Sunday, December 16, 2012

Leather Sketchbook Cover, with Pocket

 A recent whimseybox contained a piece of soft leather (approximately 8.5 x 11"), and some metal studs.

I have looked at the box contents pretty regularly, but was undecided on what to do. I knew I wanted to paint on it—but on what?

 After rejecting a variety of ideas (maybe purse straps for a sewn purse? or a purse bottom? but this leather is so soft it's almost suede, and will get filthy fast; maybe I would use a clutch? nope...; a bracelet or 4? no, this soft leather doesn't have the body of a stamped leather bracelet) and some pinterest searches, I settled on a basic wallet and/or sketchbook cover. And, I would use every piece of the leather!

Cutting guide
First, I squared up my piece of leather. Then, I cut the piece in half, so I had two 8.5 x 5.5 pieces. One of these became the main body piece. The other I cut into three pieces, each 5.5" wide—one 2.5" long, one 3" long, and the rest became the pocket flap.

 I first sewed on the sketchbook-holding flap, using binder clips to hold it in place, and the teflon foot on my sewing machine (and a size 90 stretch needle, as specified by my machine). Then came the pocket body, and then the pocket flap. Then I hand sewed the snap in place (a vintage snap from my grandmother's sewing basket).

Inside, with notebook and pencil
Next up was the painting, which was much more difficult than I expected—it took so much paint for the paint to show. I don't know if it is the soft texture of the leather, the acrylic paints, the brush I chose, or operator incompetence. I did the outside, waited an hour or so, and then the inside. Then I let both sides dry completely overnight.

Pocket snap and inside painting
The next morning I chose a piece of ribbon for the tie (part of the whimseybox packaging!). I then cut two slits for the ribbon to go through, and where a pencil can go.  After threading the ribbon through, I "painted" the ends with fraycheck.

Supplies and finished project
I want to put a small sketchbook in this, but all I could find was the small composition notebook at CVS (and all they had was red or blue!). An eraser, colored pencils, or cash and ID can fit into the pocket.

Thanks to the following sites for inspiration:
Vintage Craft Studio on flickr
the Kenton Sorenson wallet
World of Pineapple leather tips and tricks
Martha Stewart's leather crafts

Linked to:
Sew Darn Crafty

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Winter Coasters

Winter-themed coasters

 A recent Whimseybox included 2 unfinished tiles, a small bottle of modpodge, and a foam brush.

I have been thinking about making coasters, but finally pulled together my idea. Winter! Now that I have finally had to wear a scarf a couple of times, it finally feels wintery around here.Which means tea! And hot apple cider!

First, I painted the coasters with blue water color (of the cheap-o kid variety, it's what I had). I wanted this to look uneven, like the sky. I also painted part of a card, for cutting shapes.
Painted coasters, and a card for cutting.
What shapes? Snowflakes!
Snowflakes, mid-modpodge.
I cut some snowflakes, modpodged the coasters, and stuck a few on. Then modpodged over them.

Next, I cut 2 pieces of blue tulle that came in a past whimseybox. I wanted to add some texture—but not too much, because coasters and texture don't really mix. I put the layer down, added more modpodge, and then added a few more cut shapes, and more modpodge. And then a sprinkling of Crystal Snow superfine white glitter. My coasters need sparkle!

Paint, shapes, tulle, more shapes, glitter, beginning to dry.
After leaving them overnight to dry, I turned them upside down and trimmed the tulle—the coaster itself was the straightedge.

 The next day, I cut some oversized pieces of light blue felt I had on hand, modpodged the bottom of the tiles, and stuck the felt on. Then, I felt like they needed something else. I found 2 different snowflake stamps in my drawer, and silver and platinum ink pads. The coaster on the left has platinum, the right one has silver. (Tip: when using cheap-o kids foam stamps, don't press too hard! They collapse. Oops.)

I left them overnight again, to dry completely. On day 3, I trimmed the felt, and then sprayed the tops with 2 coats of acrylic sealer.

Done! With all supplies (except for tulle and felt).

Now I need a cup of tea!