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Your Weekend Project: A DIY Leather Storage Tray

Welcome to Your Weekend Project, featuring how-tos and ideas from our archives for an organized and inspired home.

After spotting leather baskets (see my post: Woven Leather Storage Baskets), then custom bedside trays at various Ace Hotels, I decided that the junk removed from the average pocket (keys, lint, and change) looks much better when enveloped in a nest of supple leather.

The discovery left me convinced I could replicate the look or at least, get pretty close. Read on for step-by-step instructions to make your own leather tray.

The Inspiration

Parisian blogger Pascale Mestdagh of Between the Lines created a folded leather tray made to exact measurements (Pascale offers a perfectly drawn paper template). See the full instructions and a printout of each step at Between the Lines.
Above: Parisian blogger Pascale Mestdagh of Between the Lines created a folded leather tray made to exact measurements (Pascale offers a perfectly drawn paper template). See the full instructions and a printout of each step at Between the Lines.
During a recent trip to the Spartan store in Austin, TX, I came across some attractive Leather Trays handcrafted by artist Natalie Davis, and almost bought one, but then decided to make my own version.
Above: During a recent trip to the Spartan store in Austin, TX, I came across some attractive Leather Trays handcrafted by artist Natalie Davis, and almost bought one, but then decided to make my own version.

My Finished DIY Project

I opted for a natural tanned piece of leather, but you could also experiment with leather dyes to create a color like Natalie Davis’s tray above. Photography by Izabella Simmons for Remodelista.
Above: I opted for a natural tanned piece of leather, but you could also experiment with leather dyes to create a color like Natalie Davis’s tray above. Photography by Izabella Simmons for Remodelista.

The Materials

The Directions

Step 1: I first used small clamps to form the edges of the tray and make punching holes in the corners easier.

Step 2: Use a pencil to mark the position of your holes (a total of eight markings); a ruler comes in handy, too; you want each to be in the exact same spot. Then squeeze the edges of each corner together and use the leather hole puncher to cut out your holes.

Step 3: Thread a rivet through each hole and use the rivet setter to attach the two sides of the rivet together. Repeat on the other three corners–and you’re done! The project was much easier and less expensive than I had anticipated.

N.B.: This post is an update; it was originally published on Remodelista on February 5, 2014.

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