leathercrafters for making saddles, belts, sheaths, and other leather goods. 

Stamping leather thicker than 2mm is also tougher. If you want your DIY stamps to leave a deep impression on your tanned leather, you should create them from high-quality stainless steel or brass, so the metal won’t rust, discolor, or bend during the stamping process. 

If you’re going for a pebbled effect, keep your design simple and not too crowded. At least 1mm deep impressions should be made, and the leather should be cleaned to remove any debris that may cause the stamps to float. For a smoother transfer of your pattern to your leather project, make sure you use the right tool when hammering down your stamp. 

There is a limit to how complex your designs can be

It’s not necessary. It’s not your equipment or your expertise that determines the complexity of your patterns. Making custom leather stamps is much easier for those who have a 3D printer. I like your suggestions. 

If you lack sophisticated tools, don’t be concerned. From scrap stainless steel or brass, you can create quality stamps using a Dremel and a swivel vise. Using hand press machines is even possible without worrying about the price of the stamps. 


You may be inspired to make your own leather stamp after reading this post if you have ever considered doing so. Everyone can make DIY leather stamps, regardless of how complex or simple the design is.

How about trying out some leather stamping designs? Leave a comment below if you have any ideas.

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