How to Upcycle Leather Scraps Into Statement Fringe Earrings
The average crafty lady knows this scenario all too well: You set out to make a few projects, you buy the supplies, you make said projects, and then you’re left with remnants of more materials than you started with. While we certainly love our supplies to (many) pieces, there’s still nothing better than a good stash-buster DIY. These beaded fringe earrings fall right under that category, and they’re easy enough so that you can make a few pairs in an afternoon. Not only do they combine the triangle and fringe trends, but they’re lightweight, fun and total head-turners!
- faux leather
- 1 ¼” eye pins
- seed beads
- acrylic paint / liquid gilding
- strong craft glue
- ¼” washi tape
– cutting mat
– rotary cutter
– 3-in-1 jewelry pliers
1. Cut two strips of faux leather measuring 4 ½” x ¾” each.
2. Place one strip on the cutting mat. Line up the ruler so that the bottom of the faux leather hits an inch mark.
3. With the rotary cutter, create a slit starting 3 inches above that mark.
4. Using the cutting mat as a guide, move the ruler over ¼” to the left and cut another slit.
5. After two cuts, each ¼” apart, you’ll have a 3-strand faux leather fringe.
6. Place three horizontal strips of washi tape above the fringe.
7. Apply acrylic paint/liquid gilding with the dauber.
8. Once dry, peel off the washi tape.
9. To paint perfectly parallel lines on the second piece of faux leather, place it next to the first and then add the washi tape. Apply acrylic paint/liquid gilding as you did in Step 8.
10. For one earring, you’ll need three eye pins. Add seed beads to each eye pin, leaving ¼”.
11. Using the pliers, create a loop at the end of each one.
12. Connect the three eye pines.
13. Once the paint/gilding is dry, glue the middle beaded eye pin to the back of the faux leather piece. Make sure it’s about ½” from the top.
14. Fold the top of the faux leather over the beaded eye pin. Let it dry for several hours.
15. Connect the ends of the beaded eye pins to an earring hook. One completed earring: check!
16. Repeat Steps 11-16 with the second painted piece of faux leather to finish up your new pair of earrings.
Using a rotary cutter on the leather will give you a cleaner cut then you would get using another tool. But do make sure you’re using a self-healing cutting mat.
Be sure the paint is completely dry before pulling off the washi tape. That way, those lines will be super straight and exact.
The awesome thing about these earrings is that they’re extremely easy to customize. For a completely different version, try using small beads other than the seed kind – whatever you have stashed away! You can also use faux leather in different colors, or even alternate between paint colors for an eye-popping medley of stripes.
How do you use up extra materials? Tell us about your projects in the comments below!
(Styled photos by Haruka Sakaguchi of The Denizen Co.)