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Beaded Leather Jewelry Set

Kari Lee shares her process for making this beaded leather jewelry set.

Projects by Kari Lee.

Beaded Leather Choker

Materials and Tools:

deer tan cowhide or kidskin
12" natural 1mm round lace
3/32" 1-prong chisel
filigree punch, diamond shape
mallet and punch board
size 10 glover’s needle
Tanners Bond Contact Cement
3 silver accent beads
amber crow bead
craft knife with #11 blades
42 size 11 metallic silver seed beads
44 size 11 matte topaz seed beads
15 matte topaz bugle beads
15 turquoise 2.5mm x 3mm tube beads
4 turquoise 3mm round beads
3 flat narrow triangle horn beads
Nymo size D fine beading thread to match leather
beeswax
thimble
cloth tape measure
ruler/straight edge

Steps:

1. Determine length of your choker by using a tape measure. Add 1" to the measurement for the closure.

2. Cut a 1/2" strip of leather to the length determined for choker. Using the ruler, find the center of the length.

3. Using the diamond-shaped filigree tool, mallet and punch board, create the decorative perforated design along the center of strip approximately 6" in length.

4. Lightly wax thread length with beeswax. Attach a doubled length of beading thread onto the glover's needle and secure lose ends with knot.

5. Utilize the perforated pattern along the leather strip and the finished choker as a guide for positioning beads onto leather. To secure ends of thread, use a couple of backstitches from the underside of leather to the core of the surface, allowing the stitches to be hidden.

6. Bring the needle up to the topside of the leather where the beading is to begin. Attach the beads onto leather, stitching the thread to the core of the leather, bringing the needle up to next point where a bead is needed.

7. To attach the round lace closures, one slit needs to be made 1/2" from each end of the beaded strip. Using a punch board on the work surface, punch the slits with the 3/32" chisel and mallet.

8. Create the choker’s loop and bead closure. Cut two 6" lengths of round lace. Fold one in half. Tie an overhand knot 1/2" from the fold, forming the loop for the closure.

9. Cut ends of lace approximately 1/2" from knot. Insert lace ends through one slit from the top side of leather.

10. To attach loop closure: Fold end of trim over to the back side, sandwiching the lace ends. Use an even coat of cement between layers to secure.

11. Thread a bead onto the center of the remaining length of lace. Use both ends of lace to tie an overhand knot, securing bead in place. Cut ends of lace approximately 1/2" from knot.

12. Insert lace ends through slit on opposite end of choker. Fold and cement end over to secure. Allow cement to dry completely overnight before wearing.

Leather Earrings

Materials and Tools:

deer tan cowhide or kidskin
filigree punch
mallet and punch board
Tanners Bond Contact Cement
silver earring hardware
2 crimp beads
crimping pliers
very fine .010 beading wire
size 10 glover’s needle
2 silver accent beads
26 size 11 metallic silver seed beads
32 size 11 matte topaz seed beads
12 matte topaz bugle beads
3 round 3mm turquoise beads
Nymo size D fine beading thread to match leather
thimble
craft knife with #11 blades
grid paper
poster board
ruler/straight edge

Steps:

1. Cut a 6" x 6" piece of leather. Apply contact cement on the back side of leather surface. Once cement is tacky, fold trim in half and press to secure. Place weight on leather overnight.

2. Make a triangle template from poster board and place on punch board. Punch a diamond shape centered on the template using the filigree punch and mallet.

3. Using a craft knife with a new blade, cut two double-layered leather triangles with the wide end of triangle at the fold.

4. Place punch board on work surface. Position leather triangles on board and punch a diamond shape in the center of each using a filigree tool and mallet.

5. Using glover's needle, create a channel in one triangle under the fold and between the layers of leather. Thread 12" of fine beading wire through channel created.

6. Attach silver and topaz seed and bugle beads on both sides of wire prior to round turquoise bead. On one wire length, add one round turquoise bead, silver accent, and crimp bead. Thread the earring hardware between the last five silver and topaz seed beads.

7. Thread the same wire end down and back through the crimp, silver accent, and round turquoise bead, pulling wire snug. Thread the other end of wire length up through the round turquoise bead, silver accent, and crimp bead. Pull wire ends snug. Using crimp pliers, secure crimp bead around wires.

8. Thread a doubled length of beading thread onto glover’s needle. Thread needle through the center leather layers approximately 1/2" from the narrow end of the triangle, leaving a 4" length of thread.

9. Attach silver seed and bugle beads onto thread, followed by one round turquoise bead. Attach the silver and topaz seed beads as shown, threading the needle around the last silver bead and back up through the last three beads. Repeat the beading pattern.

10. To secure beading, thread the needle and the thread through the leather to the opposite side of where you began beading. Secure both thread ends with a couple of half hitches and apply glue to the knots.

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