Free Embossed Leather Earring Project

I need another beading tool like I need a hole in the head, right? But a couple of weeks ago, I caved in and bought one of the new Big Kick machines from Vintaj, with the idea that I would make some lovely embossed brass pieces for earring making projects. Little did I know that playing with this machine would not just inspire me to create new and beautiful beaded earrings, it would push me a little further into the realm of mixed media jewelry!

I've always been a little intimidated by the idea of making jewelry with metals. Sure, I can cut and fuse glass and make lampwork glass beads on a torch. But those don't involve cutting or stamping or doing anything with metal. Well, even my five-year-old got into the fun, "helping" me crank the brass blanks through the machine and finishing them with the reliefing block and some colored inks.

When I found out that I could run thick leather through the Vintaj Big Kick, too, it gave me a whole new set of ideas for earring making projects! If you have a Vintaj Big Kick (or know someone who does), try this fun and easy earring making project using your favorite leather scraps and embossing folders.


  • Leather scraps, approximately 1/2" thick (enough to make 2 leather coins, each 1 1/4")
  • Nicole's Beadbacking or other bead embroidery medium
  • Ultrasuede
  • 2 grams size 8o seed beads in color to match or contrast with your leather coins
  • 1 gram size 11o seed beads in color to match or contrast with your leather coins
  • 5 grams Czech farfalle beads
  • 6 lb. braided beading thread (Fireline recommended)
  • 1 pair ear wires
  • E6000 adhesive


  • Vintaj Big Kick machine and embossing folder
  • Scissors for cutting leather
  • Thread cutter
  • Size 12 beading needle
  • Flat nose or chain nose pliers
  • Sharpie markers (optional,  for adding color to leather coins, if desired)

Step-by-step instructions:


Cut two 1 1/4" circles from your leather scraps. Place them inside your embossing folder and run them through the Big Kick machine. If desired, you can add some color to the recessed parts of the embossed leather coin using fine-tipped permanent markers.
Apply a small amount of E6000 to the back of each coin and adhere it to a small piece of Nicole's Beadbacking or your choice of bead embroidery medium.
Using the size 8o seed beads, work one row of beaded backstitch around the leather coin. Run your thread through the beads several times to cinch up the backstitch. As the beads tighten around the leather coin, you'll notice them form a slight cup around the leather coin to help hold it in place.
Trim the bead embroidery medium close to the beads and glue the piece to a small scrap of Ultrasuede. Trim the Ultrasuede, leaving about a 1/8" edge around the piece.
Using a 5' piece of beading thread, edge the piece using brick stitch and the size 11o seed beads. After you've connected the first and last seed bead of the brick stitch edging, pick up 5 farfalle beads. Skip two seed beads in the edging, and pass down through the next seed bead. Pull snugly so that the farfalle beads "lock" together.
Come up through the next seed bead in the edging. Pick up 5 farfalle beads, skip two beads in the edging, and pass down through the next seed bead. Repeat until you have three beads left in the edging left. (You may have only 2 or 4 beads left, depending on how many beads you used to edge your earring. As long as you have at least 2 unembellished seed beads, you're good to add the hanging loop for the ear wire!)
Pick up 1 farfalle bead and 8 size 11o seed beads. Pass back through the farfalle bead and into the neighboring seed bead in the brick stitch edging. Repeat the thread path once or twice to reinforce the hanging loop.
Using the flat nose or chain nose pliers, attach the ear wires. These are big, bold earrings!

Something else I discovered about running leather through my Big Kick machine: it will also beautifully emboss my scraps of Ultrasuede! What a great idea for making the back of your bead embroidery pieces just as interesting as the front, right?

If you love using seed beads to create earrings (or other kinds of beaded jewelry), you'll want to check out the Beadwork Presents 10 Seed Bead Patterns eBook. Filled with ten great seed bead projects taken straight from the pages of Beadwork magazine, designed by your favorite bead artists. And right now, as part of the 12 Days of Deals in the Beading Daily Shop, you can take 50% off this great eBook of beading projects. Best of all, it's an instant download, so you can be reading and beading in just minutes!

Download your copy of Beadwork Presents 10 Seed Bead Patterns today and find even more great earring making projects using your favorite beads.

Bead Happy,


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