Most DIY Projects

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 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!





*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

Cut out a size guide on a piece of paper. Mine is 10.5 inches from tip to stem (7.5 inches from center clasp to opposite center clasp when finished).


Scotch tape the paper to the leather and cut our your design. Use an X-ACTO knife to cut the small pieces in the middle.


Outline your leafs with the metallic paint.


Outline complete (you may need to go over this again as my green acrylic paint got on some of the lines in the next step).


With your small brush, add your coloring. GO CRAZY. This is the fun part! You may want to touch up your gold lines if you “went outside the lines” a bit.

* 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.


Add your snap clasp and admire your wrist (check below for instructions on the snap attachment).




  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. IMG_4968
    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).IMG_4971
    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.
    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 ~

Leaf #2
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.

Leaf #2:

Happy twiddling ~


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