Classes & Workshops


Check out and book Beginner, Regular and General classes & also workshops on specific projects in the

WORKSHOP & CLASS BOOKINGS tab on the left hand side!



Please note, booki
ngs are not yet taken for some future classes.


Please note that these dates should be definite but are subject to change, if need be.


Leathercraft classes are held every Saturday morning from 8.45am -12.45 noon, with "Beginners Classes" and "Regulars (or non-beginners) Classes" alternating each week. 
  • Beginners class teaches you the basic fundamentals of traditional leatherwork including tool uses and a tour of the store, introducing different leathers and whats available to you
  • Regular classes (non-beginners) lets you work on your specific project and you are guided step by step.
  • Its not mandatory to do the Beginners first, but it comes highly recommended!!!
  • Tuesday classes are held once a fortnight from 10am till 2pm, and are general classes, combined with both Beginners and Regulars.
In these casual Beginner Classes you can learn to emboss (stamp), dye, seal, and stitch and burnish edges on a simple item like a coaster, working on veg tanned leather. You also have a tour through the store showing all the different types of leathers and exotics.  This fun class teaches you the basics that will carry you through all of your projects including tool uses and leather choices. 
This class opens your eyes to what's available to you, and comes highly recommended. You only need one lesson to set you on your way.



Subsequent classes (Regulars) can be any project you like (within reason) and you will be guided on the day.  This can include carving, bevelling and setting hardware like rivets, studs (baby dots), buckles and keepers, and new projects of your choice will be easy, like belts, journal covers, handbags, almost anything...

However, if you have ANY particular project in mind - perhaps using chrome tanned leather for a soft handbag for example, this is also achievable without the Beginners Class, and you will be guided on the day. Please note there are no sewing machines in the classroom.  All sewing is done by hand.
Tuesdays, being a smaller class, are a combination of Beginners and Regulars and need 2 or more Beginners to conduct the Beginners component.  Otherwise everyone picks a project, and you are guided step by step.  Please Note that if the class contains less than 4 participants, the tutor will guide you step by step, but whilst you are busy, she will continue with other tasks.  General classes fall on every 2nd Tuesday.

4 hour Saturday Classes and 4 hour alternate Tuesday classes are $50.00 each. Beginners to advanced are all welcome. Bookings for all classes are essential and can be booked individually, by the lesson. Come in and join all the fun.
Private Tuition is available at $60 per hour for one on one tuition with Silvia Guerrera.

Room Hire:  Use of craftroom with no tutor or consumables is available @ $15 per hour.
Book Saturday classes HERE.     Book Tuesday classes HERE.       




Make this attractive and quirky handbag that you can decorate in your own style.
A rewarding workshop where you will tool and colour the veg tanned cowhide leather gusset and strap and choose your coloured chrome tanned goat suede or goat skin leather for the side panels.

You will have the choice to carve and tool a design or perhaps stamp a geometric design into your gusset piece, (for the less experienced carvers).

We will then attach hardware and assemble with lace (or waxed thread if you prefer to stitch) and complete with tassles and your own beads.  A challenging and fun project that will leave you wanting to make another!

When: Saturdays, 25th November & 2nd December 2017    BOOK HERE

Time:    8.45 - 3.00pm

Where: Birdsall's upstairs workshop

Cost:    $155.00 for a 2 day workshop

Take advantage of the pay-on-the-day $7 healthy workshop lunch option too!


· Natural veg tanned cowhide gusset

· 1" strap (nat veg)

· Goat suede/goat skin side panels

· Hardware, eyelets, rivets, tools, dyes etc

· 10m 4.7mm lace


· Beads of your choice with a wide diameter hole

· Your imagination!



Learn and refine your plaiting skills on this miniature whip, which can become a decorative hat band if you like!  
Master whipmaker, plaiter & braider for over 30 years, Owen Hartshorn will be holding this whipmaking workshop using kangaroo hide.

Owen, a very patient and thorough teacher, will supply you with a pre-prepared kit and will guide you all the way in making this fine plaited article.
You will be shown how the leather is cut, skived and tapered, and you will be plaiting 6 strands in this project.  You will plait the handle and learn how to do a turks head knot as well!  There should be time for loads of questions and being able to be shown specific plaits if you so desire.
When:  Saturday, 21st October 2017      SOLD OUT, SORRY!
Time:    8.45 - 4.00pm
Where: Birdsall's upstairs workshop
Cost:    $130.00 for a 7 hour workshop and your mini whip
Take advantage of the pay-on-the-day $7 healthy workshop lunch option too!


Full miniature whip kit including small handle, fall, cracker and skived and tapered kangaroo leather
Braiding clamp
Braiding lubricant


Learn the techniques in this workshop to make and take home your own Western style bridle complete with hardware.  
Join long time saddlemaker, Alan Hartley for an intense day of learning and fun with an expert in the field.  
You will create your bridle from beautiful Thoroughbred American skirting. (Reins are not included).
You'll learn how to select, measure, cut, stitch, assemble and dress your leather bridle to take home as well as the skills to make another!  

This bridle will be secured with Chicago screws, which will allow you to change buckles if you so choose. You will be stitching the browband to learn stitching skills.  Alan will show traditional stitching with an awl, but you will be using other methods.  
You also have the option to make your bridle with ear pieces instead of a browband

When: Saturday 18th November 2017    BOOK HERE
Time:    9.00am sharp - 4.00pm
Where: Birdsall's upstairs workshop
Cost:    $175.00 for a 7hr workshop & bridle
Take advantage of the pay-on-the-day $7 healthy workshop lunch option too!

Required Tool List:
2mm pricking iron or angled lacing chisel**
Stitching pony
Stanley (or sharp) knife**
Edge Beveller**
Oblong punch** (not in workshop special)
Hole punch**

Purchase a complete set of required tools at the super discounted price of $115.00 Normally RRP valued at approx $130.00
Skirting leather strap
2 x ¾" buckles
1 x 5/8" buckle
8 x Chicago screws
2 x harness needles
Braided nylon Mox waxed thread 0.8mm
Denim piece

** A small amount of asterisk marked items are available in the Craftroom to be shared amongst all students.  Extra tools can be purchased at Birdsalls, or take advantage of the "Workshop Special" tool set.
**You will need your own stitching pony as there are only minimal ones to share.

Hey, have you done the Beginners Class?  Well its time for Stage 2!

Even if you haven't you can still make belts.  Learn the principals of belt making in this fun workshop where you can emboss & colour on natural veg tanned cowhide, or add bling to a pre-coloured belt length to call your own.


In this workshop you will practice on some scrap leather initially to work out what youd like to do, then correctly measure you belt length, bevel your edges and decorate to your liking including embossing and dyeing if you wish. 

Burnishing edges will finish off your master piece, including setting your buckle and hardware.  Loads of fun!
AND the same rules apply to dog collars.  Have the measurement of your dog's neck and off we go.

When:  Saturday 4th November 2017     BOOK HERE
Time:    8.45 - 1pm
Where: Birdsall's upstairs workshop
Cost:    $65.00 for a 4 hour workshop and a belt

  • Belt length in either natural or coloured in 1½" width (38mm)
  • Standard nickle plated full buckle, or half buckle and keeper.
  • Dyes, sealers, conditioners, edge finishes,
  • All tools
  • Please note:  At extra cost, brass, trophy and special buckles are all available in store, plus any extra conchos or embellishments or bling!
  • IMPORTANT:  Please have the waist or hip measurement of the person you are making the belt for!  This is mandatory for the right fit!
  • Your imagination!

Have you completed Beginners Stages 1 and 2?  
Well even if you haven't, you can learn the basic skills of traditional tooling by carving with a swivel knife and using bevelling, background and decorative tools.  
Firstly, you will practice your carving and tooling skills on scrap leather, using a simple craftaid template, with long flowing lines, to get your skills up

Then we will work on a masterpiece from the multitudes of (more simple) Craft Aid templates that you can choose from, on natural veg tanned leather.
You will learn how to handle a swivel knife, how deeply to cut, and then which sides of the lines to bevel to create shadow and dimension. Back grounding, modelling and pearshading come next to complete your basic training.
We will antique our work which will sit in the grooves and impressions and bring this piece to life.

When:  Saturday 7th October 2017   BOOK HERE
Time:    8.45am - 12.45pm
Where: Birdsall's upstairs workshop
Cost:    $65.00 for a 4 hour workshop

Natural veg tanned leather piece
Scrap leather to practice on
Craftaid template
Marble slab

Swivel knife
Beveling tools: A104, B702, B936, P206,
Modelling tool
Mallet (preferably rawhide)
Edge creaser
Marble slab

Some tools will be available in the workshop to be shared amongst students.  Bring your own tools if you have them.

Purchase a complete set of required tools, (normal RRP @ $186.00) for the super discounted price of $167.00!
(Economical mallet option: $141 reduced to $127!)



Learn to make a pair of custom made shoes from start to finish!

Shoes can include open toes, closed toes, high heels, flat heels or wedges, mens or womens. (Boots excluded for beginners) 

Skills you will learn include pattern making, cutting, machine skiving & machine stitching, folding, colouring, hand lasting, last building & edge finishing.

Both 6 week courses on consecutive Saturdays, or an intensive one week (5 day) course are on offer throughout the year with master Italian shoemaker, Mario Dato who has over 50 years experience. Perhaps bring a pair of old shoes you'd like to replicate or a photo of them!

Five Day - Intensive in November 2017   BOOK HERE

When: Monday 6th to Friday 10th November 2017.
Time: 9.00am to 3.00pm

Six Consecutive Saturdays Oct/Nov 2017    BOOK HERE

When: 28th Oct to 2nd Dec 2017
Time: 9.00am to 1.30pm

Where: Birdsall's downstairs workshop
Cost: $755.00 for a 6 or 5 day course & a pair of shoes!
($655 for repeat students, minus tools)

Cost is inclusive of:
· All tuition
· Leather and components
· Use of all tools & equipment
· Tools to keep: shoe hammer, lasting pincers, tack knife, clicking handle & blade, scratch awl, magic pen & apron - value: over $250!! 

Compulsory: Closed shoes & no loose clothing or hair Take advantage of the weekly payment system for the six week course of $130p/w for those of you a lump sum who prefer not to pay up front.

Private Tuition with Mario
Finding the time slots difficult to attend?  Or you don't need a full course?  We are introducing PRIVATE TUITION with Mario Dato which can fall on any day except Thursdays, Fridays or Sundays!  Exciting stuff!

Take advantage of the brilliant tuition you'll receive with Mario at the rate of $60/hour (minimum 2 hours). Email for more info.



New dates available..... Back by popular demand!

Would you like to learn how to make, AND walk away with a brand new pair of custom made leather thongs (Jandals)?
Master Italian shoemaker, Mario Dato, who has over 50 years experience will show you how to cut, shape, dye and assemble some simple, comfortable footwear, namely leather thongs.  Different designs are available in subequent Jandal workshops which will be advanced classes.

You need to email Silvia with your current thongs size, and make sure you have closed in footwear on the day, hair tied back and no loose clothing, as you will be using machinery in the workshop.

Cost is inclusive of:
Full days tuition
Use of all tools
Leather and components
Extra tools can be purchased at Birdsalls, or bring your own tools if you have them.

When: Saturday 9th December 2017 BOOK HERE
Time:    8.45am till 2.00pm
Where: Birdsalls downstairs workshop
Cost:    $130.00 for a 5 hour workshop and a pair of shoes!

 Closed in footwear (on your feet) is mandatory




  • Bookings are Essential

  • Payment in full is required in advance to secure your spot. Credit card, Direct Deposit or cash are acceptable.

  • A non-refundable 20% booking fee is applicable for cancellations less than 7 days prior to workshop. (Shoe workshops are less than 21 days prior to workshop.)

  • Closed in shoes are MANDATORY

 Need Accommodation?  Dont forget.....



 We have good, clean, old fashioned pub style accommodation, literally walking distance across the road, at some great negotiated rates of between $85 & $105/night if youre travelling from afar, and youd like to stay local overnight, or longer!  Email for details.   Cant get much closer!