Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Leather bound book and jewelry tree.

I made this journal a couple of months ago, but I just technically finished it today. :) See, I originally had a little piece of leather sewn on, to slide the flap under to close the journal. It was too loose and looked sloppy, so I took it off and made a pearl snap closure instead.

I seriously need to find some bigger pieces of leather. I'm limited to what I can find at Hobby Lobby. I really want to make leather books (regular leather, not just suede) that have a large flap that folds across half the front. Like this one. But that requires a longer piece of leather.

It's really a dark, rusty red color suede. I was planning on selling this one. But it was sort of a test run, the first one I ever made with felt on the inside. I learned a lot of lessons with it, but it's not perfect. So I'm keeping it. It just so happens that I'll be needing a new journal in the next week or two. :) Funny coincidence, huh?

I'm really proud of the stitching on this one. It turned out much better than on my first one. I figured out that keeping the thread tight does not mean pulling on it until it makes the spine buckle. Oops. Another really cool thing about this stitching is that you can leave a tail of thread that you can use for a bookmark! I wanted to put some different beads on it, but these dark wooden ones were all I had at the time:

The outside is red suede. The inside is chocolate brown wool felt. To hold them together, I used the zigzag stitch on my sewing machine. Note: sewing through felt and leather with nothing special except the heavier-duty needle is not easy.

This is the slightly tacky looking closure. As I went to add the snap today, I realized that the snap would not go through the main part of it- the leather and felt together are too thick. So I had to put the snap on a square of leather and sew it on. My future books will not look like this-I will set the snap into the leather before I sew the felt on. But for me, it's fine. Besides, when the book is closed, the little flap covers the tacky square.

Close up of the felt. This was my first time working with wool felt, and it was interesting. Very different from cheap craft felt.

Inside the front cover:

Where two signatures meet. I just used cream cardstock for the pages.

As usual, I used these great tutorials:

And now...the easiest craft project ever. :)

Up until this week, I have been keeping my jewelry on my staircase. Not a good idea, I know. But my steps are open and right at the kitchen, and I usually just grab my jewelry and put it on as I'm leaving, so it's convenient there. But with stuff falling off, and certain cats constantly batting my necklace pendants onto the floor, it was time for a change. None of my jewelry is real or expensive- most of it is handmade or purchased on Etsy, but I still don't want it on the floor. I was going to buy a jewelry stand. But then I had the idea to look online for tutorials. And I came up with this:

It's sort of creepy looking, isn't it? :) It would look a little better if I took off those two huge button bracelets hanging off the sides. But it serves its purpose.

Here's how you can make a really cute jewelry tree: Go outside and find a suitable branch. Let it dry out for a few days. Spray paint it. Find a wooden stand with a hole in it. Spray paint the stand to match the branch. Then glue the branch into the stand. Voila- lovely jewelry tree!

Here's how you can make a cheap, adequate jewelry stand that looks like something from a Tim Burton film: Go outside and find a suitable branch. Be in too much of a hurry to let the branch dry out, even though there is snow outside. Blot it off quickly with a paper towel, reasoning that it was on the ground and therefore dead and most likely dry anyway. Find an old vase and stick the branch in it (you don't have a wood stand and won't be going to town for a few days and you need this jewelry tree now! and the only color spray paint you have is black...ugh. Tell yourself you like the natural look anyway). Fill the vase with marbles that you and your brother used to play with when you were younger.

Marvel over your amazing five minute handiwork. Then arrange your jewelry on the branches. Done! :) No glue, thread, or needles required.

Until next time,


  1. I love both projects! how creative!

  2. I also love both projects! I really want to make a leather journal like that ;)

    Very creative.


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