Monday, November 4, 2013

Leather Embellished Wood

Wood, Leather by Melissa Cable, 2013

Some of my favorite projects in my next book, Beautiful Leather Jewelry (Jan 2014), are leather embellished wood beads. There are capsule beads, spool beads and more. So when I saw a Facebook ad for wood plugs by WidgetCo I was both excited and horrified. Does Facebook know me THAT well...eek!

But, regardless, off to WidgetCo I went and ordered a variety of face grain wood plugs. I am always happy to feature a company that has great products and service and this company qualifies. The wood plugs were beautiful, the package came quickly and they even followed up with an email (promise this is not a paid endorsement, they don't even know I am writing this!) I included a copy of my order here to make it easier for you in case you decide to make one.

If you leave a comment below, I'll draw a name and send the winner some of my wood plug stash! Let me know if you've worked with wood and why or why not. I'd love to hear what you've been doing.



I'll admit, I was a cold connections snob. I did not count adhesives among quality connections. But a class with Bob Ebendorf changed that, thank goodness, because much of the work I do with leather and wood would be difficult if not impossible without adhesives....including this bracelet as it is made by drilling holes in the sides of the wood plugs and gluing them together with 2mm round leather cord. Here is a quick step-by-step on making this bracelet, with TWO types of glue...eek!

1. Mark the holes on the wood plugs. This is best accomplished using the tape covered circle template I described in my post "Finding Center." Remember that the interior plugs will have 4 holes, the exterior 3 holes and the corners only 2 holes.


Let me make the mistakes for you...be sure to mark your holes! I failed to do this with my piece, I jumped right in because I was anxious to try it! Next time, I will definitely be more precise.

2. Place the plugs in a small vice (this is my favorite ZONA vise). Be sure to put scrap wood below the plugs so you don't drill into your vise. Use a drill size that works with the leather you chose. I used 2mm leather and a 3/32" drill bit.


I painted the sides and back of each wood piece with a metallic bronze paint, which is optional. I also painted the leather cord in a light coat of the same paint.

3. Place a needle tip on a bottle of Zap A Gap. Work in vertical sections by connecting three plugs together at a time. Drop glue into the hole and slide a piece of leather into the hole. Hold for a moment to let it set. Be careful to use only 1 drop of glue...excess glue can and will ooze out of the other holes easily.


Trim the leather so that it is approximately 1/2" so that you have 1/4" between the wood and 1/4" to glue inside the adjacent plug (1/8" for inside smaller plugs). Keep glueing vertical sections of three together, making sure they end up the same height. When you are done with vertical sections, connect these sections together by gluing in leather cord horizontally between the holes.

4. Punch circles out of leather and place edge coat on the edges to both clean up the edges and frame the leather. Use Tandy Leather Weld to glue the leather discs on top of the wood as desired.


TIP: I remove the lid from the leather glue and leave a paintbrush inside. Early on, I put painters tape around it to keep it sealed, but now over time, it has created its own glue plug. While not attractive, it works well and I always have a brush for glue.


5. I spray sealed the entire piece with a shiny acrylic sealant, which really made the wood pop, and then on the center end plugs I inserted antique copper eye screws to attach the hook clasp.

This bracelet is amazingly strong (which is why I love and prefer Zap A Gap for my cyanoacrylate needs). I tried to pull two pieces apart and no matter how hard I tried, could not get them to separate. I had to trim the leather cord and drill into the leather when I accidentally left a piece of leather too long!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you get a chance to Create Recklessly this week!

Melissa

PS: The winner of the Surface Texture Bible is....Angi Mullis!
Let us know how you like it Angi. : )












17 comments:

  1. Judy Freyer ThompsonNovember 4, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Or me!!!!

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  2. Very cool! Jeff works with wood, of course, making furniture; but I haven't tried jewelry made with wood. You'd think I would have tried it...

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    1. I bet he has some awesome scraps to play with! Excited you'll have the room to play soon!!!

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  3. You are a mad genius. I'm off to check the etsy store. This would make such a cool necklace and wood charms

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    1. Oops, that sounded more like evil clown...

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  4. You should teach this at Fusion! I'd sign up!

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    1. Now that they have flexshafts in the classroom its possible (yay for Fusion Beads!) ...hmmmm, will have to consider this! : )

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  5. I love this! Can't wait for the book to come out!

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    1. Hi Jenny! Been playing with leather!? Be sure to send me some pix! : )

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  6. What a cool idea! I also love your tip for the paint brush in the glue.
    Where did you get your ZONA vise? That looks like something that would help me with a project I'm working on. :)

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    1. I bought my first ZONA vice at a hobby store that also sells remote control vehicles. If you can't find them, I have a few new ones left for sale ($24 - includes a set of nail sets so you can mount them in the vice to rivet into concave areas. I always bring a few when I teach because they are so popular. I love mine. : )

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. I love the mixed media! I don't have all the tools to do this (yet) but you inspired me to spray paint some of my wooden beads to create some new effects (recklessly, of course!). Thanks!

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    1. Excellent Debbie! Try sanding some of the paint off as well to get a distressed look...pop by my Facebook page and post some pictures...would love to see! : ) https://www.facebook.com/Melissacabledesigns

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