Introduction: Leather Bat Bow - Necklace, Hair Clip, or Choker

Picture of Leather Bat Bow - Necklace, Hair Clip, or Choker

The Bat Bow

I found something very similar to these on a leather working forum and also being sold on Esty (admittedly out of Faux leather and they looked rubbish) and decide I could make that easily so I did. The item although a little late now for Halloween is primarily a Halloween item but can be used for any occasion really.

I used a pieces of scrap leather I had about the house big enough for this but not really for anything else.

Edit

I have added a couple of extra pictures to show a little more parts

Items & Tools required

Leather

Pencil

Card

Paint brush

Leather Dyes

Leather Seal and Shine

Sharp Knife

Edge Beveller

Edge Slicker

Needles and Thread

Small hole punch

Bowl (Big enough the fit the item in)

Hot Water

Hair clip, Leather Lace, or Ribbon (depending on what you'd like)

Step 1: The Design

Picture of The Design

Quite simple really

Firstly I worked out how much space I had to work with on my leather and cut out a piece of card the same size and shape, Then I free hand draw one half of the bat wing making the middle bit much bigger than I needed knowing I'd be scrunching that down. Then simply fold over the card and cut out that way you have a full thing where both sides are exactly he same.

Then transfer that to the leather, Also remember to make a little strip of leather to be the band in the centre.

Items needed for this step

Pencil

Card

Leather

Imagination

Step 2: Cutting

Picture of Cutting

Now Cut

Simply cut out the leather bat and strip it's that simple.

Admittedly I kind of cheat, I use another tool the swivel knife to first cut out the line where I will be cutting and then go over it with the leather knife.

Items needed for this step

Knife

Swivel Knife (If you want to)

Step 3: Edgeing

Picture of Edgeing

Cleaning up the Bat

The Edge Beveller will become you best friend when working with leather it is a really nice way to quickly clean the edges of the leather and remove any roughness or imperfections in the cutting stage.

Run the edge beveller over both sides of the item to round off the edge once this is done use the slicker to smooth off further. I use a little water on the edge before using the edge slicker.

Items needed for this step

Edge Beveller

Edge Slicker

Step 4: Moulding

Picture of Moulding

Water

Fill a bowl of really hot water Boiling would be fine but just really hot would be easier to work with, remember you still have to get the leather out.

Place the leather item in the water make sure that it is completely submerged, Leave to soak through about a minute or two depending on size it item, Basic rule is wait till the bubbles stop and then give it another 30 seconds ish.

When you pick the leather out you will notice how soft the bat bow is now no matter how thick the leather is it will be softer than paper now and really easy to manipulate.

Items needed for this step

Bowl

Water

Step 5: Shaping

Picture of Shaping

A Little fun and a lot of Time

Before the leather dries out (don't worry this takes ages) shape the item in to what ever position you like in the picture you'll notice I used a bulldog clip to hold it together. Now leave to dry I left it over night. Some people talk about placing it in the oven and baking it, that is a technic that does work but in my experience it can really damage the leather. If you leave it in the oven to long or have the temperature to high the leather will shrivel up or become with brittle. By just leaving it to dry naturally it will keep some of it's springiness.

Items needed for this step

Fingers

Maybe a bulldog clip

Time

Again some imagination

Step 6: Colour

Picture of Colour

Pick for Taste

I have explained dyes a little further in one of my other instructables but no harm in a little detail here.

For this I decided on the main Bat being black and then the middle piece to be a nice yellow. Just use a basic arts supply paint brush and brush the dyes on to the leather. If the items was larger I would recommend using a artist sponge and apply in a circular motion (gives the best results), but for a small item like this a brush and straight strokes would be fine.

Once the dyes dry apply the leather shine in the same way, this will seal the leather and give it a wonderful finish.

Items needed for this step

Paintbrush

Leather Dyes

Step 7: Stitch

Picture of Stitch

Sewing Skills

Once you have decided on the type of BatBow you want wrap the small leather strip around the bat making sure to also go round the Hair clip, Leather lace or ribbon.

I used a hole punch to make three holes on both sides of the strip of leather so to make sewing it up much easier.

Items needed for this step

Needles (Two if you are doing the normal leather sewing way Tutorials can be found)

Thread (Waxed thread is best)

Hair Clip, Leather Lace, or Ribbon (depending on what you want)

Finished

Now it's done wear it with pride and show off your skill. Or if that's to much to handle contact me :-) as I make them to sell, and then claim to everyone you know that you did it hehe.

Comments

seamster (author)2014-10-30

This is a great leather project! I love the bat shape, and that it can be worn any number of ways.

Also, this looks like a perfect project for a first time leather worker!

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Bio: I have been making leather items for about a year or two now, I'm not claiming to be the best out there far from ... More »
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