Leather studs are an excellent option to make your leathercraft project a bit more decorative. Setting leather studs is an easy way to make your belts, dog collars, wristbands, and more look great! It can be done simply without expensive equipment.
Brown leather dog collar with gold conical studs
Types of Leather Studs
There are a wide variety of different types of leather studs. The first type is acrylic studs. These studs come in an assortment of colours, pink, green, yellow, blue, purple, etc. Acrylic studs add a nice pop of colour to your leathercraft project and give it a be-jewelled style finish.
Acrylic leather stud colours
Metal studs are another fun way to jazz up your leather project. Metal studs are available in a few different shapes including diamond, round, conical and star. The metal studs come in a gold or a silver finish and add a unique touch to your project.
Metal leather stud varieties
Both the metal studs and acrylic studs with the metal legs from Leathersmith Designs are made of solid brass or nickel plated solid so you do not have to worry about the metal rusting. Therefore, they are great for studded leather items that are exposed to rain or water like dog collars, cases, and purses. This is why they make great biker studs for motorcycle bags.
Tools to Punch Slots for Metal Stud Legs
Each stud has two legs/prongs that come out the back.
Round gold metal stud prongs
To attach your studs to the leather, the first thing you need to do is punch slots that will fit the prongs. There are a few methods that can be used to accomplish this. You can punch your slots with an awl, a lacing chisel, or a spot chisel. A spot chisel is a good option if you are punching a lot of slots or setting studs regularly as it allows you to punch two slots at a time.
An awl, a lacing chisel and a spot chisel
No matter what method you choose to use to punch your slots, you will first need to mark where your slots will go. Each stud will need two slots, one for each leg. When spacing out where you want your studs you can measure, we like to make them a half inch apart or if this is something you are doing frequently you may consider creating a pattern to save yourself some time.
Leather stud pattern for punching slots and natural oil leather marked and ready to be punched
Once you have marked where you want your slots to go, it is time to punch them. Again, there are a few different leatherworking tools you can use to accomplish this however the most important thing is to make sure your two slots for each stud prong are parallel to each other. When using an awl, it can be nice to have a cork block underneath to protect your work surface and your tool.
Punching slots in leather with an awl and cork block
When using a lacing chisel or a spot chisel it is important to have a solid work surface and piece of scrap leather underneath your project. If using an awl, you push the point through the leather by hand. However, with your various chisels you will need to put the chisel point down where you have marked your leather and then hammer down on the tool with a mallet or maul of sorts. We do not recommend using a metal hammer on your metal tools as this will cause damage to your tools over time and cause them to mushroom.
Punching slots in leather with a lacing chisel and a spot chisel
Setting The Studs in Leather
Once you have successfully punched all your slots for you leather studs it is now time to begin setting them. The First thing you will need to do is put the prongs through the finished side of the leather.
Acrylic stud prongs put through leather
Next, flip over your project and take a pair of needle-nose pliers, holding them vertically push them down into your leather slot so that it is nice and tight against the leg of your stud. Push down and bend the leg in a bit with your pliers and do the same to the other leg.
Bending acrylic stud prongs with pliers
Acrylic stud leg bent in leather
Once the legs are bent in a bit, use the tip of your pliers to push the legs so they curve downwards into the leather.
Securing leather stud into leather with pliers
That is all there is to setting studs in leather! You can repeat these steps for each of your studs.
Dark blue acrylic stud set in leather
Studded Belts, Dog Collars and Bracelets
Blue imprinted leather dog collar with light blue acrylic studs
Leather Craft Video on How to Attach Studs to Leather
Check out our Setting Leather Studs video to watch the process of setting studs! See the leather tools being used to makes the slots and secure the studs.