This is my first instructable. I hope you feel inspired to create this neckpiece of leather scraps and a few other supplies.
You will need
- Leather scraps in two colours. I chose brown and black.
- Pen/ pencil (optional)
- Surgical cutter
- Rubber adhesive
- 0 size round punch for leather
- Piece of wood
- Jump rings
- Cutting mat
Step 1: Cut the Leaf Shape
Using the surgical cutter, cut out the leaf shape from the leather scraps. I didn't draw leaves, I simply used the cutter and began cutting two arches that joined to form a leaf shape. I also didn't follow any particular size, I allowed the size of the arch to determine the size and shape of each leaf. this makes it more fun, as the uneven shapes add interest to the neckpiece. The best part about not drawing is that you are free and don't have to struggle to get it "right". it can be pretty tough to follow the drawing.
However if you prefer drawing, go ahead use your pencil or pen to make the marking on the leather and then cut on the marking.
Don't leave too much space between each leaf. cut as close as possible to save your leather for other interesting projects.
Step 2: Cutouts
Once you have a good number of leaves, its time for some intricate work. Choose the bigger leaves for more cut outs and make one or two or no cut outs in the smaller ones.
I chose to cut out smaller leaves as the pattern. the randomness again makes it easier to do. If you do not follow any particular patter, chances are you will reject fewer pieces, and every cut out will look as if meant to be that way.
Also don't cut too close to the edge. leave space for punching holes to create the joints. Cutting too close to the edge may also weaken each leaf making it susceptible to tear.
Do not throw away the small leaves that have been cut out. we will use some of them later.
Step 3: Arrange
Arrange all the pieces on a flat surface to create the pattern you want. your neckpiece is not taking shape. If you feel you need more pieces repeat the previous steps, until you are satisfied with the arrangement.
Remember to arrange them such that each leaf has an edge where it touches another. this is where the joints will come.
Step 4: Punch Holes
Mark points, with the pencil or pen, where the joints will come or simply use your judgement and begin punching holes on the inside of the leaves along the joining edge approximately where the leaves touch each other.
When you do this, place the leaf on a piece of wood. Hold the punch perpendicular to the leaf and strike hard with a hammer. you may have to strike more than once.
Do not punch too close to the edge, the leather may tear. The hole should be punched at a distance from the edge, approximately equal to the radius of the jump rings. use your judgement on this one. Too far in will make the leaves overlap or have to be squeezed into the rings.
Step 5: Repeat
Take an adjoining leaf and punch a hole.
Step 6: Joining
Take a jump ring, pass it through both holes and press it shut with the help of a plier.
Step 7: Taking Shape
Place the leaves back into the pattern and see where the next hole needs to be punched. A single leaf may have many joints, depending on its size and number of leaves it shares its edges with.
Repeat steps 5 and 6 until all leaves have been attached.
You may want to join a few hold it against your body and see how it looks. If you want to go higher lower etc. There may be a change in the flat pattern at this stage. Go with the flow.
Step 8: Enhancing
The small leaves that are cut out of the big, in step 3 can now be stuck with rubber adhesive to some of the leaves. I chose to stick on contrasting colours on the rough side of the leather, on leaves that had fewer cut outs.
Step 9: DONE!
Put it on or gift it and enjoy your handmade leather necklace.