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, bookings 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. Rates are negotiated after 1 hour.

Room Hire:  Use of craftroom with no tutor or consumables is available @ $15 for the first hour, and $10 per hour there after.
Book Saturday classes here.     Book Tuesday classes here.       



Going to Ironfest, Winterfest, the Medieval Faire, Comicon, Supanova, or just anywhere you want to make a statement?  

For those Steampunkers / Cosplayers (Literally "Costume Play") / Medieval Re-enactors & Sci Fi fans out there, and as shows like Game of Thrones come to the fore, this is the workshop for you, and it's a lot of fun!

With this genre of costume making, leather is a huge component, and people are flocking to the re-enactment movement and love anything that is as authentic as it comes.  

Hence here is the easy-to-make Top Hat where the steampunk theme and cogs are optional!  Put some thought into what hat band you may like.  Perhaps a vivid exotic snake or eel skin!  

You will be taken through the paces in this full day workshop, including cutting out your template, colouring, stitching and assembling your top hat to your desires.

You will be shown tips and tricks and also pitfalls with assembly.  You can assemble with kangaroo lace or waxed thread and learn the procedure to make yourself another top hat with ease.

When:  Saturday, July 1st 2017    BOOK HERE
Time:    8.45am - 4.00pm
Where: Birdsall's upstairs workshop
Cost:    $145.00 for a 6.5 hour workshop and a top hat
  • 3.5 sq ft x 1.5mm natural veg tanned cowhide
  • (Not cogs or hatband)
  • Dyes
  • Waxed thread or kangaroo lace & needles
  • Templates to share amongst students
  • All tools to share - bring your own if you have them.
  • Hat band choice.  You can decide later
What is Steampunk?  "Its a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology. Its essence is neo-Victorian vintage fashion with a modern sassy twist."


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 19th August 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 29th July 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!)



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 24th June 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


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

Mario Dato's shoe workshops 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.

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).

Contact us here if you are interested.

Evelyn, pictured centre, had this to say:  "I thought the course was great and Mario was very thorough. "I learnt so much in a week, including how to use the sewing & skiving machines.  Overall it was so worth the money and ill be saving for the next one."
Take advantage of the weekly payment system for the six week course of $130p/w for those of you who prefer not to pay a lump sum upfront.  Contact Tracy here

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. No experience is necessary for you!


1 WEEK INTENSIVE:  Commencing Monday 7th to 11th Aug 2017, from 9am till 3pm. 

6 CONSECUTIVE SATURDAYS:  Commencing Saturday 1st August to 9th September 2017   BOOK HERE


Where: Birdsalls downstairs workshop

Cost: $755.00 for a 6 or 5 day workshop and 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  



Ross Birdsall's tours are a taste of the knowledge that's been passed on from generations gone by. 

Have you ever wondered where some leathers come from or how they are actually tanned? 

What about which type of leather is right for which purpose?


Ross Birdsall has been surrounded by, and worked with leather all his life. Join him, in a 2.5 hour guided tour of our Chegwyn St facility from the downstairs tannery to the upstairs classroom, and everywhere in between.

Ross will cover the embossing and debossing services we provide, along with a tour of machinery and processes used for tanning & colouring skins, in both veg and chrome, shoe making equipment and lace making.


Along with this, he will explain the business aspects of leather and the leather trade, both in Australia and overseas, and what that can mean to you.

Different types of leather covered are footwear, garment, upholstery, craft leather, hair hides, rawhides, exotics and more.

Ross will be happy to answer all of your questions, so be sure to have them ready!

When:  Saturday 17th June 2017         BOOK HERE

Time:     1.00pm until 3.30pm

Where:   Start in Birdsalls upstairs workshop

Cost:      $50.00 for a 2.5 hour tour




  • 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!