Sorry for the radio silence, one overseas family drama and a smashed knee cap later and I'm back... :)
This time I have a rather sweet pyrographed leather purse. Everyone knows that you can pyrograph wood but did you know you can pyrograph other surfaces too such as tooling leather...
Please note you need to make sure that the leather you use is suitable for pyrography i.e. tooling leather available from leather work specialists. (Other kinds of leather can release the chemicals used in the tanning process which, when burnt, can be carcinogenic if inhaled.)
It's rather fun pyrographing leather though and can be much quicker than working on wood. You don't need a lot to get started with pyrography. In fact, all you need is a heat resistant surface to work on and a pyrography tool. I use Efco's basic Pyrography Pen Tool which comes with 6 burning tips and retails at about £15. The only other thing you need is some wood or tooling leather etc to work on. I tend to use stencils for my designs but you can create your own designs for free!
Here's what you'll need if you want to make the little purse pictured above (instructions below)...
Pyrography Tool (1840001)
Offcut of tooling leather
Ornaments Stencil (9320907)
Black Permanent Marker or Pencil
Waxed Cotton Cord, 1mm Olive (2002567)
Leaf Button (1174785)
Transparent Thread, 0.45mm (1005245)
Screw Hole Punch (1801821)
Knife (1802533), Ruler & Mat
Heat resistant surface to work on
(Efco Product Codes in Brackets)
Step 1. Cut a piece of leather approx. 8 x 20 cm.
Step 2. Position the bottom edge of the stencil just over 7 cm from one short side with the motif (pictured above) in the centre (approx. 2cm space either side). Carefully trace around the motif with a black permanent marker. You can use a pencil instead if you'd prefer but the marker will make it easier to create a strong, dark outline very quickly.
Step 3. Gently trace around the marked out design with the pyrography tool, burning the design into the leather.
Step 4. Fill in the design by lightly running the tip of the pyrography tool over the leather.
Step 5. Build up depth and shading by continuing to go over the design in some areas with the pyrography tool. (nb. at no point should you need to press hard with the pyrography tool - when working with leather a light touch is all that is needed.)
Don't worry if the leather warps or buckles a little. That is perfectly natural when working with thinner supple leather and the pyrography tool. Once it is all laced up it won't register at all.
Step 6. Turn the leather over and fold the bottom 7cm up. Use the awl to mark where you want to punch holes. Use the smallest hole tip of the screw punch to punch holes in the front and back of both sides. I punched 9 holes down each side - one near the top, one near the bottom, then one in the middle, then one in the middle top and bottom and so on.
Top Tip: If you look at the top left hole you will see it looks a little bigger and darker around the edge - that is because it was the first hole I punched and I created it by punching through both layers from the front. To avoid that (as per all the other holes) you need to, having marked all the holes with the awl, open up the leather and punch each hole individually from the inside out. That way you'll get a much neater finish.
Step 7. Cut two pieces of waxed cotton cord approximately 50cm long. Take one piece and thread either end through the bottom hole (front & back) in opposite directions. Cross over and thread them through the next hole. Continue in the same fashion up both sides.
Step 8. When you've laced about four holes up either side, fold the top flap down so you can work out where to position your button. Sew it in position using transparent thread. Tie a knot in the ends (on the inside), trim the excess and add a dab of glue for extra security. Then continue to lace up both sides to the top.
Step 9. At the top finish the lacing on each side with both ends on the inside of the purse (i.e. instead of passing the threads all the way through both the front and back, thread one through to the inside. Thread the other all the way through and back round again to the inside only.) Tie a knot as tight as possible to the lacing and trim the ends. Tuck the knots down inside the purse. (For extra security you can add a dab of glue if you want to.)
Step 10. To finish your closure use the awl to make two holes 1 cm apart (i.e. 3.5 cm in from either side) and 1 cm up from the edge on the flap. Make another hole 5mm from the edge in the centre. Thread the end of a piece cord (approx. 16 cm long) through the top two holes and tie a knot underneath (trim any excess from the short end). Thread the other end up through the remaining hole and tie a knot at the end of the cord.
Alternatively you could use a magnetic closure (9742310) and fix the button to the flap to hide the metal tabs of the closure fixing.
You can leave the purse here and consider it finished alternatively you can add more decoration on the flap so that the cord fixing is not as obvious...
I think they make great presents as you could personalise them with designs or words to fit the recipients. They don't have to be used to hold money - they could used for niknaks, jewellery or any small items. I use my purse to store my in-ear headphones in so they don't get tangled up or broken in my handbag!
Happy crafting everyone!