I was trying to decide what to make my mother for her birthday that combines her love of flowers, the color blue and butterflies. So I created 2 leather plant holders for her to use for her artificial and real plants. This tutorial shows how I created the flower plant holder. Check out the video if you need any guidance when creating your own.
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Step 1: Supplies and Tools
For those wanting basic tools here is a great starter set- https://amzn.to/2xRw68q
Are you looking for a leather working starter kit check this deluxe one out!- https://amzn.to/2Y6r72q
Leather 5/6 oz- https://amzn.to/2XQmK7H
Leather 3/4 oz- https://amzn.to/2JIjB4J
Tools: Rotary cutter
Water tub and 3-5 leather sponges
meter stick for cutting long leather straps
Tool Steel for Setting Rivets
Wool or soft cloth for buffing leather
I bought these two pots from Ikea. They don’t have a drainage hole in the bottom. You need to use a plastic insert so your plants can drain properly. Any 4- 5 inch high plant pot will work with an outside diameter of 6" will work with this pattern.
3/4 or 4/5 leather for flowers and leaves
5//6 Leather for plant holder base
52 inches of 5/6 or 7/8 leather for 52" straps
Acrylic paint - Cova paint from Tandy works well and so does Liquitex.
Regular paper scissors
Leather finisher- Supersheen, top finish or saddle laq.
Medium and large rivets (you can just use medium rivets)
2 inch ring for hanging your planter from the ceiling
Step 2: Print Your Template and Cut Out the Patterns
Print your template and cut out the patterns. Card stock is the preferable paper to print your template on but regular printer paper will work as well. Use an awl or hole punch to punch out holes in the template.
Step 3: Cut the Base Out
Place the base template on your 5/6 oz leather and trace around template with pen or sharp tool etc. Once that is done you can use a rotary cutter to cut out your leather. You can use a ruler to help you cut nice and straight line. In this tutorial I am using a pen so you can see the lines being traced onto the leather. You can use a pencil or awl/sharp object to trace around the leather if you are planning on dying the leather a lighter color. I removed the pen lines with an edge bevel tool which also makes a nice rounded edge. Trim the corners of your base with leather scissors to give a nice rounded edge.
Step 4: Punch Your Holes
Punch the holes out with your rotary punch
Step 5: Cut Remaining Pieces
Trace all the items you are using onto your leather and cut them out. In the video I showed what it looks like to trace the add ons with an awl and with a pencil. Punch all the holes on any add ons you may have cut out with your rotary punch.
Step 6: Bevel the Edges (optional)
Before you dye your leather, you can bevel your edges. This isn’t necessary but it gives a nice rounded edge and removes any pen if you used pen to trace around your templates. The pen won’t be visible if you are using any acrylic based dark paints. You must slightly wet down the leather to bevel the edges.
Step 7: Carve and Shape Your Attachments
To carve and shape any attachments you are using wet down the leather slightly, engrave any lines or shapes onto the leather. I did some free hand accents on each piece and them shaped them by hand to make them look more like natural leaves and flowers. I then let them completely dry before I painted them.
Step 8: Dye Your Leather
Dye your vegetable tanned leather with the color of your choice 2-3x if you are using a water-based dye. Let the dye dry completely. If you need help dying your leather check out the included video.
Step 9: Paint Your Attachments
You can use an acrylic based paint and add any mica powders you want to achieve the metallic sparkle. Let them dry
Step 10: Cut Your Straps
While everything else is drying you can cut your long leather straps. I used pre-dyed vegetable tanned leather for this part. I made the straps 52” long out of 7/8 oz leather. You can make them a little shorter (or out of 5/6 leather if you have that on hand) but them the plant holder will either be too close to the ceiling or you will need to attach a chain to the top from the ceiling.
Step 11: Seal, Buff and Burnish Your Base.
Seal your vegetable tanned leather with your favourite sealer. I recommend something like Tandy's Supersheen, top finisher or saddle lac. Once your sealant is dry buff the tops of the finished leather and the edges. You can use beeswax for this step and any burnisher you have on hand. Depending on what type of burnisher you have available use a beeswax or something equivalent and burnish the edges until they are smooth.
Step 12: Assemble Your Attachments
Assemble your attachments to the tabs. The tabs are not really needed. I used them to add the leather lace for extra security but you can easy fore-go the tabs. Hammer all your rivets into place and attach to your base straps (the ones holding the pot).
Step 13: Attach Your Base Together
Line up your base. I made sure it was even by using my table top as a measuring guide. But you can use something like your cutting mat to make sure your base forms a cross shape. Add a large sized rivet if you have one or a medium sized one and hammer it into place.
Step 14: Add Your D-rings
Add your d-rings to the base. I marked about 2.25 inches from the end and folded the leather over with the end matching the 2.25 mark. Once I added the d-ring I folded it over and used my rotary punch in the centre of the strap. Once the hole was punched I added a rivet and hammered it into place. Do this on all for ends.
Step 15: Add Your Straps to Hand Your Pot
I measure about .5” for the first hole and 2.5 inches for the second hole from the end of each 52” strap. Once I added the holes to all 4 sides I looped the first end over one d-ring. To get an even hanging pot I attached the strap to the same side of the cross. Don’t forget to put your strap through the large ring so you can hang your pots from the ceiling or a hook.
Step 16: Add Leather Lace and Your Pot
Once your straps are attached add your leather lace. To measure how much lace, I used I wrapped the lace around the pot and added on 6 inches. Then I put the lace under the tabs. Now you can add your pot.
You can bend the leather at the bottom where your pot sits before you add the pot and now you are done! If you have any questions check out the video!
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