Leather Remnants Cuff by TierraCast
In the event that you have been living under a rock I am going to let you in on a not-so-little secret: leather is one of the hugest trends in jewelry design right now.
A couple of years ago – at Karla’s rather relentless, repeated requests – we started carrying leather working tools and snaps and rivets and eyelets. I was doing the purchasing then and was wary that these things would actually sell for us because, should the truth be told, I had no idea what you did with all this stuff and assumed other beaders would be just as clueless about this stuff as I was. After a quick tutorial from Karla and about half a day of driving everyone in the office crazy with my punching and hammering, I was addicted. To this day, leather remains one of my favorite materials to work with in my jewelry making projects. And here are 5 reasons why:
Simple Leather Designs
About a decade ago, the only jewelry we were really making with leather involved simply attaching leather to beaded work with crimp ends or hanging a pendant on leather cording. Though they are simple, I still like some of our earlier leather projects and find them to be timeless classics as well as a great place for beginning beaders to start. Math involved aside, one of my favorite projects I have ever created was unbelievably simple to make and has become one of our most popular designs as well as one that almost everyone I know requests that I make for them. It is a leather bangle bracelet created using licorice leather and a finding designed specifically for such a task. Super simple and super stunning!
Multi-Strand Leather Designs
While these projects can appear a bit complicated, they are actually deceptively simple. A little measuring and cutting, a dab of glue and voila! – you have created some pretty cool jewelry. Though I love the look, ease and choice of color in Karla’s braided suede bracelet and I absolutely adore the layered look of her multi strand pearl and leather necklace, my all-time favorite is probably the collaborative effort between myself and Karla called the Bar None Bracelet (http://www.auntiesbeads.com/Bar-None-Leather-Cuff-Bracelet-Project_p_23937.html). The idea for this project came from a very similar design by TierraCast, but we made it our own; I think we each own a replica of this amazing piece!
Leather Wrap Bracelet Designs
Kelly did a video demonstrating how to make simple leather wrap bracelets with round beads and 2mm leather cording. Since then, I have seen many brilliant designs with leather involving everything from a wide piece of leather wrapped around the wrist to cuff-style wrap bracelets involving multiple strands of leather and gemstones, crystals and even metal beads. Just look at the talented folks on Etsy selling their handmade leather jewelry if you don’t believe me. But did you know that you don’t have to get out the needle and the thread to accomplish the look of a super hip leather wrap bracelet? It’s true! For that reason, I love the simplicity and versatility of Karla’s Industrial Swank Leather Wrap Bracelet. Knowing how to tie a couple of knots and crimp leather ends is as complicated as this super chic piece gets!
Embellished Leather Designs
Rivets and eyelets and snaps – oh my! For someone who can’t even sew a button on a shirt, I thought for sure I would never be able to master applying embellishments to leather. Turns out it wasn’t that difficult. Watch the video where Karla shows you how to work with leather embellishments and you will be good to go. Using what Karla taught me, I created a cool bracelet using flat leather with buttons riveted on the top, a bracelet featuring flat leather with filigrees riveted on top and a bracelet where I applied eyelets on flat leather to create cool open patterns in the wide leather cuff. But my favorite project incorporated using both rivets and eyelets in the same piece. Inspired by a TierraCast design and using TierraCast components – as well as rivets and eyelets – I created a modern version of a modern charm bracelet using leather. The beauty of this is you can use any color flat leather you want as well as any finish and a wide variety of charms to really personalize this piece!
Using Leather with Other Jewelry Making Materials
Leather and chain woven together? Sure, why not! Leather wrapped around a bangle? Yep, it can be done. One of the most brilliant things about working with leather is that it is extremely versatile and can be a great stand alone material or, because it is so supple, it can play well with other jewelry making components. And once your jewelry making skill set includes simple things such as working with chain as well as more complicated things such as doing a Kumihimo wrap, you can create a stunning piece like Karla’s Girl From Ipanema bracelet. I want one of these in every color!
So… We hope that those of you who have never worked with leather have been inspired to crawl out of that rock you have been living under and check out some cool leather jewelry design projects. Then tell us what you have learned about working with leather, what you love about it, what your favorite designs are and what kind of cool leather trends you have seen that you would love to learn more about!
The post Trend Alert: 5 Amazing Leather Jewelry Design Ideas appeared first on Auntie's Beads.