Leather Storage and Epic Win for Target

I bought half a hide of leather last week (thanks, Nancy!) and realized once it arrived that I had no idea how to properly store my leather.  I've been making tack since 2007,  but only in the last six months have I used thin tooling hides and dye.  Previously, I scavenged leather from purses, wallets, and the scrap bags from Tandy that I found at Hobby Lobby.  All of this worked, but I started to think that there had to be a better and more efficient way to do this thing.  I was right, and now I love using dye and the nicer hides.

Inquiries about leather storage on Blab brought up two important things. One: leather should be stored flat or rolled to prevent creases.  Two: leather should be stored away from direct sunlight or bright indoor light to prevent discoloration.  I had everything crammed into a moderately sized snap-lock tote that sat on a shelf in my supplies cabinet.  Stuff was hard to find and scraps of special leather or suede that I was saving always ended up on the bottom or lost between layers.  When I was out and about yesterday, I scoped out some new storage ideas.

As usual, Target had a winner.  This little tote is about 7 1/2 inches high, 6 inches wide, and 9 inches long.  While it wouldn't hold large enough pieces for Traditional scale purposes, it works great for me.  Each section unsnaps, so I don't have to dig to the bottom for what I want.  The third compartment has two smaller containers in it, each divided into three sections and with a lid.

I've got suede, lace, and other small pieces of assorted leather in the bottom, thicker leather in the middle, and my finer tooling leather in the top.  I'm going to HAVE to get another one of these totes to keep my props in!  Another epic win for Target! (plus, I found a super cute pair of purple tye-dye socks for 70c!)

Adding...I had someone pick up a second one of these for me tonight with the thought that it would be PERFECT for my Stablemate scale props.  Unfortunately, quite a bit of my stuff is just a hair too long, wide, or what have you.  So, plan B: art supplies.  Also backfired.  My art supplies fall into two categories; things I use constantly and things I use once in a blue moon.  It's just not practical to store them all in one tote.  I don't have a plan C, but I desperately love this storage container and want to keep it.  Plan C may be taking it back, though, because I can't justify keeping a $8.00 container that I don't really need.  $8 is two gallons of gas nowadays!


  1. Awesome set! I love it. And I'm tickled because I have the two three-part green pieces... only from Goodwill!
    I'm also intrigued about your switch from scraps to hides. I like buying scrap because you can see when you find it exactly what kind of leather it is and will be. How do you find the perfect stuff when buying hides?

  2. So far I've gotten darn lucky. I've bought second hand from other tack makers in the hobby that have surplus or I've had a pick up done for me. I've gotten good leather that works pretty well for my needs. It's a lot, lot thinner than the scrap I bought at Hobby Lobby and there's not as much color variation since I'm dyeing it myself. Plus, I don't run into as much unusable leather. There were always pieces in the scrap bags that had too large of a grain or huge flaws.

    The middle section of my new storage tote has the remnants of my last scrap bag. Right now, it's unlikely that I'll use it for anything but saddle trees.