Building your shoemaking toolkit: Other useful shoemaking supplies

As well as the tools and supplies that have been mentioned in the previous series of posts, there are a few other items (that you might already have around your house) that will be useful to you when making your own shoes at home.

Silver pen or chinagraph pencil: When learning shoemaking, both here in Adelaide and in London, we used silver pen refills to mark our leather (for example, when tracing around pattern pieces reading for cutting). It works well because it shows up clearly on most leathers and generally rubs off easily if you need to remove it. Alternative marking tools that can be used at home are silver pens or chinagraph pencils. It is a good idea to test how well your pen/pencil marks on a scrap piece of the leather you are using, and how easily it rubs off before marking up your whole skin (if the marks don't come off easily, try using one of the other marking tools).

masking tape 1500x1125.jpg

Masking tape: This is a handy item to have on hand when making shoes. For example, you may like to use it during the sandal making process so that you can test the length of the straps before cementing them in place (you will find more details about this in your pattern instructions). 

Sand paper: Leather surfaces need to be sanded before glueing/cementing so that the glue can adhere properly and you can achieve a strong bond. It's a good idea to wear a dust mask (or your fume mask/respirator) when sanding the leather so that you're not breathing in the fine particles released through the sanding process. A medium grain sand paper is fine to use.