Leather Flower Crafts

Written by clare edwards
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Leather Flower Crafts
You can craft flower accessories from leather. (leather image by Andrii Oleksiienko from Fotolia.com)

Leather flowers can add interest to your outfit. You can use leather flowers to dress up your shoes or purse, or on their own as jewellery. Although making leather flowers might be a little daunting initially, it's easy to get good results using relatively simple patterns and techniques. You can use soft leather with a little stitching to give it shape, or mould your flowers by soaking the leather in hot water.

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Simple Leather Flower Pin

You can make a simple flower pin using leather, small beads and a brooch pin. Start with a basic flower shape: four or five rounded petals connected at the centre, cut out of soft leather. Sewing around the edges of the petals with a sewing machine will give this piece more definition and make it sturdier. You can use thread that matches the colour of your leather, or you can use a contrasting thread to add an outline to your flower. Make the centre by punching out a hole and wiring a cluster of seed beads into place. Finish off your leather flower with a brooch pin, or sew it to a barrette.

Carnation-Style Flowers

You can make loose, fluffy flowers using leather. These flowers resemble peonies or carnations. For this design, you need very thin leather that you can fold into layers. Make the flowers by cutting out layers of leather from a template, then soaking them in hot water so that they can be stretched and folded. You can give the layers of leather shape by drying them over a mould. When dried, you can collect all of the layers together into a single blossom. Fasten these carnations to footwear or other accessories. Mold a leather rose in a similar way using thicker leather. Build up the rose from separate elements. Once you've cut out each section, soak them in hot water and mould them, assembling and shaping the rose while it's still wet. Curve the petals and curl the edges back by pulling and folding the leather. Once your rose is dry, you can add artificial leaves for a finishing touch.

Rose

You can also make a rose by cutting separate petals and sewing them together. Cut petal shapes from thin, soft leather; you will be hand-sewing your flower and thick leather might be too difficult to manage. The more petals you cut, the fuller your rose will be. Use six or seven petals for a tea-rose shape, more for a double rose. Start in the centre with a small petal rolled into a bud, then build up your rose by sewing individual petals in a spiral around the centre. You can finish your rose with a calyx (base) made from a strip of green leather cut into points along one edge.

Painting Leather Flowers

If you want to use paint to colour your flowers, you'll have to plan ahead a little. Many leathers come with coatings that don't take paint very well, even if you use paints especially formulated for use on leather. You'll need to remove these coatings by washing the leather before you make your flowers. Test your paints on a scrap piece of leather first to check the effect before you paint your flowers.

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