Introduction: Leather Cat Statement Necklace

About: I'm a freelance illustrator who likes to make fun crafty stuff in my free time :)

The other day as I was organizing my jewelry box, I came to the conclusion that I didn't actually like most of my jewelry, and I hardly ever wore any of it. So I decided to make a bunch of my own things that were unique and creative, but simple and easy to wear with anything. One of the first things I made was this leather cat necklace. It definitely makes a statement, and I get compliments on it all the time, but it's super simple to make. Plus, it gave me a chance to use some bits of scrap leather I had left over that were too small for most other projects.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

For this project, you'll need....

  • Scrap leather
  • Fine cable chain
  • Tiny jewelry pliers
  • X-acto/Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Two jump rings at least 5mm
  • Jewelry clasp
  • Two eyelets about 8mm

If you have a leather hole puncher, feel free to use that. I don't have one, so when I needed to make a hole, I just used a hammer and nail.

Step 2: Cut It Out

Cut out the basic cat head shape out of your leather scrap. I've included a .pdf if you want to print that out and trace it on the back. If you want to freehand it, make it as big or as small as you'd like, though mine is about 2 1/4" wide. If you make it too much bigger or smaller, the eyes might be disproportional. To make sure it's symmetrical, fold it in half as you cut.

Step 3: Go for the Eyes

Punch holes for the eyes. If you have the proper leather-working tools, use them to punch a hole just slightly smaller than the size of the eyelets you're using. If you don't have those tools, follow these steps.

  • Hammer a nail through the leather where you'd like to position your first eye, and pull the nail back out again.
  • To make sure the other eye lines up properly, fold the leather in half and hammer the nail back through the hole you just made and back out the other half of the leather.
  • Expand the holes using your x-acto knife, and draw small Xs, starting from the center of the hole you just created and cutting away from it just a few millimeters.

Put the eyelets in the holes you just created, hammering them into place.

Step 4: Ear Piercing

Using the same method as before, pierce two holes in the cat's ears near the top. Be careful not to get too close to the edge, as you don't want it to tear.

Open two of the jump rings and put one in each of the holes you made. Don't close the rings just yet, you'll want to leave them open for the next step.

Step 5: Chain, Chain, Chain...

Cut two lengths of silver chain to your desired length. I made each length of chain about 12" long, but you may want to adjust that depending on how low you'd like your necklace to hang.

Attach each length of chain to the jump rings you just put through the ears, closing off the jump rings with the jewelry pliers.

At the ends of the chains, attach the jewelry clasps. If you're right-handed, put the clasp on the right chain and the loop on the left. Vice-versa if you're a lefty.

Step 6: Enjoy!

And that's it, your leather cat necklace is complete! I made one in black as well so I can mix it up a bit and match what I'm wearing. Now go out there and rock your unique statement necklace!

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