Get your creative juices flowing
by: Dwyn Tomlinson
Be my guest – you've got nothin' to lose – won't you let me take you on a sea cruise?
Sea stars and sea turtles and soothing aqua flowers! The shining silver surf is up – so dive on it!
The skills required for this are simple, you need to be able to use a hole punch and whack things with a hammer. Ready?
Plan your design by laying out your pieces on your leather base in a pleasing and artful design. Or completely random, if that's your preference.
Trim the ends of the leather with scissors to a rounded end (instead of the squared off ends that it comes with.) I have to say this caution: if the scissors are sharp enough to cut leather, they are sharp enough to cut you. I'm typing with 7 fingers at the moment so that I don't bleed on the keyboard.
You've been warned.
Attach your snaps, top at one end and bottom at the other. Use the leather punch to make a hole – all the holes I made for this project are 3 mm – including making the holes in the middle of the flowers bigger. Follow the instructions on the back of the package to figure out what goes where when putting the snaps on. There is no need to test to see if the snaps work by snapping them together before you attach them to the leather, because without the leather to hold them, they are a b---- to get apart again.
BTW – these are the steel base snaps, which means that they are not the recommended ones for leather – we've been told that they are likely to rust if they get wet. I decided to risk it any way. Hopefully – my sea cruise won't get wet.
I wanted to add some variety to the little flowers, so I decided to cut out my own from another piece of leather. Draw your design on the top (right side) of the leather and cut inside the lines. If you cut from the back, you will get a bevel on this thickish leather, and it probably won't be even, and will not look so nice. Cutting out the leather is harder than I thought it would be – easy to cut, harder to make look even. Maybe if I hadn't drawn the flowers freehand ...
To attach the sea stars and turtles, punch the hole and thread the screw from the back and tighten with a small screw driver.
It's a good idea to mark where you want the hole on the top of the leather with a ball point pen, and then punch it out. If it doesn't punch out neatly, you can finish removing the plug with scissors or even sharp wire cutters.
The lacy metal flower in the middle of two of the flowers is actually a bead cap. Bead caps with big holes make fine rivetables – they just flatten out when you whack them.
These double cap rivets are particularly easy to use, as they look the same on the top and the bottom. Push the long stem through the hole, add the flower or other decoration, put the short cap on, put the back side in the shallow depression on the accompanying metal plate, and put the metal stake over the top, and whack with a hammer. You can keep hammering until the front and the back are fitted tightly together with no gap.
Hammer on a sturdy surface, table, counter or the floor. If you have a sandbag and metal hammering block – they are good to use, but not necessary. Any kind of hammer will work – you don't need anything fancy.
So have some fun with this - maybe see what else you have that you might like to rivet onto leather and make your own custom cruise leather bracelet!
ComponentsGo to our components list for this project and to buy what you need!
Need some help with some of the techniques? Check our tips page.