Introduction: Leather Feather Earrings
I have been making and selling my Leather Feather Earrings for a few years now, but without any template or tutorial to start out, I only just refined my method in the past year. So I thought I would share my method here with you all.
I use recycled leather that I obtain from old clothing, shams, jackets, or upholstery which would otherwise be headed for the trash or junkyard. I clean it and sometimes dye it to get unique colors or designs. Then, in the process of assembling I waterproof the leather to protect the structure so it doesn't get wet and curl.
So, let's get started.
*2 pieces of scrap leather in
contrasting colors. (each big
enough for 2 of the size feathers
you intend to cut). Mine are 2"×3"
*2 Earring hooks
*2 End Caps/Connectors with
teeth to grab the leather.
*2 Eye Pins or pieces of wire
*2 Charms - anything you like
*2 each of any beads you would
like to accent with.
*Round Nose Pliers
*Chain Nose or Flat Nose Pliers
* Wire Snips
*Barnisher (if you have one)-not
*Pen or Marker
*something to protect your work
area when you spray adhesive
Step 1: Cut and Shapes of Feathers
Cut out the basic shape of 2 feathers (right and left) from one color leather. Then cut 2 feathers slightly smaller (right and left) from the other color of leather. Try to make the right side mirror the left, but remember - no 2 feathers are exactly alike in nature.
You can use stensils and trace on the back side of the leather before cutting. (You'll have to scrub the lines off before waterproofing). I sometimes use them to get a basic shape but resize when I cut them out.
Then I take each Feather and cut details into each, refining them. Smoothing them out to not look choppy, cutting tiny slits into the sides - curving up and in at an angle, then move the scissors to right above where I cut the slit and cut in just to remove a tiny sliver of the leather so you can see the detail. When you're happy with the shape, you can move on.
Step 2: Attach the End Cap/crimp Connector
Make sure that your end cap is open and check to see which is the front or textured side. Be sure to place each side of the joined feathers facing the front and sink the tiny teeth of the end cap into the leather, squeezing tight. Then using the flat nose pliers close the sides securing the connection. Repeat for the other earring.
Step 3: Refine Edges
If you have a *barnishing tool, you can use it now to really refine and smooth out your edges. I could not find mine and didnt want to not share the project because of it so I used a sharpie to color the edges of the blue feather. The white one was fine.
* A barnisher is a round smooth wooden tool with grooves that you rub the edge of the leather in and it smooths and even sometimes melds the leather pieces. You could also rub the edges on a smooth piece of wood to get a bit of the smoothing effect.
Step 4: Join the Feathers
Now you have to decide which blue will go on top of which white feather. Whatever looks better to you. I tend to have the curve of the feathers go in the same direction. But that's just because that's more appealing to me.
Flip the blue, or top, feather onto its front and spray the adhesive onto the back of each. I only spray on the top so it can move separately just a bit. Now just place it back (sticky) side to the front of the white feather that you've chosen like the photo. Do the same with the other side.
Now flip them both onto the fronts. Spray a thin coat of waterproofing onto the back of the white feather to dampen it.
Flip them back over and do the same on the fronts being sure to get the edges of each feather.
Step 5: Assemble the Charm and Accent Beads Onto the Eye Pin.
Take your eye pins and open the eyes slightly with your flat nose pliers (by twisting it just a tiny bit - make it easier to close) to put your charm in the loop then close them. Now slide the beads that you've chosen onto the other end of the eye pin so they match. Using the round nose pliers grab the wire above the last bead placing the wire about a third of the way up the pliers. Holding the end of the wire, wrapping around the one side of the pliers making a complete loop. Now take out and reinsert the round nose into the loop right at the bend. Tip the loop back to center the loop at the top of the wire. Repeat on the other wire. Snip off the access wire. Snug the wire ends up against the base of the loops so there !r no rough edges to catch on anything.
If you don't have eye pins, you can use wire and just make the loop on the end for the feather the same way as the loop on the other end.
Step 6: Attach the Hooks
Open the loops on each of the earring hooks. Place the feathers and the eye pin assembly on the loop and close the loop. Repeat for the other hook. Be sure everything is facing the right way and moving the way you like.
You could be done here, but I hate when hook earrings work their way out of my ears. Don't you?
So, one more step.
Step 7: Make Hooks Stay Put
Using the flat nose pliers- place them at the the top center of the hook. Right where they would go through the pierced flesh of your ear lobe and sit. While holding the front of the hook in place and the back tip of the hook in place (with the thumb and pointer of your other hand, squeeze the pliers to flatten the hook slightly.
This will make the hooks stay put in your ear lobes and on the display card.
I hope you like the tutorial. I certainly hope I could explain it well enough for everyone to understand. I am having a little trouble with my connection right now but fingers crossed- it will finish uploading pictures and save correctly.
If you make these Earrings, please share a photo and let me see your creations. If you have questions or better ideas on any of it, please feel free to comment. I welcome fresh ideas.
Most of all, if you make them, I hope you absolutely love them!
Congratulations creator! See you soon.
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