Secure a piece of Russian modeling calf leather of a size equal to 12 by 16 in. Make a paper pattern of the size indicated in the accompanying drawing, putting in the design.
The necessary tools consist of a stick with a straight edge and a tool with an end shaped like that of a nutpick. A nutpick with a V-shaped point will do if the sharpness is smoothed off by means of a piece of emery paper, so that it will indent without cutting the leather. These tools can be bought for this special purpose, but are not essential for this piece if the nutpick is at hand. There will also be needed a level, non-absorbent surface upon which to lay the leather while working it. A piece of thick glass, metal, or marble will serve.
Illustration: Portfolio Design
Begin work by moistening the leather on the back side with a sponge or cloth. Moisten as much as you dare and still not have the moisture show on the face side. Next place the leather on the glass, face up, and, holding the pattern firmly in place so that it will not slip--if possible get some one to hold the pattern for you--place the straight edge on the straight lines and mark out or indent. After this has been done, mark over the design. A pencil may be used the first time over.
The pattern is now to be removed and all the lines gone over with the tool to make deep and uniform.
The surplus stock around the edges may not be cut off. A neat way to finish the edges is to punch a series of holes entirely around through which a thin leather thong may be laced. If it is desired to "line" the inside, this should be done before the holes are punched or the lacing done.