Introduction: Making a Leather Rose

About: A Mechanical Engineer with way too many hobbies

Learn how to make a leather rose.  You can use the rose as an accessory or put a stem on it and put it into a vase.


Step 1: Tools and Materials

- leather (vegetable tanned, as close to 1mm thickness as possible)
- the pattern
- pen
- sharpie (fine tip)
- tracing mylar plastic (or some other plastic you can transfer the pattern onto the leather)
- tape
- spray bottle
- leather skiver (optional, but recommended, to get leather to 1mm thick)
- awl
- utility knife
- leather shears (optional)
- leather dye (Fiebing's red, green)
- wool dauber (dye applicator)
- plastic gloves
- floral wire
- hot glue
- floral tape

Step 2: Trace Pattern and Cut Out Leather

Leather selection is important.  It should be vegetable tanned leather (necessary for shaping).  The rose turns out the best with thin leather.  A thickness as close to 1mm is ideal.  You can find leather at your local Tandy leather store (if you have one).  The smallest amount you can buy is a single shoulder or double shoulder.

I had leather that was a little thicker, so I used a leather skiver on the back side (the rough side).  The skiver takes cuts down the thickness of the leather.  It can be difficult to master.  Try to keep the skiving even and not cut through all the way.

Copy pattern onto tracing mylar with a fine tip sharpie.  When done flip over to top grain side (smooth side).  Spray the leather with water from a spray bottle.  Tape the mylar onto the piece of leather.  Trace over the pattern with a ball point pen.  The wet leather takes an impression.

Cut the leather pieces out with a utility knife or leather shears if you have them.  Punch the center holes with an awl.

Step 3: Dye Leather and Form Rose

Wear gloves, you will thank me later.  Remember this is leather dye, leather is cow skin, your hands are skin, it will dye your hands very well.  Use a leather dauber to apply the dye to the leather on both sides.  Allow the dye to set in.

Take a piece of floral wire and make a loop on the end.

Soak the smallest petal and soak it in water for 10-20 sec.  Dry it off with paper towel.  Put the wire through the hole in the petal till it stops on the loop.  Take one side of the petal and wrap it into a tube.  Take the second side and wrap it as a tube around the first.

Repeat with the next size petal.  The second petal should be rotated 90 degrees from the previous.  Hold on to the leather so that the tubes you are creating are somewhat tight.  After wrapping I usually roll the top of the petals downward.  Continue with all the petals.  Finish with the leaves.

Put rose on table sitting on its face overnight to dry.

Step 4: Finishing Leather Rose

After drying out, the leather holds its shape.  Push the wire out and pull the rose apart.  Put the first petal on the wire, tight against the loop.  Put the second petal on the wire but don't pull it tight.  Place hot glue on the bottom of the first petal.  Line up the second petal so that it is rotated 90 degrees from the first and pull the second petal tight to the first.  Repeat with the remaining petals and the leaves.

Creating the stem (optional)

Take floral wire double it up and cut it to length.  Twist the wire from the rose onto the stem.  Use floral tape to wrap the entire stem 2x.

Spray rose with some matte leather finish.

Enjoy your rose or give it away to a special person.
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