Making Leather Bracelets, Earrings, and Leather Jewelry Making Supplies
Leather Leather Everywhere and Lots of Things to Make!
I haven’t mentioned this before, but my husband is one of those people who believes you should start a project and finish it. And when you’re done, you should’ve used up the supplies you started with. Well, that’s not how I roll, and I think he’s finally caught on. That, and given his hands-on approach to helping me get my studio revamped and organized, he also has first hand-knowledge of the depth of product I have at the ready. After this weekend’s efforts, it’s worth reporting, there is no shortage of leather in my studio!
On hand, there is leather cording (great for making leather bracelets of all kinds) – from .5mm to 4mm, licorice leather, flat leather, and suede – all in different sizes, colors, and finishes. Flat leather pieces from remnant scraps, to garment weight and beautifully chrome tanned, to vegetable tanned leather (aka – veg tan, the natural colored, thicker and a bit stiffer leather). Also, a wide selection of faux leather, including some luxurious ultra suede.
No matter which type of leather you are working with, you will likely be faced with deciding how to finish the ends so you ultimately have a piece of jewelry to wear. Thankfully, with the advent of so many wonderful new leather products available to jewelry makers and beaders, there are also a lot of finishing options available to us, and lots of people sharing their expertise!
I’ve looked through the new and comprehensive Lovin’ Leather Collection, culling out a sampling of projects that highlight great designs and different ways to illustrate finishing leather of all types. First, for finishing options, there is instant glue in gel form. This is THE adhesive to have on hand when it comes to finishing leather with metal glue-in findings.
In Triple Loop Earrings by Erin Siegel, from Leather Jewelry 2016, cord ends are glued onto the leather cord ends, then the loops are gathered with jumprings and connected to an earwire. Quick, easy, and a lot of movement thanks to the layering of materials.
In Brookside Blooms by Danielle Fox, from Leather Jewelry 2016, multiple strands of leather are glued into a cord end and jumprings used to connect the cord ends and clasp together.
Brazen Knots by Deb Huber, from 10 Handmade Leather Bracelets also has multiple cords glued into a finding, this time the clasp itself. The cords are then formed in snake knots for a high-impact look.
Here’s the how-to on forming a snake knot (l to r, top to bottom):
- Take Cord B (here, the black cord) and make a loop around Cord A (here, the yellow cord) by going under cord A, then over it.
- Bring one end of Cord A under and through the loop of Cord B. Tighten both loops slightly. Bring Cord B under Cord A, over the top of the knot, then down through the Cord A loop.
- Tighten the knot slightly. Flip the cords so Cord A is now on the right. Bring Cord A under Cord B, over the top of the knot, and down through the second Cord B loop.
- Tighten the knot slightly. Flip the cords again so Cord B is back on the right. Bring Cord B under Cord A, over the top of the knot, and down through the second Cord A loop.
- Tighten the knot slightly. Continue bringing one cord through the last loop of the other cord until desired length.
Melinda Barta combines leather and seed bead weaving techniques in Big Sky Bracelets.
To create this look, Melinda used knotting and some clever bead weaving techniques to embellish and secure the leather cording.
Another project from Leather Jewelry, Spring Acorn Wrap Bracelet by Cynthia Deis uses two easy and quick techniques for finishing the ends of leather.
By folding a long length of leather in half, you immediately have a loop you can use like a button hole or toggle ring – no need for any further finishing. Waxed linen is used to secure the loop, as an accent, and to bring structure to the two lengths of leather as it holds them together. A large-hole bead is strung over all cord ends and then a simple overhand knot made to secure the design.
TIP: Waxed linen is a wonderful material to have on hand and goes great with many types of materials, including leather and wire.
Also in the Lovin’ Leather collection are two videos – one by Candie Cooper and the other by Melissa Cable. In Leather Cuffs, Candie covers a few options to explore while creating leather cuff style bracelets, including embellishing, painting, stamping, and adding snaps.
Melissa’s video, Intro to Leather Jewelry Making is a primer on leather, covering tools, paints, dyes, and finishing techniques, with a deep immersion on cold connections and finishing leather. Melissa also brings a lot of helpful tips to us with each chapter.
This leather, crystal cup chain, and silver chain kit is like the cherry on top of the Lovin’ Leather collection. This kit is an exclusive-to- us color, created by Tammy Kerber of T-Beads. This bracelet looks awesome, feels great on, and is so fun to make. Wait until you make one of your own – you’ll LOVE it!
Whether you are just beginning your leather exploration or have a stash of supplies of your own – have fun with all this inspiration and all the inspiration you’ll find as you delve deeper into the Lovin’ Leather Collection. Then please, share your creations with us at BeadingDaily.com!