Introduction: Upcycled Leather Yo-Yo Necklace
Believe it or not, this trash-to-treasure necklace started with a fur-lined leather glove that was found in a parking lot this winter. Normally, there isn't much use for a single lost glove, but with a little creativity, it can become something special. The leather was butter soft and the fur was gorgeous, so I deconstructed it and used the materials to create two new accessories. This tutorial features the leather, but be sure to check out my other tutorial to see what I did with the fur lining. :)
Because the leather was so soft, I knew I could treat it like fabric and decided to put a spin on the old-time craft of making fabric yo-yos. I love the contrast between granny chic yo-yos, edgy black leather and dazzling vintage jewels. Hope you enjoy!
- single leather glove
- sharp scissors
- heavy duty needle
- glue (I like E6000)
- embellishments (vintage buttons, jewelry, cabochons, etc.)
- (2) jump rings
- (2) lengths of chain
- necklace clasp
Step 1: PREP
Wipe any dirt off glove, then place in a sealed plastic bag and freeze for several days to kill "anything" that may be lurking in the materials.
Step 2: Separate the Leather From the Lining.
Use sharp scissors to snip the stitches that hold the leather and lining together, then separate the leather from the fur lining.
Step 3: Cut the Leather.
Cut along the seams of the leather glove so that the leather lays flat. You will have to cut the fingers open too, to get enough pieces for this project. Once you have cut the glove open, cut 5 round pieces that are about 1.25" - 1.5" in diameter. It's ok if they are all different sizes, just be sure to cut them round, so they make nice yo-yos.
Step 4: Stitch Your Yo-yos.
Thread your heavy needle with a double-strand of thread for extra strength and knot the end. Choose which side of your leather you want to show on your finished yo-yo. (I chose the smooth shiny side, so the sueded side was my inside.) Starting from the inside, use a running stitch to make small even stitches all the way around the edge of your leather circle. Be sure to start and finish on the same side and stitch as close to the edge as you can. Leave 2"-3" tails of thread at the ends, so you can draw up the stitches and gather the leather to make the yo-yos.
Step 5: Create Your Yo-yos.
When you have stitched all the way around and your tails are together on the inside, gently start to pull the thread to gather the leather into the center. Don't yank, or you'll break the thread. Take your time and pull a little bit from each side. When you have gathered all the leather into the center, tie the ends of the thread in a knot close to the leather and trim the ends off. Tuck the ends under to hide and flatten your yo-yo.
Step 6: Embellish!
When you have made all of your yo-yos it's time to embellish! I chose to add vintage rhinestone buttons to the centers, but you can use whatever you like. Simply stitch or glue the buttons in place. (I stitched mine right through the yo-yo and then covered the stitches on the back with small scraps of leather.)
Play around with your yo-yos until you find an arrangement you like and then glue the yoyo's together where they overlap. (I use E6000 glue for this.) This is the new focal piece for your necklace.
Step 7: Finish Your Necklace.
To hang your necklace, you need to add jump rings to the back of your focal piece. Decide where you want them and then stitch or glue the jump rings to attach. (I glued mine and then partially covered the bottom of the ring with a scrap of leather to help it stay secure.) Attach lengths of chain to both sides of your necklace, adjust the length as desired. Add a clasp and you're done!
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