Leather Tutorial 003: How to Make Your Own Leather Choker

Author: Elisabeth Kwan
08.12 / Art

We linked up with leather goods master, Elisabeth Kwan, who can make practically anything out of leather. She makes everything from handbags, wallets, clutches, and more from scratch. If you've been following along in our three-part leather tutorial series, Elisabeth has shown us how to make a stationary roll and a chopsticks case. Today, she's going to walk us through how to make a leather choker.


Before you start:
1. Choose the thickness of the leather (1mm­1.5mm).
2. Decide the width of the band.
3. Choose how big you want the stud + hole punch.
4. Determine the length by­ measuring your neck.
* this particular choker is designed to wrap around the neck twice, but you can always change it to single.

What you’ll need:
- waxed thread
- lighter
- stud
- needles
- knife
- hole punch / key hole punch
- strap end punch (depending on the width of your strap)
- scrap paper for making a rough pattern
- cutting matt
- mallet
- edge dye + edge burnisher
- glue


What to do:
1. Your neck’s measurement x 2 (x1 if you don’t want it to wrap twice).

2. Mark a straight horizontal line about 50cm long.

3. Mark vertical lines of your neck’s measurement in the middle of the line.

4. Mark allowance for fold-over strap end (mine was 3.5cm) - use one of the vertical lines as a guideline and measure the length of fold-over from it and mark another a new line.


5. Use the other vertical line as a guideline for the key holes. Mark dots/points 1.5 cm on both sides of that line and so on for more holes if needed ­ (so each hole is 1.5cm apart).

6. Draw outlines of the design (width of strap + strap ends) and cut.

7. Trace shape and points on the back of leather.

8. Cut.

9. Punch holes (hole for stud as well as keyholes).

10. Install stud and stick stud ends together with glue.


11. Cut strap loop (ref: width of strap x 1.8 = length of loop and width of it is usually 0.5cm ­ 0.8mm­ which also depends how wide the choker is).

12. Shape the loop, slide it in and (make sure it’s going to be covered by the fold, next to/near the stud).

13. Stitch loop ends together (burn and seal thread).


If you'd like to purchase some of Elisabeth's amazing leather goods, check out her website or sign up for one of her leathercraft workshops. The next one is at MakerHive on the 20th and 21st of August.

Photos by: Stanley Cheng

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