Simple Strap Planter

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Since we’ve moved into a larger workshop, there’s so much more room to breathe. As a side-effect, new plants keep showing up. Beth, one of our designers, came up with a sharp idea to make a svelte plant hanger DIY. Using some leather straps, some brass hardware and a terra cotta pot, this is what she came up with.

Assemble your parts – you’ll need three Chicago screws, a long strap of leather, a loop for the hanging point, a terra cotta pot. For tools, gather a drill, masonry bit, leather punch, water jug, scissors, and leather dye if necessary.

You’ll need to cut your leather strap to 48″ long and a width of half an inch. This makes a long, dramatic hanger, but can also be cut to whatever length you need. Beth decided to dye the leather edges to keep it cleanly all black. If you’re going for a natural look or using a lighter leather, you can skip the dye.

Next, grab your drill and a masonry bit and some water to drill out slots into your planter. It is helpful to have a friend pour some water during the drilling – it keeps the dust down and seems to help the bit cut cleaner. Drill two holes next to each other and then you can steadily push the drill bit into the side and cut through the middle of your slot. It takes a little patience, and don’t put too much force on it at once, since the terra cotta can break. After both slots are drilled, rinse off the dust and bring it back inside to your bench.

Feed your leather strap though the slot and measure where you’d like the Chicago screw to be on the ends. These are about 3/4 inches from the slot. Add your hanging hardware to the strap (Beth chose a brass loop and ring combo from Oregon Leather Co.) and attach the other side to the pot. After both ends are attached to the pot, you can find the center point of the strap and add the third Chicago screw to secure the hanging loop.

Lastly, mount to your ceiling or a wall hook and get to plant shopping.

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New Belts: the Harrison, the Martin and the Matchstick

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I’ve been meaning to add some new belt models for a while, and I’m happy to finally show them off. After the big studio move, things were understandably chaotic. Now that the dust is settling and some client catch-up work is back on schedule, I can get back to our own offerings.

Starting with the Harrison, I went with a bold, yet comfortable buckle. It has a feel of old folk and rock-and-roll. What belt was George wearing on the cover of “All Things Must Pass”? I’m pretty sure it looked just like this. It uses our favorite English bridle leather, but I also added a new color too – cognac. It’s available in a stout 1 1/2″ and a slightly more subtle 1 1/4″ width.

The Martin is your classic end-bar buckle shape. Timeless looks, tough W&F character. This one’s named after my Dad, but since most of you haven’t met him, you’ll have to take my work that it’s a good fit. Most honorable and hardest working guy I know. Available in a 1 1/2″ that’s good for jeans and a 1″ width – perfect for casual styles and looks great on women or guys.

Our third release is just for the W&F women… the super svelte Matchstick. It’s a clean 5/8″ width with a tiny solid brass center-bar buckle. Sizing for this one has more range, so it can be worn low on the hips or high on the waist. Very versatile for jeans or dresses. Same hard-wearing English bridle leathers, but takes on a decidedly softer feel with the thin width.

All are available in the store today! Built upon order, they ship in about 5-7 days after purchase.

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beautiful departure

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I’m always experimenting in the shop with new plans. I know I’m really late to the tote party, but I usually don’t move unless things feel really right. After starting to use some new leathers in our products (from SB Foot Tannery of Red Wing Boots fame), more ideas started to emerge. Ideas and directions get planted, a few attempts fail, some ideas get too complicated, but now I think we’ve come up with something simple and special.

This plan has been in the works for a while (and of course leaked plenty on instagram), but I thought a proper launch might be nice. So with the help of some friends and conspirators, we have put together this official launch. It’s a real departure from what we’ve been doing, but as the experiments go around here, it seems comfortable at the same time.

Superb thanks go to Alison Brislin for art direction and as producer, Lisa Warninger for photography, Hannah Ferrara of Another Feather for jewelry, Maya Rose for her line Samuels exclusively for Lowell, Frances May, Ailsa Hopper for hair and makeup styling, Jessica Smith and Emily Mills as represented by Option.

The new bags are available today in our store – I hope you like them.

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camera mini-strap

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Here’s about the simplest strap you could make… but as with most of my DIYs on here, it was created out of a certain necessity. I recently purchased a solid pocket shooter – testing my theory that I might just take more photos if I had a smaller camera. The size is certainly more convenient, but I still am not used to having such a lack of grip. I didn’t want to use a long strap all the time, so I came up with this.

It provides just the right amount of handle, but still be very pocketable. You’ll need a small strip of pliable, yet strong leather. I’m using a small piece of the leather we use on our bags, from SB Foot tannery in Red Wing, Minnesota. About 4.5oz weight works really well for this.

Cut your piece into a 3/8″ strip, about 22 inches long. If you need a longer or shorter grip, adjust to your preference. One one end, we’ll use an oblong punch to create a slot – about 5/8″ from that end. I also cut that end at an angle for decoration.

On the opposite strap end, I thinned the overall width with a rolling blade and ruler. We’ll be tying an overhand knot here, and it looks more elegant with less weight. I thinned about 5.5″ length of this end, to have some overhang after tying the knot.

If your camera has loops like shown, you’re set. If you have a lugged camera, you can buy some small rings to attach first. Make sure your knots are big enough to keep from slipping through the rings. Or, if you’re using detachable rings, you can use the slotted end on both sides.

Feed your piece though the slotted end first, and smooth out the curve. Insert other end though the second ring and knot to the appropriate length. Then cut the overhang length to whatever looks/works best for you.

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Western Fringe Brogue DIY

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Most of the time, I feel like my style is straightforward. I try to be simple, but I have been known to veer to the dandy side with certain details. This DIY is going to be one of them. I grew up in Kansas and remember wearing lace up Justin Ropers about 20 years before UO carried the awkward knock-offs. The Justins were certainly more of a statement than my regular ropers, but I liked them… Especially when really worn in. I wore holes in them, had them resoled and they just got better.

Jump to present day and I’m wearing a pair of Red Wing Brogue Rangers. Somewhat fancy with the brogue details, but just the right amount. Then I’m goofing around on the internet and see a pair from Red Wing Amsterdam’s blog and knew I had to push it a little further. If you’re daring, maybe you’ll want to make them too.

I’m working with black boots, added brown laces and will use brown leather for the fringe. It’s a subtle contrast, but won’t jump out too much. Start with a small scrap of material, you’ll need only a 3x5inch piece to cut both. I even made you a download-able template. These are sized for a 9 boot, so you might need to modify the size for a larger or smaller boot.

You’ll need a sharp knife, cutting surface, an awl for tracing and a hole punch. Print the template out, and cut the outer shape. You don’t need to cut the details, instead just trace and mark them into the leather with the awl. Once the shapes are traced onto leather, cut the details out with a sharp knife, then mark your holes and other cuts with the awl. Lace holes are punched with a #6 tube. You can punch relief holes in the lace slits if you have a really small punch, but they’re not necessary.

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Compass Pouch DIY

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No one wants to get stranded outside in the winter, right? Here’s your chance to sew up a handy compass pouch before you embark on any winter treks. This idea was sparked after talking projects with Michael Williams from A Continuous Lean, who recently visited our shop. He’s published the full post here, and it’s incredibly exciting to be on ACL.

I don’t get too crazy on my adventuring these days, but there’s a few canoe spots near Portland that you could easily get confused and not realize where you put the boat in. Throw in some bad cell reception and maps won’t save you either. What’s a better way to not get lost? Having a compass and mini light on your belt should help. I made this with a small piece of Horween Chromexcel and some simple hardware. The template is provided and should snugly fit your AAA sized flashlight and a standard sized compass. I’m using a Suunto MC-2 and a Fenix E01.

Start by printing out the template file at 100%. It won’t fit on a single page, so you’ll need to select the tiling option and then add an inch of printing overlap. Tape the pieces together securely and trim them out. Find a piece of leather large enough to cut both panels from and trace them out with an awl or pencil. Be sure to mark all your inner holes indicated on the template as well.

Cut the pieces and punch the holes for snaps and the belt loop. I’m using a #3 sized punch tube. Once your parts are cut and inner holes punched, it’s time to mark your stitch holes.

Using a #5 overstitch wheel and a ruler, I marked location of all the stitch holes. Make sure to start at the bottom of each size in the same place, so when folded, your stitch locations will line up.

After marking the stitch holes, I like to punch them out instead of using an awl while stitching. It makes things a little easier and I can stitch faster this way. I’m using a hand-sewing leather punch, but you can also use regular tube style punch or even a thick awl.

Once every sewing hole is punched, you’ll need to assemble all the hardware parts. Add your snaps, then using copper rivets, you can attach the belt loop.

Now you’re ready to sew the pouch together. I’ve made some stitch ponies for the shop that we use, but you can easily purchase a simple one from leather hobby shops as well. The stitch pony will hold your pieces together securely, keep your holes lined up, and make sewing so much easier. The hand sewing method is detailed on my post here if you want to learn.

After stitching through your piece, give it a couple back stitches and tie off your threads inside. Then you’re ready to attach to your belt and get lost!

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W&F slim billfold

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First of all, when did people stop calling bifold wallets, billfolds? Is this something that only Dads called their wallets? Whatever the case, I’d like to introduce the Wood&Faulk official slim billfold.

I had been using the front pocket wallet for a while now, but wanted something that I could put unfolded dollar bills in. Robert of Beam&Anchor, was also bugging me for a billfold. When he’s out treasure hunting, those old guys selling barn finds are only gonna take cash and the pocket wallet just doesn’t have the capacity. Here’s some pics of mine broken-in, a custom number sewn with butterscotch thread.

Regular billfolds can be bulky. This one is slim, with two full pockets for cards and a western style mini-pocket to keep your most used cards handy. It’s made with Horween Chromexcel leathers and hand-stitched with wax linen thread, like all of our wallets. Available now in our store for $140.

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Official W&F Leather Jar Sleeves

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Well, it has been a looong time since I did the jar sleeve DIY, and they are finally coming to the store. Actually, we’ve been producing some for Japan and some retail shops for about 6 months now, but with everything going on in the shop, I’ve neglected to get them up in our own store!

I think they’re really great gifts for the upcoming season, especially coupled with a bag of coffee beans or a jug of cider. The sleeves are made with English bridle leather from a domestic tannery and come heavy wax cord. Simple utility, ready to hold your favorite hot beverages.

These come with a half-pint jar and lid, available in four colors. Tan, chestnut, brown and black; all sure to mix well with each other or to keep as one-color sets. Stamped out and sewn from our Portland workshop.

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which bag for what?

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We’ve been asked plenty of times, “What bag should I get?” I know the right answer isn’t always ‘one of each’, so let’s talk about what you can stuff into them, intended purposes, and a few other details concerning Wood&Faulk bag sizing.

Let’s start with the 12″ Northwesterner. Here’s some ideas: simple overnight trip; camera, lunch and jacket tourist supplies; six pack protection for the front basket in your bike; or just some regular daily duties. Good for guys or gals. Fits ipads, but probably not your computer. The opening is about 11.5″.

Next larger is the Northwesterner 16″ size. This one is much more versatile and will handle a 15″ laptop with ease. Plenty of room for a business trip, as an overnighter, food and supplies for a picnic, or an everyday briefcase-type setup. One thing to note – the bag has soft sides and you’re gonna want a sleeve on your computer for extra protection.

Preparing for a longer trip? The 20″ Northwesterner is what you need. Always fits in the overhead compartment and can be put under a seat in a pinch. Plenty of room for a few changes of clothes and your laptop. Probably too big for a daily bag, but if you’re traveling  often enough, it’s a perfect alternative to bulky luggage. This is my preferred travel companion.

Hopefully the pics illustrate some fitting scenarios. The one thing I’m missing in the 16″ and 20″ pics is a travel bag or ‘dopp kit’. Both scenarios will accommodate one AND it’s something we’re finally working on as well, so stay tuned.

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Archer’s quiver DIY

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You’ll need some tools:
  • sewing machine
  • leather punch
  • rotary knife
  • ruler
  • cutting mat
  • rivet setting tools
You’ll need a few materials:
  • 8oz. strap leather
  • heavy canvas (vintage army tent here)
  • 5oz. garment leather
  • copper rivets

I took up archery not too long ago and realized it can be super relaxing when things get stressful. The bad news is, I’ve been pretty busy in the shop and haven’t shot much lately. However with all this shop time, I have been working on a quiver. When I finally do make it out to the range again, I won’t have to carry my arrows in a rubber band.

Here’s the instructions to make one for yourself. Like all my experiments on here, there’s lots of ways to do this, and modifications for your own use too. My plan went like this:

Start by cutting your main material into three parts for the body. Two pieces 6”x26” and one pocket piece at 6”x12”. Cut a piece of leather or other thicker material for the bottom at a dimension of 6”x7.5”.

Lay the pocket piece flipped and reversed onto one of the body panels and sew the bottom of the pocket to the body. Then flip the panel over into place. I added a top-stitch on as well to match the original army tent material’s construction. Sew your leather bottom panel to the bottom of the first body panel, and then the other size to the second body panel. I used tape to align panels before sewing. You can use double-sized tape too, if you want them stuck in place.

After all the panels are together, fold the panels in half, inside-out. Make sure your pocket is in the correct place and then clip or pin everything together. Sew down the side seams, stopping 2.5 inches from going all the way to the leather bottom. While still inside-out, make a tube and push the leather bottom seam to spread the open area and flatten and then sew a stitch perpendicular to the side seam. After sewn, cut the extra material off.

Last steps are to attach hardware to the quiver body. I used copper rivets, leather bits a d-ring and a small buckle to make strap attachment points. Where it attaches to the opening, I folded the end of the strap over, with a d-ring in the fold for extra utility. My strap is adjustable with the buckle at the other end, either hang on my belt loop when I’m shooting or over my shoulder when walking to the range.

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