If you're like me, you've waited until the last minute to whip up something festive for a Valentines gift. I was browsing around on Tandy Leather's Valentines Pinterest Board and found a knot pattern that I thought looked pretty rad, so I thought I'd give it a try. I liked the way that it turned out, so I thought I'd pass along the project here with a few tips on technique.
The heart measures about an inch and a half tall. You could use the design for any number of things, however I plan on using them as pillar candle wraps.
The first attempt can take a bit of time, however once you get the technique down, they can take less than 5 minutes a piece to make.
Step 1: Materials
I've recently begun learning leathercraft, so I fortunately had all of the materials laying around. Most of the tools pictured are optional, so the only thing you'd really need to pick up is the leather lacing.
Here is what I used:
Craftool Pro Super Shears - A little bit of overkill for this project, but cutting leather with normal scissors can dull them, so these are handy to have around.
Stylus (optional) - The last step involves shaping the lace. It can be pretty easily done by hand, but having something like this or an awl may help shift the lace a little bit easier.
Scotch Tape (optional)
Step 2: Cutting the Leather Lace
The heart itself takes roughly 1 foot of lace and you'll likely want at least 6 inches on either side, so cut the lace at least 2 feet long.
I used two colors of lace, however you could do it with just one color as well.
Either way, I would recommend using two strands together as one strand would end up pretty tiny with not much definition.
Step 3: Taping the Leather Lace (optional)
This step is optional, but it really helped me my first few times.
I taped one end of the lace to the table to keep it from moving. I then stretch out the lace, making sure it was even and not twisted, and then taped the two ends together like a shoe lace.
Step 4: Make the Leather Pretzel
Knots and braiding seem to be harder to explain, so I took a number of pictures to try and show the knot pattern. I used green electrical tape on the end used for lacing to try to keep the image pretty clear. I also identified the "Loop" you create in the first step as that threw me off a little bit my first go round.
The finished product ends up fairly small, so you'll want to cinch down the initial "pretzel" shape to make sure you have enough lace for the Loop.
Step 5: Create the Loop and Go Under
When creating this Loop, imagine that you are tying a loop in your shoes. There is nothing to hold it in place yet, so you may want to keep a finger on it to prevent it from moving or loosing shape.
Go under the middle strand and then on top of the outside strand. From there, go back under the outside strand to come back in to the knot.
Step 6: Final Weaving
Continue to weave over, under, and then over until your heart shape is created.
Step 7: FINISH HIM!!!
This part is a little bit easier said than done and unfortunately there isn't much advice I can give on how to perfect this technique.
You'll want to start tightening the lace by hand, little by little. It can be a bit of a maze tracking down the best way to get the slack out, however you'll get the shape down eventually. I used the stylus tool to help me get in between the knots to pull out the slack.
Do not tighten it too much or it will become too small to have an identifiable shape. Leave enough slack in the bottom to retain shape and enough in the top loops to look like a heart.