Skip to main content

Homemade leather dressing balm

I don't own many pairs of shoes, so I really like to take care of the shoes I do own.  My favourite pair are these leather boots that I bought in NZ a few years ago (sorry Brisbane, but you didn't have any nice boots).  I've had these boots for about eight years.  I don't get to wear them very often, I have to wait for our short winter, but I will wear them at any opportunity!  The key to looking after leather shoes is a good leather dressing and the right storage.




I've been using a leather dressing that I bought, but I ran out, so time to make my own.  Leather dressing is made with neatsfoot oil, which is the fat from the legs of cattle.  This has a different melting point to the tallow (fat around their body).  Neatsfoot oil is popular for leather dressing and available from produce stores and horse supplies.  Its actually liquid at room temperature, so I added beeswax to make it solid and more manageable.  And some lavender essential oil for a nice fragrance as well.

For my first attempt, I followed a recipe with 50:50 neatsfoot oil to beeswax by weight, but that came out a bit too solid.  Second try is one third beeswax to two thirds neatsfoot oil and and that is a good consistency.  I use 10 drops of essential oil per 100g of leather dressing.  I melt it in a jar in a pot of simmering water, and then either keep it in the jar or pour it into a smaller tin.  Its really very easy and only a little bit messy.

Whenever my leather boots are looking a bit scuffed and dry, I apply the leather dressing with a clean cloth   I just keep rubbing it in until they are looking good again.  It doesn't take long, and it makes my leather boots look new again.  I also did a belt and a bag while I had the cloth out!


one boot done
I store my boots stuffed with newspaper to stop them from creasing, and keep them in a shoebox in tissue paper in a cool dark cupboard.  I hope I can keep them looking good for a few years to come because I don't want to have to try to find another pair that are this comfy!




Do you make or use a leather dressing?  How do you care for leather shoes and other items?

My leather dressing and wooden chopping board polish are now available in my Etsy store in 100g tins.




Comments

  1. Liz, that leather dressing does a good job. I only have some ankle boots that I don't wear very often unless it is extremely cold but the days have been quite warm so far this winter.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I live in boots for most of the year, either RM Williams or my garden-farm work Redbacks with steel caps, so we do go through a bit of leather dressing because I want these boots to last a long time, they are expensive. You are so clever to have devised this recipe, and very generous to share it with us all. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

Popular posts from this blog

Getting started with chickens - Tanya from Lovely Greens

Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....

Farmer Liz: You will remember Tanya from Lovely Greens from the first series, she lives on the Isle of Mann and added chickens to her garden about a year ago.  You can leave comments for this post on Tanya's blog.



How many chickens (and other fowl) do you keep, what breed and what do you use them for (meat, eggs, slug control etc)?
Tanya: Around the same time that we were initially thinking about having hens another friend beat us to the punch. She went to the local pet store and bought a flat-pack hen house and chicken run combo and found a local farmer who had dozens of semi-feral chickens running around his property. One night he pulled three down from the trees and my friend took them home in a pet carrier. She named them Miracel, Carmen, and Geraldine and though they’re probably related they were all…

The new Eight Acres website is live!

Very soon this blogspot address will automatically redirect to the new Eight Acres site, but in the meantime, you can check it out here.  You will find all my soaps, ebooks and beeswax/honey products there, as well as the blog (needs a tidy up, but its all there!).  I will be gradually updating all my social media links and updating and sharing blog posts over the next few months.  I'm very excited to share this new website with you!


Making a dressmaker's dummy

For a while now I have believed that the main barrier to me doing a better job of sewing my own clothes was my lack of a or dressmaker's dummy (aka dressmakers form or mannequin).  When I last investigated the cost of  a dummy, they seemed too extravagant, so I looked for a way to make my own.  There are a few methods around, using plaster bandages, using paper packaging tape, and finally, the one I chose, duct tape!

Not only is making your own dummy very cheap, if you are careful, you end up with a form that exactly matches your own body.  Well its a lot closer than an expensive adjustable dummy anyway.  All you need is a few rolls of duct tape (at least four to be safe), and old tight-fitting t-shirt to wear (and cut up) under the duct tape, a spare 2-3 hours and at least one person to help (pick someone that you don't mind smoothing duct tape over your upper body, I used my husband).  The first element is the easiest, the others can be more difficult, when I got the bag of …