Click to Print

Leather Family Tree

Karen Johnson creates a leather and wire photo family tree.

Materials and Tools:

5' chamois (for auto care)
40' copper wire
glue gun and hot glue
leather oval shape
2, 8-1/2" x 11" suede leather sheet
alphabet metal stamps
wet sponge
7 large-holed beads
14 small beads
7' ribbon
7 gold charms
7 gold head pins
gold embossing powder
slow-drying pigment inkpad
taupe and straw-colored inkpads
heat tool
7 photos (or 14 if double-sided)
craft foam sheet
leaf-shaped craft punch
thin copper
Xyron adhesive machine


1. Bend copper wire into seven branches, a twisted trunk and seven or eight roots. The roots serve as a base to stabilize the tree.

2. Cut eight 1-inch strips of chamois and wrap over the branches and one or two roots and glue ends in place. Drape and wrap the rest of the chamois around the trunk and hot-glue to hold in place.

3. Make your own frame rubber stamps by drawing a design onto a thick foam sheet and cut out with scissors.

4. Tap gold inkpad directly onto the frame shape. Place the inked foam frame onto a section of the suede sheet pressing evenly with thumbs. Lift off and sprinkle freshly stamped image with gold embossing powder. Tap on back of suede to remove excess powder. Melt embossing powder with the heat tool. Cut out the frame.

5. Glue trimmed photo to the inside of the frame with Xyron adhesive.

6. Cut 12 inches of ribbon for each frame. Make a loop with four inches of ribbon. Add a bead around both ends sliding bead up one inch from the top of the ribbon loop. Tie a bow with rest of the ribbon and glue below the bead onto the ends of the loop. Trim. Glue to frame.

7. Pierce the bottom of each frame with awl to poke a hole.

8. Attach a charm to the gold head pin and add beads. Poke pin through the hole in the leather and bend to secure.

9. Hang frames on branches.

10. Wipe a wet sponge over the leather oval to condition for stamping. Use alphabet metal stamps and a mallet to spell out an oval nameplate (i.e., Our Family Tree). Age the nameplate with gold, straw and taupe-colored inkpads along the edges and the top of the oval. Embellish with punched out copper leaf shapes. Glue nameplate onto the top of the trunk.

Advertisement will not be printed