no sew leather upgrades

With leather being such a huge trend this Fall, we have been excited to incorporate it into our kids’ wardrobes! Our local leather supply store has two huge scrap bins and they sell  any of the hides, finishes, and weights at $10 per pound. With small details like these, you’re only going to spend about $5 total! We tried out four easy no-sew leather upgrades to add a little something extra to our favorite Fall staples:

leather upgrades

LEATHER EPAULETTES // Adding a simple strip of brown leather to the shoulder seam of your favorite denim, plaid, or flannel top makes it feel cozy and rustic! Go black for an edgier rock and roll feel.

MOTO KNEE PATCHES // Moto jeans are a favorite trend for us, so why not translate it for the littles? For this one you’ll want a super thin, supple leather that will bend and move with the knee. Going too thick with an upholstery grade leather isn’t going to fly. This is a smart upgrade for any jeans that have unwanted holes or stains and need a cover.
leather bow upgrade

LEATHER BOW // A simple sweater has so much potential when you add a little extra leather detailing. Draw the desired pattern on the back-side of the leather and then cut out with some sharp scissors!

leather elbow patch

ELBOW PATCH // This is an old favorite, but such a classic! Be sure and mark the center point of the elbow when the cardigan or sweater is actually on the wearer before you adhere the leather.

Now, let’s talk how to affix the leather. We tested two options. An industrial sewing machine would be awesome for any of these projects, but since we don’t have one on hand, we tried out this leather-safe Barge All-Purpose Cement. It is awesome and will last forever. The second tested option is a craft spray adhesive. Here’s our pitch for that: it works awesome, but isn’t permanent.

leather knee patch

  This is a great option if you want to try out the leather detailing but don’t want to commit to it. We totally get it, we’re all about extending the life and versatility of our kids’ wardrobes, too! The adhesive worked great for these Moto jeans, but when it was time to wash them (note: four to five minutes into the first wear… boys!) with a little tugging they peeled right off and left no trace on the denim.

Any trends you’re loving this season and want to see Small Fry-ified? Let us know in the comments!


Denim Shirt [found cheaper here], Striped Sweater and Cardigan // H&M

Denim Jeans // Old Navy [Similar]

Undershirts and Cozy pants // Skylar Luna

Leather Scraps and Barge Glue // Tandy’s (local!)

See our line-up of previous Fashion related DIYs all right here!

1 Comment

  • Emma Stone
    July 9, 2021 at 6:08 am

    These exquisite pieces of artwork are unique in a way that can be sued in all sorts of clothing material and accessories. From hats to jackets and from travel bags to backpacks, custom leather patches add cliché and appeal to all clothing and apparel.


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