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.


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 Classes" every month, along with specialty classes slotted in each month. Included regularly are Belt/Dog Collar workshops and Carving & Tooling Workshops.  There are also regular shoe making workshops wtih Mario Dato in the downstairs workshop.

  • Beginners class teaches you the basic fundamentals of traditional leatherwork including tool uses and a tour of the store, introducing different leathers and what's available to you
  • Saturday Open classes and Tuesday Open classes 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 every three weeks, 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, 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 once every three weeks.


We do have some patterns and templates for leather projects, but best to check with us first.  Otherwise, make the pattern out of paper first, get your folds right, then transfer to cardboard.  Bring your cardboard peices in, and therefore you have not wasted class time, cutting cardboard.  A 5mm seam allowance works for just about everything!

4 hour Saturday Classes and 4 hour alternate Tuesday classes are $60.00 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 23rd November 2019    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 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.





Do you have any perfectly good knives with exposed blades?

Or do you want to make a better sheath than the stock standard boring ones that come with some knives?

Or if youre a knife maker, this is the workshop for you.  Learn with Master knife and sheath maker, Ben Duncan, whose years of experience will set you on your way.

The safest and best way to cover your knife is with a custom leather sheath.  In this workshop you will make either a two piece or a fold over sheath for a standard knife. 


You will learn how to make a welt so that that sharp blade will not harm the stitches in your sheath and how to wet mould if needed.

Bring your favourite standard sized knife to work with, with the full length to not exceed 30cm.

You will be working with 3.5mm natural veg tanned cow hide (Australian Russet with magnificent markings of nature of the beast) and will be dyeing or antiquing on the day.

You have the choice to decorate your sheath with stamping, with a very simple design, time permitting.

When:  Saturday, February 1st, 2020  (NO BOOKINGS TAKEN UNTIL 2020)

Time:    8.45am SHARP — 3.00pm

Where: Birdsall’s upstairs workshop

Cost:    TBA for a 5.5 hour workshop and your custom sheath                             


  • 3.5mm natural cowhide
  • Waxed thread
  • All tools


  • Your knife
  • Closed in shoes!





Skiving skills are an advantage!!

If you would like to learn the art of leather rose making, come and join in on a very satisfying class.

You will learn to skive, colour, wet mould and assemble a realistic rose that is secured on its own stem and will last forever.  Your rose will come complete with a ladybird!


Skiving skills are definitely an advantage but not mandatory.  Brush up on those skills before coming to class if you can, otherwise you’ll be shown the art of skiving with a scalpel where your skills just get better with practice.

We dye our petals in a colour of your choice in a bath of dye and mould them as they are drying out.  Then comes assembly which is a whole lot of fun and extremely satisfying to see your rose come to life!  Learn some tricks to make your rose look realistic.

These pretty roses are lovely around the home, or make a beautiful gift.

When:  Saturday, 28th September 2019    BOOK HERE


Time:   8.45 sharp to 3.00pm

Where: Birdsall’s upstairs workshop

Cost:    $140.00 for a 6 hour workshop


Kangaroo or goat leather – small tea towel size.

Rose Kit containing:

cardboard stencils, 1½ wooden skewers, wire & ladybird

Skiving glass

All dyes

Leathercement glue

Modeling tool (stylus/spoon)


Skiving knife (scalpel), and no 11 blades

*  Some tools available to share in classroom







Learn the intricacies of plaiting, starting with a basic 4 plait, and then perhaps try your hand at 6 and 8 strands.

Long time plaiter, Owen Harshorn has been plaiting leather for over 30 years.  Learn skills from the master to be able to handle 4.7mm lace, (to make it nice and easy for you to pick up), and learn how to plait either flat or round braiding.

In this workshop you may be able to tackle some simple projects like a hat band, jewellery or bracelets, or round to flat plaiting like dog leads.

You may also be able to plait buttons, knots and turks heads If Owen thinks youre up for the challenge.

Whatever you decide to do in this introductory workshop, you can turn your work into something practical and attractive.

When:  Saturday 26th October 2019    BOOK HERE


Time:    8.30am — 3.00pm

Where: Birdsall’s upstairs workshop

Cost:    $98.00 for a 6 hour workshop and some take home masterpeices

Take advantage of the $7 healthy lunch option on the day!


 10 mtrs of 4.7mm lace

 Braiding clamp

 Braiding lubricant


 Tools Required:

Sharp knife (Stanley, break off, etc)

Lacing fid

A small amount of items are available in the Craftroom to be shared amongst all students.



The principals of making belts or dog collars are the same, only one is shorter!  Learn the basics of how to get your measurements right, work through the steps in order and then decorate to your liking.

You can keep it plain in a cool colour or add bling to a pre-coloured belt length/dog collar to call your own.  Your choice. 


You will learn to correctly measure you belt length, bevel your edges and decorate to your liking.  You can practice on some scrap leather if need be.

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 coloured in 1½" width (38mm) or similar sizing
  • Standard nickle plated full buckle, or half buckle and keeper.
  • 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 extra hardware like conchos and studs if you wish. 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 21st September 2019     BOOK HERE

Time:   8.45am sharp to 12.45pm

Where: Birdsall's upstairs workshop

Cost:    $75.00 for a 4 hour workshop

DID YOU KNOW?  You dont have to wait for this class.  You can make a belt or dog collar in any Tuesday or Saturday Open class.


Veg tanned strap in 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.



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 9th November, 2019     BOOK HERE
Time:    8.45am - 12.45pm
Where: Birdsall's upstairs workshop
Cost:    $75.00 for a 4 hour workshop
DID YOU KNOW?  You dont have to wait for this class.  You can make a belt or dog collar in any Tuesday or Saturday Open class.
Natural veg tanned leather piece
Craftaid template
Marble slab


Embossing tools (11): A104 Backgrounder / B702 Beveller / B936 small Beveller / C940 Camouflage / H907 Stop / Pear Shaders: P206 small smooth, P217 small checkered / S706 Seeder / U849 small Mulesfoot, V409 Veiner X501 Basketweave

Swivel knife

Modelling tool
Mallet or Maul
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 @ $225.00) for the super discounted price of $187.00!



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: To be advised

Time: 9.00am to 3.00pm

Six Consecutive Saturdays -  Aug 24th to Sep 28th 2019 

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 12th October 2019       BOOK HERE  (SOLD OUT)
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!