Introduction: Leather " Stones"
We have pictured some leather projects using leather "stones" The stones I am making in this instructable are much smaller than the ones shown. They will be inlaid in a strip of leather and applied to a walking stick after my husband gets the grip braided. I will suggest that if you wish to try this project that you do a larger stone than I will be doing. The smaller stones are harder to work .
Step 1: Leather "Stone
Tools and materials needed:
break a way knife or carving knife
small paint brush
sand paper 150 grit
white glue for leather
2/3 ounce carving leather 6 pieces, size depends on size of stone about 2 x as large as finished size
3 small pieces of round lace or small pieces of cut 2/3 ounce leather to make a cross
dyes and/or permanent markers
Liquitex high gloss varnish
Step 2: Leather "Stone"
CAUTION: You will be using a sharp knife. When carving make small cuts for better control of the knife and design. The larger stones are easier to work.
Cut the 6 pieces of leather about 2 x as large as the finished stone. I am making small stones so using the calipers I marked circles about 1 and 1/4 inches in diameter. The finished stones will be about 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut each piece of leather out with the scissors.
Sand the shiny side of each piece of leather, so that the glue will stick better.
Step 3: Leather "Stone"
The first piece of leather, I usually place the shiny side down and the rough side up. It doesn't really matter. Spread a light coat of the glue over the leather. I use my finger or you could use a toothpick. Down the middle of this piece of leather place a piece of the round leather or a piece of the small strip of leather . Place the other pieces of lace on each side of the middle strip to form a cross. When you carve the leather, the cross will give the stone some contour. Spread glue over the cross area.
If you lightly dampen the leather with a little water it will make the leather easier to mold. Take the next piece of leather and spread a light coat of glue on one side. Lay this piece on top of the cross. Taking the modeling spoon, mold the leather around the cross area. It is important to force the leather as close to the cross area as possible. Also make sure the flat areas of the pieces are glued down. If you do not get a good tight fit a void may present problems later.
Continue gluing the sides of the remaining pieces of leather, and stacking them on top of the previous layer. Do not glue the top of the last piece of leather. Again, making sure each layer is tight.. After all of the layers are glued together, set it aside for several hours or overnight so that the glue sets up well.
Step 5: Leather "Stone"
Again, the knife is sharp and care must be taken to carve only the leather - NOT fingers or thumbs.
After the glue is set up we will take the knife and start shaping the leather. Start at the top of the stack of leather and carve at an angle to round out the stone. It is not unusual to carve off most or all of the top layer of the leather. Work your way around the stone to keep it even. Keep carving the leather until you have reached the desired shape.
After you have got the shape, take the sand paper and smooth the shape out. It does not have to be perfectly smooth.
Permanent markers can be used. It is not necessary to completely cover the leather. Four or five strokes will be adequate. I dyed 3 of the stones a solid color and they are pretty dark. The darker of the light pieces I dry brushed the color on the leather. The 2 lighter pieces I left natural and added streaks of the permanent marker.
Dye the leather as desired. After the dye is dry, sand the leather. Then using a small brush cover the leather with a thin coat of Liquitex high gloss varnish. Let the liquitex dry well. This may take 60 minutes or so. If you rinse the brush in rubbing alcohol, the brush will stay soft. I use a very cheap brush and when I am finished I throw it away.
After the leather is dry, sand the leather again. You will repeat this step about 5 times, or until you get the shine you desire. It should add depth to the stone. We do leather, so we usually mount the stone in leather.