Introduction: Leather Halloween Pumpkin Eyepatch

Hi All,

This is my first ever Instructable and today I will be showing you how to make a Leather Halloween Pumpkin Eyepatch (that's not me in the photo, but is my friend modelling it for me).

Here I will list all the materials and tools required for the entire project. For each individual step you will find the materials/tools specific to that step listed.


Materials/Tools Required

Create a Mould

  • Air hardening modelling clay
  • Pointed object (for poking sections/scratching lines into the clay)
  • Water (to smooth out the clay as you go & prevent it from drying as you are working)

Wet form your leather around your mould

  • Suitable sized piece of 2mm thick vegetable tanned leather (allow for about double the length & width of the mould object)
  • Water (to wet the leather)
  • Sharp knife (to cut the leather)
  • Mould (the mould you created or chose earlier)
  • Patience (as this process is fiddly & slightly time consuming)

Carving/Adding detail

  • Pencil
  • Water in spray bottle
  • Swivel Knife

Dyeing the piece

  • Black dye
  • 1/2 inch brush

Painting the piece

  • Acrylic Paint (as this is a pumpkin I've used Orange/Green/Black; I use JoSonja's brand paint)
  • Selection of paint brushes (some thin liners & some flat brushes)
  • Water
  • Paint palette
  • Paper towel/cloth

Lacquering the piece

  • Clear Lacquer
  • Paint brush

Create/add the strap

  • Small scrap of leather
  • Hole punch
  • Strip of kangaroo leather lacing (3mm) for the strap. Measure to whatever your head size is and add an extra 25% so you have excess to loosen/tighten it.
  • Pen/marker
  • Mirror (to look in)

Step 1: Create a Mould

First things first, we need a mould to wet form our leather around.

I chose to use air-hardening modelling clay, due to its simplicity of use.

You could choose to 3d print, use an existing object, mould with clay, or some other method.

Materials/Tools Required

  • Air hardening modelling clay
  • Pointed object (for poking sections/scratching lines into the clay)
  • Water (to smooth out the clay as you go & prevent it from drying as you are working)

Steps

  1. If you are choosing to go the route of modelling your own mould using the air hardening modelling clay, then follow these steps. If you have chosen to use an existing object, or 3d print an object, or any other method then skip these steps.
  2. Start by making a ball of clay roughly the size you want you end object. Allow some extra so you have room to take some off in areas you want to remove it (e.g. eyes indentations).
  3. Basically form the clay into the shape you like. Add lines/indentations/etc where you would like certain features.

Note: I am not very good with modelling so I just made a basic mould with basic features. Also, as you will find out in the next step, intricate details will not be able to be formed into the leather anyway, so unless you want to keep this mould for something else, I suggest just making it a simple version of the shape you require.

Step 2: Wet Form Your Leather Around Your Mould

Materials/Tools Required

  • Suitable sized piece of 2mm thick vegetable tanned leather (allow for about double the length & width of the mould object)
  • Water (to wet the leather)
  • Sharp knife (to cut the leather)
  • Mould (the mould you created or chose earlier)
  • Patience (as this process is fiddly & slightly time consuming)

Steps

  1. Start by cutting a piece of leather to size. Approximately double the length & width of the mould object works well. You need to allow this excess so your leather has room to stretch around the object's height.
  2. Place this piece of leather into a container of water. You will notice air bubbles as the leather soaks up the water. Once the air bubbles cease, leave it a little longer just to be sure it's fully soaked. This process shouldn't take more than a minute or so (depending on the size of your leather).
  3. Place the leather over your mould and begin squishing the leather around the shape of your mould. Just get the rough form at this point.
  4. Cut slits into the leather where it begins bulging up. Be careful not to cut too close to the shape of your mould as you don't want to cut into the area you want to keep.
  5. Continue forming the leather around your mould with your fingers. This process will be time consuming, so check it every 10 minutes or so and push it into shape as you see fit.
  6. After the shape has been formed, leave to dry

Note: during wet forming some of the detail may not be able to be formed into the leather, due to the thickness of the leather and the intricacies of the detail. E.g. in my piece I couldn't form the mouth lines into the leather as they are just too small.

Steps (after drying)

  1. After the piece is dry and set into its form, you want to trim off the excess leather. Take your knife and carefully trim the piece to the shape you require. I left a piece at the top of the pumpkin to represent the pumpkin's stalk.

Step 3: Carving/Adding Detail

Materials/Tools Required

  • Pencil
  • Water in spray bottle
  • Swivel Knife

Steps

  1. Start by penciling in your detail onto the leather. In this case I penciled in the eyes shape, the line for the teeth, and some lines for the pumpkin's stalk & sections.
  2. Start with cutting along the teeth line. You actually want to cut all the way through the leather for this part.
  3. After you have cut through the teeth section, wet the teeth area with some water (careful not to wet other areas or they may lose their form) & bend the rows of teeth slightly outwards (I pushed them from the back of the leather to get them poking out nicely).
  4. Allow to dry again.
  5. Run over the pencil lines you have made with your swivel knife. Gently though, you don't want to cut all the way through the leather for these sections. Generally you want to swivel knife into about 1/2 the thickness of the leather.

Step 4: Dyeing the Piece

Materials/Tools Required

  • Black dye
  • 1/2 inch brush

Steps

  1. This may seem pointless as the piece will be painted over the top of the dye, however dyeing the piece actually gives it extra strength to hold itself in form (not 100% sure why, but it does).
  2. Add some black dye to a container & brush a generous coat over the front of the piece.
  3. Also brush a generous coating over the back of the piece to allow it to fully soak into the leather.
  4. During this stage, as the leather will be wet again, be careful not to lose the shape of your piece (i.e. handle gently).
  5. Allow to dry.

Step 5: Painting the Piece

Materials/Tools Required

  • Acrylic Paint (as this is a pumpkin I've used Orange/Green/Black; I use JoSonja's brand paint)
  • Selection of paint brushes (some thin liners & some flat brushes)
  • Water
  • Paint palette
  • Paper towel/cloth

Steps

  1. Start with applying the orange to the entire body of the pumpkin with a flat brush. Don't really worry if you accidentally get paint in areas you don't want it, it can be covered up later. Allow this to dry (or if you are impatient, mostly dry).
  2. Apply the green paint to the stalk of the pumpkin with a thin liner brush (to allow for precision closer to the orange paint).
  3. Use a thin liner to paint black lightly through the lines on the pumpkin sections and in the eyes indentations and along the edges of the teeth.
  4. Allow to dry thoroughly (100% dry this time).
  5. Mix a small amount of green, orange and a tiny amount of black to create a muddy colour brown. Mix some water in with this so it will be a smear colour & not totally block out your previous painting.
  6. Smear this muddy coloured mixture across the whole piece lightly. You don't want an extremely thick layer, just enough to get into the bumps and grooves of the piece to make all of the existing colours less solid. This will make it look a touch more realistic/less amateur.
  7. Wipe any excess off with a damp paper towel/cloth gently (you want the paper towel/cloth wet, but not dripping wet).

Step 6: Lacquer the Piece

Materials/Tools Required

  • Clear Lacquer
  • Paint brush

Steps

  1. Gently paint on a thin coat of lacquer onto the piece, to protect the paint job.
  2. You can also paint the inside of the piece with lacquer if you so wish (this will prevent the dye coming out of the piece).

Step 7: Create/add a Strap

Materials/Tools Required

  • Small scrap of leather
  • Hole punch
  • Strip of kangaroo leather lacing (3mm) for the strap. Measure to whatever your head size is and add an extra 25% so you have excess to loosen/tighten it.
  • Pen/marker
  • Mirror (to look in)

Steps

  1. Firstly you want to get a scrap of leather and cut it into a rectangular shape.
  2. Punch 3 holes of the left of the centre and 3 holes on the right of the centre. These don't have to be super precise.
  3. Tie a knot in the centre of your length of kangaroo lace.
  4. From the top side of the leather, thread the kangaroo lace through one of the holes in the centre.
  5. Then from the bottom side of the leather, thread it back up through the hole 2nd closest to the edge.
  6. Then thread it down through the hole that is closest to the edge.
  7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 for the other side.
  8. You now have a sliding leather toggle that will allow adjustments on the strap.
  9. Place the pumpkin eyepatch over the eye you would like to wear it on and align it so that it is comfortable.
  10. Using a mirror, place two dots (with a pen or marker) at the positions you think the strap will need to be attached.
  11. Punch two holes at the positions you marked with the pen/marker.
  12. Thread the tip of each side of your strap through these holes, and tie off the ends.

Step 8: Finished Product

Your awesome new Leather Halloween Pumpkin Eyepatch is now completed!

If I was to win the Epilog 30-watt Zing 16 Laser system I would use it to create awesome leather projects that involve cutting & engraving with the laser (e.g. phone cases, wallets, belts, pouches, bags, wall hangings, and other leather crafted projects).

Comments

author
seamster (author)2015-10-27

Very nicely done! This is a great way to wear a "costume" when you really don't want to! :)

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