I remember when we first started carrying leather a few years ago. It was exactly this time of year, in the dog days of summer. I had never worked with leather before, but I spent a lot of time researching, learning, and listening to people who knew better than I how to use it. It wasn't long before I was spending all of my time and money on creating cool leather bracelets. Now every time Fall starts rolling around, I feel like getting out my mallet and my rivets and making some new leather pieces. If you have never worked with leather in your jewelry making adventures before, you MUST try it. We even gathered some free downloadable leather projects to help you out.
What Do I Do With Leather? How Do I Use Leather to Create Jewelry?
To get started, you need to know the different types of leather. The above picture shows a bracelet I made using oversized TierraCast links with 10mm flat leather woven through them. Flat leather can be handled in that manner. It can also be used more simply. You can embellish it with rivets and links and other items of your choice. The picture to the left demonstrates how great a TierraCast leather strap looks with a hook clasp and a few barrel beads. Using flat leather in this way allows you to create a simple, sleek piece that can be worn on its own or layered with other pieces.
A huge trend right now is working with leather cording to create beaded and woven designs with links and charms. You can do that with simple knotting techniques or by creating a leather wrap bracelet. Or you can create something like the TierraCast Dulce Vida bracelet project. This stylish project uses 2mm leather cord with large hole gemstone beads and a TierraCast button for closure. This project is one of those that you can crank out in about 10 minutes and offer your customers (or yourself) in a million different colorways.
You will find that once you have learned some basics about knotting and applying rivets, eyelets, etc. that making leather jewelry is extremely easy, fun, and affordable. I think you will also find that even once you know the basic techniques, there is always something fun to learn about this versatile material. I would love to hear about your favorite leather projects!