Things You'll Need
- Large pot
- Medium pot
- Flaxseed or natural linseed oil
- Tea tree oil
- Liquid lanolin
- Rosin (optional)
- Jar with lid
- Soft brush or cloth
Made from animal hides, leather’s natural makeup makes it prone to drying out. Like skin, leather requires moisturizing and dried leather left unconditioned for too long will crack and fade. Protect leather items, including boots, purses, furniture, jackets and chaps, with leather lotion. Make homemade leather lotion out of beeswax, which will guarantee long-lasting leather finishes and protective coatings, as beeswax functions to keep the leather supple as well as to shield it from exterior moisture.
Set up a double boiler. Place a large pot on a stove burner with a smaller-diameter pot set inside. Add water to the large pot until the water level sits 1/4 to 1/3 the way up the smaller pot.
Place all leather lotion ingredients in the smaller pot, including beeswax, tea tree oil, lanolin and flaxseed or natural linseed oil. For every 1 oz. of beeswax, include 3 to 5 drops of tea tree oil, 3 to 5 drops of liquid lanolin and 2 cups of flaxseed or linseed oil. For hard leathers, also include a portion of rosin (tree resin) that is equal to the portion of beeswax. Rosin will help leather maintain its stiffness.
Bring the water to a boil. Stir the ingredients constantly until the beeswax melts and the oil is integrated. Add more water to the large pot if it evaporates before the wax melts.
Pour the hot mixture into a glass jar. Apply the lotion to leather with a soft brush while it is warm, for quick penetration, or leave the mixture to cool to a thick, paste-like consistency and apply it to leather by rubbing it in with a soft cloth. Seal the jar and store the lotion in a cool, dark location.
- Peak Candle Supplies: Wax Melting Instructions
- SoulShine Beeswax: Beeswax Recipes
- For Small Hands: Polish Up Your Polishing Activities!
- University of Tulsa: Cuir Bouilli/Hardened Leather FAQ; Marc Carlson; June 2004
Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.