How To Make Hardened Leather Conan

How to Make Hardened Leather for Conan Cosplay

Whether you’re a fan of Conan the Barbarian or simply interested in working with leather, creating hardened leather can be a rewarding and enjoyable project. Hardened leather has been used for centuries to make armor, accessories, and various crafts. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making hardened leather for your Conan-inspired creations.

Materials You Will Need

Before we dive into the process, let’s gather the necessary materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

1. Raw Leather: Start by obtaining a piece of raw leather. You can find veg-tanned leather, preferable for this project, in various thicknesses at craft stores or online leather suppliers.

2. Cutting Tools: Get a sharp knife or shears to cut the leather into the desired shapes and sizes for your project.

3. Sandpaper: You’ll need sandpaper with different grits (ranging from 120 to 600) to smooth the leather and remove any imperfections.

4. Water: Have a small container of water ready for the initial wetting process.

5. Drying Rack: Find a drying rack or wire mesh to lay the wet leather on during the drying phase.

6. Heat Source: A heat gun, oven, or heat lamp will be essential for the final step of hardening the leather.

The Process of Making Hardened Leather

Now that we have all the necessary materials, it’s time to start making hardened leather. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Cutting the Leather
Begin by cutting the raw leather into the desired shapes for your project. Use a sharp knife or shears to achieve clean cuts. Remember to factor in any allowances for shrinking during the hardening process.

Step 2: Wetting the Leather
Once you have your desired shapes, wet the leather by immersing it in water or spraying it with a misting bottle until it becomes fully saturated. Make sure the entire piece of leather is evenly wet before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Shaping and Smoothing
After the leather is wet, it becomes flexible and pliable. This is the perfect time to shape it to match your design. Use your hands or any props to manipulate the leather into the desired form. Additionally, you can use sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections or rough edges.

Step 4: Drying
Place the wet leather on a drying rack or wire mesh, allowing it to air dry completely. It’s important to let it dry naturally without using any artificial heat sources, as this may cause shrinkage or uneven drying.

Hardening the Leather

Step 5: Applying Heat
After the leather is completely dry, it’s time to apply heat to harden it. You can use a heat gun, oven, or heat lamp for this step. The key is to heat the leather gradually and consistently. Begin by heating the leather from a distance and gradually move closer, ensuring the heat is evenly distributed over the surface.

Step 6: Monitoring the Process
Monitor the leather carefully as it heats up. The surface will start to shrink and harden. Maintain the heat until the leather reaches the desired level of hardness. Be cautious not to overheat or scorch the leather, as this can damage the material.

Step 7: Cooling and Final Touches
Once the leather has hardened to your satisfaction, remove it from the heat source and let it cool naturally. As it cools, the leather will retain its new shape and rigidity. After cooling, feel free to add any finishing touches, such as dyeing, painting, or attaching hardware.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully created hardened leather for your Conan-inspired project. Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempt isn’t flawless. With each project, you’ll refine your skills and create even more impressive pieces.


Making hardened leather for your Conan cosplay or other leather crafts can be a gratifying and creative endeavor. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can transform raw leather into sturdy material for various applications. Experiment with different shapes, sizes, and techniques to bring your Conan-inspired creations to life. So, gather your materials, embrace your creativity, and embark on this exciting journey of working with hardened leather!

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