You’ve heard it before: Sewing gives us the power to be sustainable by repairing or recycling items that deserve to have a better or new life.

 

Today we are going to reuse all those small pieces of leather that you have at home and are not big enough to make something else, and turn them into beautiful leather earrings. You can also buy cheap second-hand leather jackets or bags and recycle/upcycle them.

The Controversy Around Leather

Though there are some debates around the usage of this material since its production require animals, there are options in which leather can be sustainable: upcycled or recycled leather (this is what this tutorial is about), vegetable tanned leather (which is less polluting) and vegan substitutes for those against real leather usage.

The Qualities of Leather

Every time we use a material to create something, it is nice to learn a bit about it. Leather is a unique and valuable material due to its physical properties. Bags, shoes, and even clothes are made of it because of its qualities:

  • Strength and Resistance
  • It absorbs sweat, which is an important factor in comfort
  • It is warm in winter and cool in summer
  • It can be molded and retains its new shape
  • It is durable and lasts many years, which goes against the idea of Fast Fashion where things are made to last for just a season.
Time to Get Started!

Now we’ve learned a bit about leather, its qualities and some of its social and environmental aspects, we are ready for our upcycling project.

So if you believe that those scraps of leather belong to a better place than the garbage, try making these 3 pairs of beautiful earrings. You’ll see the process repeats itself in all of them, so once you learn it, you can create your own designs. The alternatives are unlimited!

Level of difficulty: EASY

You will need:

Materials 

  • Scraps of leather
  • Metal jewelry rings
  • Hook ear wires
  • Metallic beads
  • Duplex Cardboard

Tools:

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Puncher
  • Cutter
  • Jewelry tweezers
PAIR 1: “The Striped”

Step 1: Draw your design in cardboard. It is easier if you fold the cardboard in two and draw half of the design. This way, the shape will be even from both sides when you cut it.

Step 2: Draw the stripes and cut them with the cutter (make sure to leave a space at the bottom, you don’t want to go all the way through)

Step 3: Place the cardboard shape over a piece of leather and cut all around it with a cutter. Make sure to be very careful to get tidy and regular edges. Don’t forget to cut the lines in the center as well.

Make tiny holes with the puncher at the bottom and top, that is where the metal rings will go through.

Step 4: Fold the piece in the middle and insert the rings in the holes with the help of tweezers.

Step 5: Insert the Hook ear wire… and you are done!

PAIR 2: “The Triple Arrow”

 

Step 1: Same as before. Draw your design in cardboard. It is easier if you fold the cardboard in two and draw half of the design. This way, the shape will be even from both sides when you cut it.

Step 2: Place the cardboard shape over a piece of leather and cut all around it with a cutter. Make sure to be very careful to get tidy and regular edges.

Step 3: Make tiny holes with the puncher, that is where the metal rings will go through.

Step 4: Insert the rings in the holes with the help of tweezers and connect the different pieces through the metal rings. If you want to add metallic beads to make your design ever nicer, this is the right time.

Step 5: Insert the Hook ear wire… and you are done!

PAIR 3: “The Rhombus”

 

Step 1: Draw your design in cardboard. It is easier if you fold the cardboard in two and draw half of the design. This way, the shape will be even from both sides when you cut it.

Step 2: Place the cardboard shape over a piece of leather and cut all around it with a cutter. Make sure to be very careful to get tidy and regular edges.

Step 3: Make tiny holes with the puncher, that is where the metal rings will go through.

Step 4: Insert the rings in the holes with the help of tweezers.

Step 5: Connect the different pieces through the metal rings.

Step 6: If you want to add metallic beads to make your design ever nicer, this is the right time. Now, insert the Hook ear wire… and you are done!

If you would like to see more design ideas to make leather jewelry, click here!

 

 


Get the FREE 10-STEP FASHION DESIGN GUIDE

A step-by-step guide to creating your own Fashion Projects!

 



 

Related Posts

Hi! I'm Daiana, author of Thread Stories: a Blog for the Fashion and textile inspired. A space to worship sewing and craftsmanship where you will find Tips, How to’s, Trends, DIY, Techniques, Tools & Resources to create for yourself in the most conscious, creative and inspiring way!

Leave a Reply

2 Comments on "DIY Recycled Leather Earrings"

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Molly
Guest

Great background info., and beautiful instructional photos! This looks so fun- can’t wait to try it!

admin
Admin

Thanks Molly! There will be much more to come 🙂