Leather Jewelry-Making Inspiration: Design Ideas Pairing Leather with Metal, Beads, Wire, and More

Leather jewelry is definitely in the spotlight these days, as more leather jewelry designs show up on fashion runways and in magazines and stores. Not just casual or Boho jewelry material anymore, leather is teaming up with everything from fabricated metal to Swarovski crystals as designers give leather jewelry a modern facelift.

Naturally the industry is producing and offering jewelry makers leather, findings, and other materials to use in leather jewelry creations, so it’s easier and more fun than ever to make leather jewelry. Jewelry-making magazines, books, and websites are following suit with great project ideas–that’s where we come in!

From magazines and ebooks included in our new leather jewelry collection, from the fabulous Bohemian Jewelry book, and from our own readers–here are some inspiring leather jewelry designs that will have you itching to incorporate leather into your own jewelry-making repertoire.

wire wrapped labradorite and leather necklace

A wire chain would be too much on this wire-wrapped stone pendant with a wire-wrapped clasp; the metal of the chain and the wire wrapping would compete with each other. Leather cord makes a perfect chain alternative to show off a handcrafted pendant and clasp created and shared by JMD member Olive Ewe Designs.

rhinestone and metallic gold leather wrap bracelet

Because of this glam rhinestone buckle and golden leather wrap bracelet by Katie Hacker for LeatherCord USA, I asked that we include the golden leather wrap bracelet in our leather collection. The shimmer of the metallic gold-colored leather paired with the sparkling rhinestone buckle show just how versatile and unexpected leather can be.

textured wire and leather bracelet

The riveted metal focal piece and wire findings provide a touch of metal fabrication and interesting texture to this leather bracelet by Linda Larsen.

leather cord hoop earrings with wired bead charms

Erin Siegel’s Triple Loop earrings from the top-rated Bohemian Jewelry book are a fresh and colorful take on traditional hoop earrings. There’s a triple bonus here, too: The leather cord used for the loops is affordable, readily available, and weighs less than metal would.

rubber stamped leather cuff bracelet

I love any opportunity for crossover crafting, and this ink and rubber stamped leather cuff bracelet from Nunn Design is a great example of how successful mixing techniques can be. A stack of Nunn Design components is the perfect finishing touch for a modern leather cuff bracelet.

leather and copper fleur de lis earrings

Denise Peck’s Fleur de Lis earrings sneak a bit of leather in the design as an unusual connector piece between the ear wire and the metal fleur de lis charms. Denise’s design also shows how easy it is to incorporate leather into jewelry designs with just a bit of wire and some jump rings.

mixed metal metallic copper and metallic gold leather wrap bracelet with bead charms

Mixed metals are versatile and fashionable–but how about mixing metallic leathers in different shades? Fresh and unexpected! Katie Hacker’s leather wrap bracelet for LeatherCord USA is made even more stylish with the addition of crystal bead charms and the mix of two such different leather styles.

P.S. Remember that leather can dry out over time, so it’s a good idea to keep it moist and supple by giving it a light rub of oil, especially if you don’t wear it often or live in a dry climate. Avoid allowing your leather jewelry to come in contact with saltwater and household cleaners. Remove leather jewelry before swimming, bathing, or washing dishes. Wet leather can stretch and shrink when it dries, ruining the shape and fit.

Make leather jewelry with these fun and informative tutorials!

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