How To: Leather Fly Swatter

Everyone loves summer! Warmer water, longer days, BBQ's, etc. But lets not forget about a minor annoyance of summer; all the pesky bugs. Everyone needs a good, sturdy fly swatter to keep all those scavengers in check. This how-to provides a series of steps to take your cheap plastic fly swatter and convert it into something a little more stylish, and deadly.  Also, with this swatter design, you can keep score all summer as you tally up points for each kill.


  • Leather (2-3 oz. veg tan)
  • Hole punch
  • Needle (2) and thread
  • Glue
  • Edge beveler
  • Scissors
  • Fly swatter

Step 1: Remove plastic swatter pad from aluminum handle.

Step 2: Trace plastic swatter pad onto two leather pieces (front and back).

Step 3: Cut both pieces with scissors.

Step 4: Glue the two pieces together and use plenty of glue. Leave the bottom portion unglued to allow room to reinsert the handle.

Step 5: Mark and punch your stitch holes into the leather. Be sure to note where the aluminum handle will fit back into the leather swatter pad.

Step 6: Saddle stitch the handle to the swatter pad and around the perimeter of the pad.

Step 7: Bevel and burnish the edges.

Step 8: Create a pattern of holes and punch them out. This reduces drag and increases swag. 

Step 9: Now, wait patiently and strike fast. Enjoy your summer.

Seed People's Market, Costa Mesa

The Seed People's market has a green roof, an element of sustainable design very hard to come by in the arid climate of Southern California. They also now carry a wide selection of the Headlands Handmade line, now increasingly easier to come by in Southern California. Seed People's market is located within The Camp, a non-traditional shopping experience packed with cool stores, great restaurants (Taco Asylum is the standout if you ask me) and tons of people cruising around.

When I dropped off the goods, the friendly crew greeted me with enthusiasm and a bunch of great questions about the product and process.  Seed is packed with great brands, large and small. They offer a wide range from Patagonia and Filson to much smaller craftsman-type goods such as pottery, jewelry and paintings.

I am proud to expand the line in the Orange County and look forward to working with Seed for a long time.

Interview with Steve Montelli

Recently a gentleman purchased a wallet. A few minutes after he made the purchase he emailed to asked if he could come down to Dana Point to check out my operation and interview me. His name is Steve Montelli and he buys wallets and reviews them on his popular YouTube channel.  At first I was shocked at the amount of views his channel gets.  After watching a few of them and recognizing that he's a really passionate guy, with a good eye for detail and smooth buttery voice that is easy to listen to, it started to make way more sense.  Steve came over on Saturday and pointed his camera at me and asked me a bunch of great questions. We did it all in one take and its not edited down, so bare with the entire 27 minutes or just watch it for few minutes  It was great to talk about Headlands Handmade and the wallet making process with Steve.  

How It's Made

To really know about something it is important to understand how it is made, at least for me it has always been that way.  What are the specific tools used and what are some of the techniques used with those tools? I developed this infographic along with the talented folks at Hoodzpah Art & Graphics to help increase transparency of my processes and to provide an understanding of how each wallet is constructed. It is great to have customers visit the studio because it enables them to see firsthand some the steps, hopefully this drawing provides a sneak peak for those that are too far or can't make the visit. For a breakdown of each step, see the headlands_handdmade instagram feed.


The Kings Club Fire - Fundraiser

The neighborhood barbershop in Dana Point, The Kings Club, caught on fire a month ago. This past Saturday the community came together and raised funds to help them rebuild. The event was held at Hobie's Surf Shop. Hundreds of people came out to contribute to the cause, drink beer, listen to music and win some cool prizes. Nation MFG and Donald Brink raffled off surfboards, St. Archer supplied the beer, and various local artist donated some great paintings and prints, and much more.  Also part of the raffle were ten individually stamped and numbered Headlands Handmade comb holsters.  It was great to meet a few of the people that won something I had made. The highlight was when one of my good pals won a one-of-a-kind surfboard shaped by Hobies' Gary Larson and Nation MFG's Ryan Engle.  We had a blast getting in the shaping room and watching as they transformed a piece of foam into something beautiful the old fashioned way, by hand.