Sunday, August 16, 2015

Recycle a leather handbag into cute drop earrings



Don’t throw that leather or faux leather handbag away, upcycle it into cute lightweight drop earrings in geometric shapes.

So my fave handbag finally bit the dust.  The handle was starting to look a bit ragged and then the zipper busted.  The snaps let go.  I really loved that bag.  It wasn’t one of those high priced handbags but the leather was soft and supple.  My husband told me to toss it in the trash, but come on now could I really toss it in the trash? 

I got out my scissors and removed the lining.  Then I started to cut the leather from the sides, front and back.  The leather was a lightweight variety and easy to cut with regular scissors.  So now I had several pieces of leather with which to create.

The predominant color of the bag was a reddish hue.  So of course I thought of hearts.  And jewelry is always my thing.  If you don’t want to make hearts you can cut out all sorts of geometric shapes for your earrings.  These earrings are practically free when you consider you are recycling the leather and you can make quite a few from just a few pieces, so it’s perfect for groups. 

And keep those leather or faux leather pieces because I have more tutorials coming your way using them!

Supplies:

·      Lightweight leather or faux leather from a handbag
·      Two needle nosed pliers
·      Jump rings in - large, med, and small
·      Fish hook ear wires
·      Scissors
·      Small hole paper punch
·      White chalk pencil
·      Lightweight cardboard (for pattern)

Directions:

1.     Cut apart the handbag saving the usable leather pieces.  To make the heart pattern, fold a piece of lightweight cardboard in half and on the fold draw a half heart.  Cut out and open for your pattern.  You can play around with sizes and shapes in the same way.









2.     Using your pattern and a chalk pencil draw two heart shapes on the wrong side of the leather and cut out.





3.     Use the paper punch to make a hole in the top center and bottom point in one heart.  Make a hole in the top center of the other heart.




4.     Open the largest jump ring by twisting instead of pulling with two needle-nosed pliers.  Attach both hearts together point to center and twist to close.  (See photo)



5.     Open the medium sized jump ring twisting to open as before and attach to the top heart center hole.  Twist to close



6.     Open the smallest jump ring attach to the previous medium sized jump ring and add the fish hook ear wire making sure it is facing in the right direction.  Twist the jump ring closed.  Earring made.



7.     Repeat steps 2-6 for the second earring.