Leather Earrings (Tutorial)
by Rena Klingenberg. © 2003-Present Rena Klingenberg. All Rights Reserved
Because leather is so lightweight, it’s a wonderful material for making big, bold, leather earrings!
You can make them in plain, smooth leather – but it’s also worthwhile to look for pieces with interesting textures or tooling.
And of course you can design them in any shapes you like.
- 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:
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:
Then cut out your paper patterns:
Look at the front side of your leather, and decide which areas you want to use for your earrings:
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.)
Now the back of your leather should look something like this:
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:
Now you should have 2 cut-out earring shapes:
Now it’s time to punch a hole in each earring shape.
I’m using the smallest punch bit in my leather punch:
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):
Each of your punched leather shapes should now have a hole at the top:
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:
. . . 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.
Attach the remaining earwire to your second leather earring shape.
Your finished leather earrings may look something like this: