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Roses are Red

February 8, 2011

The other night I was sitting at the dining room table trying to figure out what to do with this leather. In the past I’ve turned this maroon colored leather ‘inside out’ and instead of making a ‘leather journal’ out of it, I’ve made mauve suede journals from it, and it’s worked quite well. But, I was tired of that game and I really wanted to make this burgundy leather work somehow (for me). So, I bound the book and just stared at it, for a really long time. Asking it to talk to me, to tell me what it wanted. It really wanted to be pretty. To be Loved. To be appreciated. But feared its dark maroon/burgundy color would simply scare off future suitors. And then, it hit me, like a box of rocks- ROSES!!

See, I sell my wares at this store called homespun modern handmade in Indianpolis, and last week one of their other crafters, Aubrey Chaney of Backwoods Belle, was on Indy Style along with owner Amanda Taflinger, and she did a short little craft demo on how to create fabric flowers. You can see the video here: Indy Style tv. When I watched that I really wanted to somehow integrate those flowers into my books but didn’t really know how thin silk-like fabric would work with my leather, so I didn’t give it another thought, until the other night when I decided that this poor dark maroon journal desperately needed a rose on its lapel.

So, that led me to google- searching and searching for how to make leather flowers in the same fashion that Aubrey had on Indy Style. Surely it couldn’t be that hard right? Surely? Well, it can. I searched and searched and found tons! of tutorials on how to make intricate leather roses that were both beautiful and time consuming- but that’s not what I wanted. I wanted the simple look that Aubrey was creating with her beautiful fabrics. What to do what to do?

I took this Martha Stewart tutorial and merged it with Aubrey’s little demo, and VOILA! Out popped this cute little leather flower!

Here’s what I did:

  • Cut an odd number of leather circles from coordinating leather scraps (I cut five originally, but found out that flower would be way too thick for my purposes, so I cut back to three) in decreasing sizes. I cut a large maroon circle, a smaller chocolate brown circle, and an even smaller maroon one.
  • Get a scalding hot bowl of water and soak until saturated, rubbing the water into the suede side of the leather.
  • Once thoroughly saturated punch a hole in the middle of all circles at one time so they’re lined up.
  • Stretch and play around with the leather to get it into the shape you want – accordion fold or fold into fourths. ( I places clothes pins on two folds in order for it to stay pinched)
  • Place leather side down (I suppose you could also do this the opposite direction to have a suede flower?) over a pencil/pen point that is secured in something (I used a jar of beads) and let dry overnight.
  • In the morning you have a little crumpled up piece of leather that remotely resembles a flower! You could also use a heat source (Very carefully) to heat dry the leather I suppose.
  • From there I took a silver brad that I had lying around and poked it through the holes of my circles and the leather cover of my book and attached. You could also attach with hot glue to a barrette or any number of accessories.
  • Now shape your flower by moving your circles around and ‘fluffing’ to your heart’s content.

Oh, and if you’re interested, you can buy said journal heređŸ˜‰

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