This is how most of my DIY projects start:
“Ooh. That’s pretty. It’s so amazing. Wow. Really, I love it… I could do that. It’s sort-of expensive. I could definitely do that. I’m doing that.”
In actuality, it’s highly-probable-almost-indefinitely-certain-I-may-possibly spend more on the crafting than on the original item cost.
Nevertheless, this week’s version of the above conversation is a leather leaf cuff, inspired by Etsy.com artist, AshleyAnnBennett. Her items look beautiful, and I am excited to twiddle a re-creation of her breathtaking work.
I smell disaster, as I have no way of knowing what will work and what won’t, but here we go anyway!
TWIDDLE TEST ~ LEATHER LEAF CUFF
*I AM NOT A BEAUTIFUL PAINTER like Ashley, so if you would like the perfect-painted cuff and stronger leather, you should buy from her- she really does craft beautiful items.
You will need:
- Soft leather (You need your wrist size from clasp to clasp AT LEAST. Wrist size depends, but is usually around 7 inch-7.5 inch. I would therefore shoot for a 10 or 10.5 inch long leaf)
- Strong scissors
- Metallic brass paint, and your choice of two colors for the leafs (I used matte teal and mint)
- TINY paint brush
- Scotch tape
- Mod-podge* (check my “WHAT I DID WRONG” section at the bottom)
- Sandpaper* (check my “WHAT I DID WRONG” section at the bottom)
- Strong X-ACTO blade
- Leather clasps/snaps
* I also used Mod-podge before the snap was added to give the leaf a glossy, protective coat. However, I think sanding before painting would work best.
WHAT I DID WRONG:
- The leather I chose was very velvet-like in texture. I believe the paint would adhere better if I had sanded the top of where I wanted to paint. Sanding the leather may cut the mod-podge sealing step out of the craft all together.
- The brass metallic paint I used was too bold (in my opinion) and I should have picked a darker bronze tone to off-set the bright teal and mint colors. I also feel like the mint was TOO ‘minty’ and didn’t compliment the darker teal color.
- I did not have a tiny paint brush, so I decided to go ahead and paint with a large brush… STUPID! You NEED a small paint brush for the leaf grain details. My design would have been much cleaner had I done a brush swap.
- WHY IN THE WORLD DO SNAP LEATHER CLASPS NOT COME WITH AN INSTRUCTIONS PAGE!? >_< #pullingoutmyhair. It was not that easy for me to figure out based off the picture directions. I had to watch few Youtube videos to figure it out myself, and I had to waste a clasp on a scrap piece of leather just to make sure I did it correctly on my main piece. For all who need further instruction, here is my attempt at an explanation:
Clasp-snaps come with 4 pieces, and a base and steadier for hammering.
The left two fit together and the right two fit together for the snap to work.
Eyelet goes on top of the circle-hole pin (placed on bottom stem of leaf).
Washer goes on top of the button pin (placed on top of the leaf).
Alignment will be like this, but with a piece of leather in the middle. The leather should be punched (in other words, have a hole) for the pins to go through, and the washer to go on top. Once hole is punched, you align and hammer until they stick to the leather. I recommend a rubber hammer so the metal on your tool won’t bend, but any hammer will do.
DO NOT HAMMER INSIDE. YOU NEED A HARD SURFACE, LIKE A WORKBENCH OR CONCRETE TO GET THIS TO WORK.
Here is the video for more details and correct terminology.
Easy-peasy, but time consuming. If you are going to attempt this project, I would definitely focus on the “what I did wrong” to save some valuable hours.
Honestly, this only cost me $15.00, and I have enough material to make two of them (and a bazillion snap clasps), so that’s a double win!
I feel like I’m in The Lord of the Rings with this cuff, and ready to shoot my bow and arrow; I’m super happy with the outcome!
*I better be with that clasp torture
Anyway, best of luck to you all with your crafting! Let me know if you try this one out.
Happy twiddling ~
I tried to paint another leaf since I had the material. It came out well (because I actually used the correct size paint brush). Also, I tried to sand the leather, but it did not do much. I’d stick with a top sealer of some sort. This time round, instead of Mod-podge, I used this glossy coat of acrylic sealer (possibly for mugs)-BAD IDEA. DON’T DO THIS! It WILL coat and sink into the leather, BUT it STINKS (seriously though, I can’t breathe)! I recommend using the Mod-podge gloss coat to seal if you don’t want to wear death fumes on your wrist. I have yet to have the smell dissipate in any way, and it has been about 3 days. Still, I wear it anyway because, you know, hope that the smell will go away.
Let me know if anyone else knows of a good sealer that doesn’t smell like cancer in a bottle.
Happy twiddling ~