Leather Earrings (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Because leather is so lightweight, it’s a wonderful material for making big, bold, leather earrings!

Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

You can make them in plain, smooth leather – but it’s also worthwhile to look for pieces with interesting textures or tooling.

Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And of course you can design them in any shapes you like.

Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Supplies:

  • Leather – enough to cut out two earrings.
    You can use genuine leather or “pleather” (faux leather).
    You can find pieces of leather in craft / hobby stores, or via an online search, or at etsy.com.
    For less expensive sources, look in thrift shops for leather belts, purses, vests, jackets, etc. that you can cut up into earrings.
    I made my earrings with leather from three different cuff bracelets.
  • Paper and ball-point pen – to sketch your earring patterns and trace them onto the back side of your leather.
  • Scissors that will cut leather.
    Your regular household scissors might work for this.
    Or you may need stronger utility scissors.
    I used the Tim Holtz Tonic Studio Micro-Serrated Scissors (the smaller size, not the larger size).
  • Leather hole punch.
    You can get one very inexpensively at craft / hobby stores, especially if you use the store’s weekly coupon.
    You may also be able to use a heavy-duty craft punch such as Crop-A-Dile Big Bite punch or Eurotool EuroPower punch.
  • A pair of earwires.
  • Chain nose pliers – for opening and closing the earwire loops.

How to Make Leather Earrings:

Start out by choosing your leather.

I looked for colors I liked, plus interesting textures.

As I mentioned above, I made my earrings with leather from three different cuff bracelets:

Leather for earrings - Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Next, decide what size and shape you want your earrings to be.

Sketch a paper pattern for each earring shape.

Here are the three shapes I sketched for my leather earrings – a different shape for each pair:

Pattern sketches for Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then cut out your paper patterns:

Paper patterns for Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Look at the front side of your leather, and decide which areas you want to use for your earrings:

Leather for Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then turn your leather over so the back side of it is facing up.

Use a ball-point pen to trace around your paper patterns on the back of your leather. (For dark leather, use white chalk instead of a pen.)

Tracing paper patterns on the back of leather for Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now the back of your leather should look something like this:

Traced patterns for Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your scissors to cut out your leather shapes.

I cut slightly inside the pen lines, so the pen marks won’t show on the back of the finished earrings:

Cutting out earring shapes for Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now you should have 2 cut-out earring shapes:

Cut-out leather earring shapes for Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to punch a hole in each earring shape.

I’m using the smallest punch bit in my leather punch:

Leather punch tool for Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Punch the hole close enough to the top of each of your leather shapes, so that your earwire’s loop will work well in the hole (but without punching through the top of the leather):

Punching holes for Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Each of your punched leather shapes should now have a hole at the top:

Holes punched for Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to attach the earwires to your leather shapes.

Use chain nose pliers to twist open the loop of one of your earwires:

Attaching earwires to Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

. . . then insert the earwire in the hole at the top of your leather, and use chain nose pliers to twist the earwire’s loop shut again.

Attaching earwires to Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Attach the remaining earwire to your second leather earring shape.

Your finished leather earrings may look something like this:

Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Leather Earrings - Tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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Comments

  1. I love these big, textured leather earrings, Rena! You’re right, finding leather with texture in it really increases the interest factor! And I found that when I was working with leather (I haven’t pulled any out yet this fall), I loved the feel of it. Maybe because it was a natural material, and because I was recycling it, I felt a connection to the animal it was originally a part of. And customers do love it too.

  2. Another great idea Rena! And so simple to make, thanks for sharing. My favorite is the teardrop one.

  3. Vicki Entrekin says:

    Rena, thank you for this idea. Love these! Especially with the texture. I’m thinking I might try adding rivets to the hole to make sure the leather doesn’t tear at the hole. Will probably need to use a jump ring, but that will work. Thanks again!

  4. You always come up with such cool, doable ideas for tutorials to share. Love the colors and texture options using pre-made leather cuffs!

  5. I love these Rena! You are the best at what you do. So gorgeous. Best wishes, Linda @Crafts a la mode

  6. Sue Shade says:

    Great idea. Never would have thought of this myself.

  7. Awesome idea. These are beautiful. Thanks for sharing Rena!

  8. Maretha Hines says:

    Good information and beautiful projects as always. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Jean BH says:

    Love the inspiration you give us. These earrings are simple to make but make a big statement.

  10. Thank you, Jean BH!

  11. Oh boy! I have something fun to share. If you have an embossing machine such as a Sizzix or Cuttlebug, you can run leather through your machine in an embossing folder as long as it’s not too thick. I have some scraps of different leathers & suede worked out well. I love the idea of the leather earrings so I’ll make a few pair for quick gifts! Thanks for another great idea & instructions, Rena!

  12. Moogie, thanks so much for mentioning the Sizzix / Cuttlebug for this type of project – great idea! 🙂

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