Simple but very nice eyeglasses case OR a holder for your pencils or brushes or even stamping tools!
The feather is not hard to carve and leather is hard enough for feather to last as long as the case itself does.
This one is small and made for small glasses but of course you can scale the pattern up when printing and make a big holder just for about anything.
The cutting pattern is included for you to download as well as the feather carving pattern, too.
You will not need too many tools but you will require some..
1) Vegetable leather 4-5oz or heavier if you really want to protect your glasses. If you use heavy leather you would need to adjust your pattern, scale it up a bit to give some space for folds.
2) Lining leather - any thin and soft leather, could be chrome leather if you like
3) Leather shears or knife (must be sharp)
4) Round punch for snap buttons and a snap setter set
5) Contact cement
6) Stamps for tooling (beveler, leaf liner, background stamp and hair blade tool) and a mallet
7) Swivel knife
8) Scratch awl and stylus for tracing the pattern
9) Edge beveler
10) Diamond chisels or pricking irons and a stitching awl
11) Two stitching needles with blunt ends and waxed thread
13) Snap Buttons x 3
14) Antique paste or gel or stain and dye for edges
15) Leather finish
Also you will need gloves, sponge or sheep wool, paper towel, water, modeling spoon, granite or marble slab and beeswax
Step 1: Making the Pattern and Cutting the Case Out of Leather
Download the PDF file with cutting and carving patterns. Cut it out and place on leather. Use a scratch awl to trace the pattern on leather. Do not make deep scratches, just deep enough to see the lines. Mark the snap buttons placements.
Use the shears or knife to cut the pattern out of leather. Use round punch to make holes for snaps.
Step 2: Get the Carving Pattern Transferred to Leather and Cut the Lines
Use a piece of sheep wool or sponge to apply water to the leather. This is called "casing". You can dip leather into water or you can use a sponge if your project is small. Apply a few layers of water and then leave the leather aside for 30min or more until it returns the original color but is cool to the touch which indicates that there is still moisture inside. At this stage leather is ready for tooling.
To avoid stretching and distortion stick sellotape to the flesh side of leather.
Place your pattern on leather and trace the feather using a stylus (or a pencil).
Cut the lines half way through the leather using a swivel knife.
Step 3: Carving the Feather
Use different sizes of bevelers for short and long lines. Bevel all outlines and inside.
Use a modeling spoon to round all sharp edges along the beveled cuts.
With a leaf liner bevel again two central lines. Pay attention to the pattern direction - it is different on both sides (see the photos)
Now use a hair blade to scratch hair-like lines on feather surface. Do it nicely and carefully so it looks neat and not haotic.
Now put your glasses on and use a scalpel to undercut the feather all around the edges and lift the edges slightly up. Be careful not to cut off a part of feather (or your finger!).
Use the same scalpel to make small cuts on lifted edges so they look like real feather. Follow the "hair" direction.
Use the modeling spoon again to lift and twist a bit single "hair" here and there, to add some realistic look.
If leather is too dry by now use spray to add some moisture and when it returns light color again stamp the background carefully under the lifted edges (see the photos).
Take the sellotape off.
Step 4: Applying Resist Finish
Let the feather dry completely and apply resist finish. I used Eco-Flo Super Shene. With the brush apply finish on feather surface and then under it along the edges. Then apply finish on all case surface. When it is dry (give it at least an hour) apply a second coat.
Let it dry for a couple of hours. Do not use a hair dryer! If your hair dryer gets very hot you will burn feather edges (do not ask how I know that..)
Step 5: Antique
Use your favorite color, I used Saddle Tan.
Get some antique on a piece of sheep wool or sponge and start with feather. Make sure you get enough antique under the edges so there is no missing spots. Then apply color to the whole surface, work it in nicely in circles.
Use paper towel to remove excesses and use water if needed.
Let it dry properly, better leave overnight then buff it well.
Apply leather finish, any will do. Again, leave it to dry.
Step 6: Install Snaps
Install bottom parts of the snaps, three of them. Refer to the pattern for placement.
Step 7: Lining
Cut a piece of lining leather a bit bigger then the case itself.
Apply cement or leathercraft weld to the flesh side of leather. When it is dry and tacky place it on lining and carefully connect both, holding in the way that it is a bit bent. Not much, just a little bit. If you do this then there will be no wrinkles on the lining inside when using the case.
Get rid of air bubbles (I used a glass slicker but anything else will work.
Step 8: Stitching
Use a wing divider to mark a stitching line 1/4" from the edge of case. Use pricking iron to mark stitching holes or use diamond chisels to actually make holes ready for stitching.
You will need two needles with blunt ends and waxed thread. The length of thread should be 4 times more then the stitching line. Use a stitching pony for convenience.
Push the needle through a hole and line up both needles to make sure you have the same length on both sides.
Push the "left" needle through the next hole and pull it out on the right side. Push the "right" needle through the same hole and pull it out on the left side. Pull both needles making a tight stitch.
Do the same do make another stitch and then go all around and stitch the lining to the case.
Pull threads on the lining side and cut them short. Use a lighter or something to melt the ends and fix the thread.
Step 9: Finishing Edges
Now cut the lining leather as close to the edges as you can using a sharp knife.
Bevel the edges.
Sand the edges with sandpaper starting with medium/fine and finishing with extra fine. Sand in one direction only rather than rubbing it back and forth.
Use a wool dauber and dye the edges. I used Fiebing's Professional Oil dye.
Apply some beeswax and then polish the edges nicely with a wood slicker.
Step 10: Snaps Again
Now install top parts of the snaps
Buff the case with a piece of clean sheep wool.
The case can be opened and closed using any of the three buttons.
Thank you for reading my tutorial!
Participated in the
Leather Goods Contest