Classes & Workshops


Check out and book Beginner, Open classes (Regulars and General) & also workshops on specific projects in the

WORKSHOP & CLASS BOOKINGS tab on the left hand side!


Please note that these dates should be definite but are subject to change, if need be.
Also, bookings are not yet taken for some future classes.



Leathercraft classes are held every Saturday morning from 8.45am -12.45 noon, with "Beginners Classes" and "Open"  (Regulars) Classes" alternating each week, with specialty classes slotted in each month. 

  • 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
  • Saturday Open classes (Regulars) and Tuesday Open classes (General) 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 open classes to make what you want and you will be guided.


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 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 also an Open class to make what you want and you will be be 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.  Tuesday Open 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.

You can also take advantage of the brilliant private tuition you'll receive with Mario Dato at the rate of $60/hour (minimum 2 hours) for shoe making. Email for more info.

Book Saturday classes HERE.     Book Tuesday classes HERE.       




Learn the techniques in this workshop to make and take home your own Barcoo style bridle complete with hardware

Join long time saddlemaker, Hugh Bloore 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 bits.

You will be stitching the browband to learn traditional stitching with an awl. 


When: Saturday 24th November 2018     BOOK HERE

Time:    9.00am sharp — 3.00pm

Where: Birdsall’s upstairs workshop

Cost:    $198.00 for a 6 hr workshop & bridle

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

Required Tool List:

  • Stitching pony**
  • Edge Beveller**
  • Oblong punch** (not in workshop special)
  • Mallet**
  • Round or oval hole punch**
  • Ruler**
  • Overstitcher wheel (6 to 1”)**
  • Round knife**
  • Awl, diamond tip



Purchase a complete set of required tools, normally priced @ $179.00, for the super discounted price of $161.00


  • Skirting leather length
  • 2 x 1” O rings
  • 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
  • Oil/dressing

** A small amount of the required tools 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.



Make this attractive and quirky Backpack that you can decorate with this simple pattern.

A rewarding workshop where over two days, you will tool, learn how to resist and then colour the veg tanned cowhide components and choose your coloured chrome tanned goat suede or goat skin leather for the side panel gussets. 


Choose your stamps to emboss your border and then add the diamond shaped criss cross to complete your design.

We will then stitch to assemble and attach hardware. 

A challenging and fun project that needs to have your full attention and a bit of homework to get done in the two days.


When: Saturdays, October 20th & 27th 2018  BOOK HERE

Time:    8.30-4.00pm

Where: Birdsall's upstairs workshop

Cost:    $195.00 for a 2 day workshop

Take advantage of the $7 healthy lunch option!


· Natural veg tanned cowhide components

· 2 x 1" strap (nat veg)

· Goat suede side panels

· Hardware: eyelets, rivets, concho, buckles, D ring

· Waxed thread & needles & lace length

· tools, antique, resist, sealer, conditioner etc



Bracer, Vambrace, Armguard, call it what you will, lets make armour!

In this 4 hour class, you will learn how to cut from a pattern, bevel edges, emboss, dye, and assemble this quirky bracer which can give you the skills you need to create similar pieces or more of the same! 

We will use 2.5mm natural veg tanned cowhide, to give the look of heavy duty armour, without the weight.


Once assembled you can add your hardware.

For the novices, we will practice carving and tooling this simple design on scrap leather before attempting your masterpiece.

Burnishing edges will finish off your professional look, including setting your hardware. Loads of fun!

When: Saturday, 8th December 2018   BOOK HERE

Time:    8.45 sharp - 1.00pm

Where: Birdsall's upstairs workshop

Cost:    $85.00 for a 4 hour workshop and your bracer


· 2.5mm natural veg tan

· 1 mtr 4.7mm roo lace

· 14 x eyelets

· 12 x studs

· Dyes, sealers, conditioners, edge finishes,

· All tools


Your attention and your imagination







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 with JUDIT VARGA 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.

  • 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 ever wanted to personalise a collar for your dog, making it just the way you want?

In this workshop, you will walk away with your own handmade collar complete with embossing or extra hardware like conchos and studs. Otherwise, just plain and stitched in a cool colour. Your choice. 


Loads of options to choose from including brass hardware for dogs who enjoy the water.

Cost includes a 4-hour workshop, leather, standard buckles & hardware, and use of all tools & dyes.

Important!!  Please have your dog's neck measurement or an old collar to measure from.

(Please note that a basic dog collar will be completed in 4 hours, however, if extra embellishments & stitching are chosen, the project may not be completed in one day.)

When: Saturday 15th December 2018     BOOK HERE

Time:   8.45am sharp to 1.00pm

Where: Birdsall's upstairs workshop

Cost:    $75.00 for a 4 hour workshop


Veg tanned strap in natural or pre coloured leather

Hardware: nickle plated buckle & dee ring

Tools, Dyes & Conditioner


Brass & chromed brass hardware available plus loads of conchos and embellishments to choose from.

Harness needles and thread if you're stitching.

Suede if you're lining


Your imagination!

Perhaps an old collar you'd like to replicate.



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.
pictured above is a beautiful version, tooled by Peter Main, of the craftaid used in this class to help you learn about the tools used for traditional leatherwork.
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 17th November, 2018     BOOK HERE
Time:    8.45am - 12.45pm
Where: Birdsall's upstairs workshop
Cost:    $75.00 for a 4 hour workshop

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

Swivel knife
Beveling & Embossing tools x 12 including: A104 Backgrounder, B702 Beveller, B936 small Beveller, C709 (or C431) Camouflage, H907 Stop, Pear Shaders: P206 small smooth, P232, large checkered, S706 (or S724) Seeder, U710 Mulesfoot, U848 small Mulesfoot, V407 Veiner

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 @ $247.00) for the super discounted price of $210.00!

(Rawhide mallet option: $292.00 reduced to $250.00!)



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 2018   BOOK HERE

When: Monday 5th to Friday 9th November 2018.
Time: 9.00am to 3.00pm

Six Consecutive Saturdays Nov / Dec 2018    BOOK HERE

When: 3rd Nov to 8th Dec 2018
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 15th December 2018       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 $110/night if youre travelling from afar, and youd like to stay local overnight, or longer!  Email for details.   Cant get much closer!