how to make your own handmade leather passport cover from vintage leather

I have a love affair with leather. Not just any leather--that soft buttery leather that just feels right when you touch it. That kind of leather is hard to come by, but when I found a piece of it at a garage sale this past summer, I couldn't pass it up. 

It wasn't in the best shape, but it was the smoothest leather you have ever felt and it was nearly 100 years old! It was an old book cover with a hand painted Indian on it that was falling apart. Boy if that thing could talk! The stories it could tell and the places it had been!  So, I kept that book cover that was falling apart tucked away in my closet until I decided what to make with it. 

I finally decided to make a leather passport cover. Our whole family has passports and in a drawer, they all look the same.  I knew I wanted something that would set it apart from the others and have a fun story to tell.

Lately, my passport has become one of my favorite possessions. I love the stories behind the stamps and the amazing places that it's taken me. Travel to me, is one of the greatest gifts.  I love my passport now even more with this handmade leather cover made from an old treasure I picked up at a garage sale.

You don't have to use a vintage book cover, you can use any piece of leather that you have. Maybe an old coat or a scrap from a project. It took me less than twenty minutes to make. Come see how!

I wish I could let you touch this through the screen. It's amazing! But here are the pieces I was dealing with. The edges were worn and the two strips used to be held inside the cover and used as book marks.

I started by taking my passport and using it as a guide. I also used a straight edge and my rotary cutter to make straight lines in my leather.

I knew I wanted two small 2" wide strips sewn into the inside to hold the passport in place and the cover itself was cut a little bit bigger than the passport when it was laid down on top of it. I did my best to keep the original hand painted Indian on the leather since they were so beautiful and unique.

I know many people will recommend a special needle for sewing leather, but this leather was so thin that it worked great with a regular needle. I simply laid the two small strips inside on both ends and sewed around the edges. Trim your loose ends and you have your cover.

Slip your passport inside and you are ready for your next adventure!

I love that this cover isn't perfect. It's a little rough around the edges still and it shows it's age, but it's amazing!  This guy won't get lost in the drawer with the others anymore!

I'm ready for my next adventure! Where are you off to next?

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