Learn to Design & Craft, Your Own Dream Leather Armours, Costumes & Accessories

A one of a kind step by step online Learning Program, teaching you how to design & Create your own Leather Armour, Costume & Accessories.  Every Stage explained in detail, with constant professional guidance as you progress.  Over 20 Hours of Demonstrations, Explanations & In Depth Professional Tips & Tricks

  • 12 easy-to-follow Online Classes ( A New Module Unlocked Every 7 Days for 12 Weeks)
  • Over 20+ Hours of Step by Step, Video Demos
  • Armour Design, Tool use & Leather Types, Where To Source Materials & Tools, Pattern Making, Leather Tooling, Water Forming & Leather Hardening, Colouring, Gilding & Finishing
  • No Deadlines for Completion, All Videos & Content Can be Watched & Read as often as you wish
  • 12 Digital eWorkBooks
  • 9 Guidance Practice Patterns + 5 Bonus Exclusive Pieces of Knotwork Art
  • Final Certification
  • No Subscriptions & 30 Day Money Back Guarantee

From Authentic Reproductions to Exploring the Limitless Bounds of Your Creativity, the Academy by the Prestigious Black Raven Armoury Will Show You How to Everything You Need to Know to Craft Stunning Leather Armour

  • Design to Creation
  • 12 "In your own time" easy-to-follow modules
  • 1-1 Tutor & Student Discussion groups
  • 20+ Hours of Video Explanations and Demos
  • 12 Digital eWorkBooks
  • Bonus 9 Guidance Patterns
  • Bonus 5 Exclusive Norse Knotworks
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Welcome to the Academy

A Beginner's Leather Masterclass For Ren, SCA, Larp, Cosplay, Film & Theatre

Begin Your Creative Adventure

Leather from Concept to Creation in 12 Simple Steps

Have you ever sat staring in awe at the masterpieces your favourite heroes wore on the big screen?

Or perhaps you have dreamed about creating something amazing using leather for yourself or your beloved horse or dog, possibly even considered this as a career path ... but haven’t known where to start?

With over 25 years’ experience in crafting leather armour and costumes for Ren enthusiasts, Larpers, Cosplayers and the film industry, three years ago I decided to share my passion for leatherworking, design and all things creative to your workbench. Via a new unique online course, that has now nurtured thousands of crafters since 2018.....

Step by step I share my entire personal creative process so even an absolute beginner will be able to design, create and bring life to their dreams.

Whether your passion is for Ren Fairs, Larp, Cosplay or SCA, this course will prepare you for a journey of expression and creativity and all at YOUR pace once each module has unlocked.

Learn to Create Masterpieces,  Even if working on a Tight Budget

30 years ago, I made my very first piece of leather armour for my first ever event. I picked apart second-hand sheepskin from a flea market, used hot glue and some DIY hobby rivets, and somehow cobbled my armour together... and that was the start...... 

What can I say, if like me you've grown to love Ren Fests, Larp, Cosplay or SCA... My first, was an experience that ignited my passion for leather crafting and all things Costumes & Props. Like most... I had no teachers and no internet, no mobiles or wi-fi… just libraries, museums, and old VHS tapes to fuel my dreams and that's why I wanted to do my part in ensuring whatever  learning and skills I've managed to amass over this time... I pass them on!

Now, since the creation of this course, thousands of student projects later, no more guessing or praying your armour  or costumes hold together… Instead you get to learn from anywhere in the world, while I share over 25 years experiences taken from tens of thousands of projects across dozens of industries.

By the Time You’ve Completed the Course, You’ll Have Created Your Own Pieces to Rival Any Professional Maker

From today, NO MORE guessing how a piece of armour holds together… "Just Ask & Your Questions are Answered"

The 12 easy-to-follow modules in the complete Black Raven Armoury Academy were designed to give you the  knowledge and experience I had to learn on my own over decades of leather crafting & research. As you work through the course, you’ll learn everything you need to make professional looking leather pieces. 

In easy to follow simple steps, I’ll lay the groundwork so when the time comes to make your creation, everything falls into place. You’ll learn how few tools you need to get to work as well as learning to source materials on a budget. 

When I started out, there was no internet, so I was reliant on books and hands on experimentation to develop my skills.

20+ years & thousands of projects on, and it’s still surprisingly difficult to find detailed information on leatherwork for armour & costumes... And I guess this is very much a part of WHY I wanted to share my learning with you.

Ask any of my students... From Day 1, you have me personally on tap to ask anything !! No matter the question, if its in my power to guide you, I will.

Remember when you sign up for the course, you don’t just get an introduction to leather working; ...You get to be part of an amazingly supportive creative community... One we all love.

Begin Crafting

The Course Structure



Introduction: The Fundamentals of Crafting Leather Armour

To begin off your journey crafting leather armour, costume & accessories. You'll learn:

  • A step by step detailed introduction teaching you the fundamentals behind the art of “Design” and the skills needed allowing you to create your own unique projects, using centuries old techniques;
  • In depth discussions and demonstrations, showing how you can then takes your concepts to the next stage of creation;
  • How to create your very own libraries of ideas, as well as my own go to secret sources of inspiration;
  • How to keep all your ambitious plans, mood boards and ideas organised so you'll never lose a design again.

Creating Your Custom Dummy & Formers

Beginning to bring your concept to life. You'll learn:

  • How to create a working dummy based on your exact proportions, enabling a perfect fitting for the wearer;
  • The fundamentals of basic design practicalities, enabling a closer look at how materials work together;
  • How to work with a mannequin, sizing up, re shaping and adjusting the form, including techniques for extending the life of your working dummy for future projects;
  • How you’re working dummy and base forms, will work with your pattern.

Designing Detailed Patterns

From concept to pattern. You'll learn:

  • How to construct begin constructing your own detailed patterns using the mannequin or former from module 3;
  • How to create your first pattern skins, as well as how to bring a perfectly fitting 3 dimensional feel to your design.
  • The fundamentals of pattern cutting and working with your personal dummy former;
  • The different pattern options; and...
  • The different media and methods involved in pattern making.

Finding the Perfect Materials

Choosing your materials, their best uses and best practices. You'll learn:

  • The different types of leathers and also non-animal alternatives;
  • The different terminology;
  • How to identify different types and parts of leather;
  • A basic understanding of how different types of leather are made;
  • How to size and source leather;
  • What type of leather you'll need for any given project;
  • How to budget for your project and costs involved; and
  • Where you can substitute if things get too expensive.

Introduction to Leather Crafting Tools

Learn all the tools you need to work with leather. You’ll learn:

  • What each tool does and their uses, as well as practical demonstrations, hints and tips ;
  • The reality of how few tools you require in order to produce any design:
  • To gain experience in using these tools; and...
  • To gain a solid understanding of how to use them to dramatic effect.

Hand Tooling and Embossing

Here we teach you more advanced tooling skills to get the detail you want.

  • Get 20 years worth of experience and techniques, as well as the processes used by many leading industry professionals;
  • How to use simple techniques to create stunning designs; and...
  • Discover how to add texture, detail and embellishments to elevate your own work to a new standard.

Water Forming

Learn the ancient art of leather Water forming.

  • Learn how to use simple techniques and little more water to shape to help you form leather into complex and rigid shape;
  • The limitations of forming leather, the steps to follow ensuring the correct hardness and and shape
  • Tips and tricks to make the process easier. Temperatures and timings to make sure your shape remains without loss of detail or leather integrity

Hand Finishing

The final application of dyes stains waxes and distressing. You'll learn

  • How to create stunning professional level finishes:
  • How to decorate your leather work, including an introduction to many of the metalwork & finish options available;
  • Insider advice on how to add world class finishes; and
  • How to apply the same antiquing processes as Alex to create stunning leather.
  • How to Gild using both modern and ancient techniques, using a variety of foils, leaves & paints.

Design Considerations

Dive into all the considerations when designing Armour, Accessories and Costumes. You'll learn:

  • How the physical limits of the human form influences the design of your armour, Costumes & Accessories;
  • How to create something fit for purpose, its aesthetic fit for your costume or character, as well as all the practical lists of considerations needed when creating any project (Materials choices & their place in your planning);
  • The strengths and weakness of different types of materials, be they leather, fabrics or other synthetic materials;
  • What's possible and practical when creating armour (and when you can bend the rules);
  • The differences between turning heads with your Armour at a Ren Faire, Larp or Cosplay vs the NEED to Turn Rattan or Steel at SCA Event.

Bringing Patterns to Life

Continuing from the previous pattern making module, learn how to transfer your physical prototype patterns into final format. You'll learn:

  • How to translate designs into digital and final pattern format; allowing faster, easier adjustment options for later use:
  • To gain solid understanding of patterns, & sizing techniqies;
  • How patterns form the skeleton of almost all designs; and how to play with the software Alex uses, including valuable tips from his experiences.

  • Not only will you get FREE access to 9 Practice Patterns, but now an additional range of Black Raven Armoury Patterns are available for purchase, to apply those newly honed skills

Creating Your First Prototype

Drawing on all the skills that you've learnt, you'll move from concept to real life creation. You'll learn:

  • How to transition from design to a physical representation of your concept; and...
  • Some basic leather tooling skills.
  • The final steps in creating your first working prototype design:
  • How to plan for your detailing, embossing and embellishments.

Marketing and Self-Promotion

Building your audience, client base and following. You'll learn:

  • How to market, create a social media presence and turn a hobby into a business; and...
  • Everything Alex has to know about creating a business so that you can create a successful armoury.
  • How to create your own personal brand and signature style, enabling your own unique fan following.

"Whether You've Dreamt of Taking Your Work To An Even More Professional Level.... Or Wanted to Build Your own Client Base & Business"


"This One of a Kind Training is for you"

Start Learning Now

“What Tools Do I Need?”

The Basics Tools List

Cutting Mat or Cutting Surface (that will avoid you getting beaten by your parter )Craft tool edge beveller  (number 3) & Rivet Setter (optional)Hole punch (suitable for standard rivets) 3mm holes & Awl for making stitch holes (optional)Hammer (for rivets) & Poly mallet (for punches) Scalpel or craft knife, Blunt Harness needles & Wax ThreadSmall Craft Anvil (or piece of solid steel)
Materials will be 100% down to what project you would like to complete and are discussed at length in module 6, along with cheapest and best sources shared by the students and coach.

So what will you need to get started ?

Simple tools... No fancy expensive kit & very little that can't be found on ebay, Amazon or any decent hardware store for under $60-$70

What About Materials? 

Again.... I am no different from most folks in this hobby... I hate wasting money or pointless spending, so over the last two years, we have put together a tried and tested extensive list of worldwide leather suppliers. None of us have deep pockets when it comes to being creative, so as part of the Module on Materials, I'll share with you the most cost efficient ways of getting every last bit of scrap of leather !!

"A Personal journey of creation & imagination"

Meet The Founder

Alex Agricola

Founder of Black Raven Armoury & Author of The Crystal Anvil

Born in the U.K. and currently based in the historical town of Stratford Upon Avon, Alex currently heads up one of the most respected teams of creators in the world, specialising in the design and production of Leather Armour & Accessories for a variety of industries including Larp, Ren, Cosplay, Motion Pictures & Television.

Reviews from Students Like You

Jeremy – USA

Beyond inspirational. This course from start to finish is the pure definition of learning the craft to its fullest potential.

Zachary – USA

Very impressive work. If I could, I would hire you to make me something for the start of a collection.

Matt – UK

Great course, lots of content and clear instruction. Alex’ passion really shines through and the pace is very gentle. Heartily recommended.

Mike – USA

Comprehensive Curriculum with Emphasis on Original Design. The “Tips and Tricks” that come with Years of Experience are a Great Asset to those willing to take the time to Learn.
Thank You Alex.

Ruth – USA

Well thought out modules that enable the student to absorb and reflect on each topic. Great support and feedback from Alex and other students. Enjoying it a lot.

Teresa – USA

I love that you can go at your own pace and there is no pressure or time constraints. So affordable too! If I could give it 10 stars I would! 

Possum – USA

Well designed course for learning at your own pace. Videos are well done and concepts are explained thoroughly through video and practical instruction.

Ron – Canada

I am THOROUGHLY enjoying the webinars and course material that are a part of this course. My skills as a leathercrafter are going through the roof as a result of what I am learning. An honest, well earned 5 out of 5 stars. Highly recommended.

Sign Up and Get Started Now!

A Beginners Leather Master Class for Larp, Ren & SCA

12 Module Professional Beginners Masterclass - "How to Design & Create Leather Armour, Costume & Accessories for Larp, Ren, SCA, Film & Theatre"


Purchase As A Gift

What You Get:
  • 22+ hours of video (for a total of 12 modules over 12 Weeks
  • 12 PDF Accompanying workbooks, printables, and additional resources for each module
  • 9 Practice Downloadable Patterns
  • 5 Unique Pieces of Practice Knotwork
  • Mp3 Transcripts of all Videos
  • 12 Months Online Live Tutor Support 
  • Tips on marketing and promoting your work
  • Lifetime Access To Your Course Videos & Downloadable Materials 
  • Access To Online Exclusive Student Discussion Support Groups
  • Delivery: Unlock Every 7 Days
  • Lifetime Access

12 Module Professional Beginners Masterclass - "How to Design & Create Leather Armour, Costume & Accessories for Larp, Ren, SCA, Film & Theatre"


One Time Payment

What You Get:
  • 22+ hours of video (for a total of 12 modules over 12 Weeks
  • 12 PDF Accompanying workbooks, printables, and additional resources for each module
  • 9 Practice Downloadable Patterns
  • 5 Unique Pieces of Practice Knotwork
  • Mp3 Transcripts of all Videos
  • 12 Months Online Live Tutor Support 
  • Tips on marketing and promoting your work
  • Lifetime Access To Your Course Videos & Downloadable Materials 
  • Access To Online Exclusive Student Discussion Support Groups
  • Delivery: Unlock Every 7 Days
  • Lifetime access

12 Module Professional Beginners Masterclass - "How to Design & Create Leather Armour, Costume & Accessories for Larp, Ren, SCA, Film & Theatre"


3 Monthly Payments

What You Get:
  • 22+ hours of video (for a total of 12 modules over 12 Weeks
  • 12 PDF Accompanying workbooks, printables, and additional resources for each module
  • 9 Practice Downloadable Patterns
  • 5 Unique Pieces of Practice Knotwork
  • Mp3 Transcripts of all Videos
  • 12 Months Online Live Tutor Support 
  • Tips on marketing and promoting your work
  • Lifetime Access To Your Course Videos & Downloadable Materials 
  • Access To Online Exclusive Student Discussion Support Groups
  • Delivery: Unlock Every 7 Days
  • Lifetime Access

These Prices Are Good Until December 31, 2021

Starting in 2022 the cost of the Academy will be going up. 

 Frequently Asked Questions

Tools & Materials - Will I be informed of what I'll be needing during this course?

Yes absolutely, with each module you will receive a list of what you'll need in order to carry our assignments. Obviously as I have developed the course very much for the complete beginner, lists will be very short, only requiring the bare minimum.

These lists are being delivered with each module to avoid students thinking too far ahead and focused on the current module. As a guide IF you were purchasing every single tool in one go, we have estimated a total cost of about $100 (tools) however these will not be required for the first 5-6 modules of this course so plenty of time to save as they are all commonly available online.

Learning Level - Is this course just suitable for beginners and if so will it also be of value to more advanced craftsmen?

This course is very much about my own personal experiences and processes. I guess in many ways it’s for the folks who have seen my work and know the history of my experience, working my way up, self-trained over 25 years from passionate hobbyist costume & armour maker, to an artist who has now gained some respect both in the public community as well as many of the major film, TV & Game studios around the world.

This journey & process I follow each time I create anything, rather than just another collection of "how to bevel, cut, punch and tool" videos you can easily find on YouTube. Yes, I will cover all these subjects to some degree in the relevant modules, yet my own approach is very much that "Design".... "The Why" is the key to any successful creation & leather merely the chosen vehicle. This course may or may not teach the experienced leather worker anything "new" with regards to working with leather.... what it will teach them, is "my way."

Tools & Materials - Are they included, or do I need to purchase my own?

I am afraid that while I would have loved to have thrown in a kit, no tools or materials are included in this course; however, guidance is given with each module to the relevant "essential" items needed.

I have very much developed this course around my own circumstances when I started 20+ years ago as a broke student having to be inventive and get things going on a budget. I encourage a huge amount of recycling of tools (second hand) and if not available, there are a ton of very cheap starter tools manufactured in China (many I still use today) Materials will be down to your chosen projects and again, guidance will be given with regards the places to get a bargain.

Student Support - Will I be able to ask questions as we go along in class?

Within each module, you will find a list of items to interact with, including Videos, Workbooks as well as other items such as Art (modules 1-5), Patterns (Modules 6-11) Each of these will have an associated discussion option.

This is where students can ask questions and comments and will be the core place for discussion. Questions will be restricted to ONLY the module being worked on to avoid confusion or jumping the gun. Students will be encouraged to share their own experiences & knowledge and at the same time, be expected to remain respectful at all time, both with fellow students & tutors.

Course Finish Time - Does it matter how long I take to complete the course?

There is no set time limit for completing the course with each module unlocked every 7 Days from your enrolment date automatically . After this, while we monitor your progression, this is just to make sure you are ok, and not needing assistance. The actual amount of time you take is 100% up to you (I designed this to fit round busy lives).

Course Content - Can I download class lessons or and content?

Each module comes with a core class main video lecture & accompanying workbook. The workbook can be downloaded from within the lesson's text body. However, for copyright reasons, videos are not downloadable and MUST only be accessed by logging into the Academy, so we are able to monitor your progress. In addition, each module will come with bonus content such as study aids, free exclusive usable art & patterns later in the course, all of which are fully downloadable in the 'Downloads' section of the corresponding lesson. The print-screen below shows the exact location where workbooks and study aids.