Or ‘How To Make Leather Roses’
I did it again. I bought supplies that I really had no idea of what to do with. I left AC Moore with a bag of leather scraps that I bought for around $5.00. It was a pretty decent bag, and came with a nice variety of leather pieces. Some were a decent size, and some were small scraps and cut offs. Many had imperfections, cuts and even a few stains. All in all, I was thrilled to get crafty with it. I have never played with leather before. This was a first, but I was confident I could do something awesome with it.
Forward to a few hours later, and I have ruined half of the leather, destroyed half a bottle of fabric glue, and got a ton of beads covered in glue so badly that I am not sure I can recover them. I gave it a break and started again the next day. This time I decided to do something that I am good with: flowers. Here is the tutorial for making a rose out of leather scraps and incorporating it into a necklace with beads and leather.
Here is what you will need:
* Leather scraps. I picked out bright red, and patterned brown from the bag. Your leather needs to be pliable, but not extremely soft. This way the petals hold up. I made two other flowers, one was from leather that was too soft, and it is just a floppy flower. Another was from leather that was to stiff, and I couldn’t finish it, let’s just say it didn’t come out right. For the leaves, however, you want leather that’s on the stiff side.
* Beads. I used small glass beads, flat turquoise beads, bigger turquoise glass beads.
* One large bead with a large hole for the clasp. It needs to fit on the leather cord.
* Leather bead stringing cord. The thinner round one, not the thick flat cuts of leather.
* Fabric glue. I enjoyed using the one in the photo. I believe the brand is Beacon.
* Needle and thread
* A good pair of medium sized scissors that will cut your leather for you.
Here are my red leather scraps. As you can see, it’s not much, and hardly any of it is usable for anything substantial. Conveniently there was already a circular scrap. You will need a circle, so cut one out.
Once your circle is done, cut it in a spiral from the outside in. Cut out the middle. You will need both parts. The spiral strip is for the center of the flower and the middle oval you get will be one of the petals.
Trim the outside edge of the spiral strip, making it look like flower petals.
Put a dab of glue on the tip and place the bead that will be the middle of the flower. Try to place the bead so that the hole will be covered with the leather.
Start rolling up the leather around the bead. Put a drop on glue and roll the bead in the leather. Every time you roll, add a drop of glue. Until you come to the end. Glue the end on as well. Your flower center should look like the photo below.
View from top.
Cut out some petals. They are a ’rounded’ sort of heart shape. All are irregular and different. Each petal should be of an individual shape. It adds to the fun. This round of petals should be slightly taller than the bud you made. Apply a drop of glue to the bottom of each petal and adhere it to the bottom of the flower bud.
When you glue the petal on, adjust how tall you want it to be in relation to the rest of the flower. Once it’s set the way you’d like, cut off the extra on the bottom, in order to keep the bottom relatively flat. Glue the remaining petals.
The flower so far.
Cut out the next round of petals. These slightly bigger and taller than the last. Glue them on carefully.
It is starting to look like a rose. I thought it needed more petals!
One more round of petals. Again, these are just a tiny bit bigger than the last set.
At this point I have used up all of the red leather, with only unusable tiny scraps remaining.
As the final step in making the rose I took a thin leather ribbon. Applied glue to the inside of it, and put it around the bottom of the flower as you see in the photo above. I tightened it as much as possible, and set it aside to dry. I cut the ends that are sticking out there off after the glue dried a bit. I have made other roses without this ribbon, but so far I like that it helps the flower hold it’s shape, especially if the leather is very soft.
That is it, the rose is done! Time to get started on the necklace.
Take the bead that will be the clasp and put it on the thin leather cord. Then tie a simple knot to prevent the bead from coming off the cord. Tighten it.
Using the harder patterned brown leather I cut out a leaf. I placed that leaf on top of the leather facing out, and traced it to make the second half of the leaf.
Take one of the leaf sides, place it with the inside fuzzy side up, apply plenty of glue. Now place the cord with the bead on top of it, so the bead is right over the leaf. Also put any other cords and threads that you want to use on top of it as well. In my case it is another leather cord, and the end of the thread put through the needle onto which I will add some glass turquoise beads. I glued end of the thread to the leaf, with the needle on the opposite end. Once everything is on the glue, cover it with the second half of the leaf (fuzzy side down) and apply some pressure to make sure the glue takes.
The necklace is asymmetrical, so the flower is not centered, but more on the left. Thus this side of the necklace is quite a bit shorter. Put on enough beads for the length you want and keep in mind that the side after the flower will be about 1 1/2 to 2 times longer than this one. Cut out two circles. One circle from the harder patterned brown leather, and one from soft and pliable leather. The reason for that is the flower will be glued to the soft leather, and I noticed the more pores there are on the leather, the better things stick.
Apply some glue to the fuzzy side of the soft circle. Put the thread with the beads and the two leather cords on it. Make sure the beads end where the leather circle begins.
My thread was long enough for me to continue on to the other end of the necklace. If yours isn’t, tie it off, and place it on the glue on the circle, then begin a new thread. I started a new thread as well, because I wanted three bead strands with this necklace. To start a new thread, just put it through your needle, and glue the end to the circle. On the other end of the necklace make another leaf out of the hard brown patterned leather. Apply glue and on top put the ends of threads you are using as you finish beading them.
There are a few things happening above. I used the second thread and beaded small brown beads, and large turquoise beads until I had about the same length as the blue thread. Once I reached the leaf, I glued on about one inch of the thread on the leaf, turned it around, glued another inch, and beaded once more until I reached the circle. There I tied off the thread, and glued it onto the circle.
Also, at this point I decided that I don’t need the second leather cord to go all the way through, so I cut it. I cut it about an inch into the circle, and left it glued on. This leather cord will only be going through the first half of the necklace.
Make a loop with the other end of the leather cord. The cord itself should extend about the same length as the beads, go past the leaf, and then there is the loop. The loop should be big enough to allow the red bead to pass through when a bit of force is applied. In other words make sure that it is not too big, or the red bead will slip out and the necklace will fall off.
Once your loop is done, cut the cord, leaving about 1 to 1.5 inches. Glue the cord and the little tail left over onto the leaf.
Make sure all the beads are off the circle. Apply more glue, and glue the top circle on. Do the same with the leaf. If you have excess glue, just wipe it off with a small piece of cloth. Put some pressure on the pieces you glued.
Fill the bottom of the flower with glue. Try not to get too much glue on the outside. Place the flower in the center of the circle. Make sure that it is on the soft brown leather, and that the harder brown patterned leather is facing out. Hold it there for a few minutes for the glue to set.
I wanted to add a few leather leaves to the leather cord. It is very easy to do. Just cut out 2 large identical leaves (by cutting out one, then tracing it and cutting out the second one), 2 medium and 2 small.
Starting with the large leaf, put one side under the cord. Position the cord how you want, and then apply glue. Cover with the second side and press. Do the same for the medium and the small leaves.
All done!! This necklace came out so great. I know that I would want to make a few more in the near future!