Sunday, March 3, 2013

Watch The Leather, Man

Hi Everyone!
I can't believe we're already into March! I'm working on a few stitchy things that I can't show just yet, things I'm pretty jazzed about, but my projects always seem to take a little longer to complete than I initially estimate. Does that happen to you guys, too? Since I can't show you what I'd planned to, I'm breaking out something I was particularly proud of that I made for my brother for Christmas this year. 

These items were a bit of a departure for me, I've never worked with leather before (well, yes, I have, but that was back when I was a Camp Fire girl, and we just stamped leather strips to make bookmarks, so that doesn't really count) and since I like to make as many of my Christmas gifts by hand as I can for my family and friends, but I struggle with making "guy things" I had to get crafty.

I've been holding on to a stash of  small leather samples that I got from work a few years ago, and this year I finally got to use a few of them to make my brother a suite of small leather goods. 

A simple billfold, hand stitched.
(and some business cards to encourage my super talented, hard working brother to go into business for himself)

A nightstand bowl for the odds & ends a busy dad finds in his pockets at the end of the day.

This bowl was very simple to make, I found a link to a tutorial on Pinterest (naturally). The bowls in the  tutorial are made with felt, but hey, same technique. Just sore-er fingers, stitching leather is hard, yo! I made one of these dresser/nightstand bowls for my sister-in-law too, I made hers in the super soft red leather pictured below.

I made her a pretty little necklace, too, but the picture above isn't very good, here's a better one.

But my favorite thing that I made for Greg was this little journal. I love this wee book, I was tickled with the finished project.

Love it! I used a pretty stone button I had in my button jar and cut a thin strap to keep the journal closed as my brother adds little bits of this & that to it over the course of its life.

The signatures are stitched up, all proper like! I used a medium card stock for the paper so the pages are nice & sturdy for drawing or painting or what have you.

I used this excellent tutorial, and the journal came out perfectly! Not only have I never worked with leather, I've never made a book, so this was a double lesson for me, and I was very happy with the result. I'm very much looking forward to making more of these journals in the future. 

So there you are, a trio of "masculine" handmade gifts! 

I only had to buy one tool (two, if you count the rubber cement used to secure the book pages the leather) to make this trio, this spikey wheel jobbie used to mark even spaces in the leather that I then punched through with my awl. This was a project that was all labor, and practically no moolah. But the labor, oooh, let me tell you, I had practically no feeling in the fingertips of my right hand for two weeks. I found that even though I pre-punched the leather, it was still hard to pull the thick needle through over & over again. Ouch. I wonder if there's a better way...?

So yeah, leather, man! 

p.s. Curious about the title of this post, lookie here. Love that movie. Have seen it waaaay more times than I should admit. :)


Shirley said...

What beautiful presents, I don't suppose you fancy being my sister? ;) lol x

bascom hogue said...

this was a fun read and the leather looks good.

lifemyway said...

I know what you mean about stitching gifts for guys. I can never think of anything. These gifts are lovely. Thank you for the inspiration.

Kate said...

Over from the Sew Darn Crafty party. Wow I'm so impressed, these gifts are great and fabulous. Amazing that you've never worked with leather before! Sounds like hard work but worth it in the end when they turn out so great.


The Tales of Me

Kate said...

Now following too :)

Deb said...

Very Nice. I think I will try making a bowl.