Leather Tooled Book Cover with Koi and Hibiscus!

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6:00 AM
 Leather Tooled Book Cover with Japanese Koi and Hibiscus Flowers!
 If you haven't ever tooled leather...carved it...you haven't really done leather work!
You've gotta try this!
 Leather Tooling or Carving is giving 3D effects to Leather by cutting and stamping.
It's such a cool art form!
I want a giant leather mural to hang on the wall--like an old world map or something...
 My husband is very good at tooling leather.
He's not a saddle maker...or a cowboy...so he doesn't carve the "traditional" patterns.
Like this purse he did for me!
 Leather tooling is a very different creative medium!
I was interested in having my children start learning to leathercraft...so
I contacted Tandy Leather!
Tandy Leather sent me a fabulous starter kit!
The Deluxe Leathercraft Set ($75)
This comes with all the tools needed to make 7 amazing projects!
Including a BELT!
Which we did so quickly we didn't take any "how to" pictures!
but my 12 year old son stamped arrows (from this Native American Stamp set)
 We used 2 Sam Browne Studs to fasten the belt instead of a buckle...
(although the buckle is included in the kit!)
 Because it's cool and unique!
And he dyed it black--it'll look great with his suit or jeans!
This is a great set to get an older tween or teen, then they have everything they need to get started!
We always like to get something for our kids to help spur their creativity and this is perfect!

  I also got this Book Cover Kit ($24)
So, for $100 plus shipping we've got a great gift idea that teaches
 a whole new level of creativity!
The book cover is unfinished, but already stitched and snapped...so
 there are no additional setting tools needed.
 It's best to work on a hard granite, quartz or marble surface.
If you don't have solid counter tops you can buy a slab from Tandy Leather...or try working on whatever pounding surface you have...cement is good too!
Detailed instructions for sharpening your blade and how to hold the swivel cutting tool
 come with the Deluxe set, so I won't cover that here.
Keep the leather damp and the blade sharp.
Trace your desired pattern onto the leather by pressing over the pattern with a stylus or a pencil.
Then use the swivel cutting knife to cut the lines you just drew.
(I found this image from an online search, so the pattern is not mine to share here)
The book cover kit comes with 2 patterns and the Deluxe set
has patterns and instructions as well.
 Once the entire pattern is cut, the next process is stamping.
This will create the relief, the 3D effect.
Use the beveler to press the leather down on one side of each cut.
Place the edge of the beveler in the cut and hammer gently.
Move the beveler as you hammer to give a smooth imprint.
Bevel the places you want to be darker in color.  This is the shadowing effect.
Use the Seeder to add small circle shapes, like the hibiscus stamen.
We also had a hair line tool already that was used to make the subtle lines in the fish fins.
 After the image has been beveled, then the background is next.
We used a splotchy looking tool for the background.
This is the area behind the fish, flowers and water...but not the border.
Next the cutting knife was used for decorative cuts in the flowers,
around the fish face and on the waves.
These are shallow cuts, just used to add texture and dimension. (big picture)
 Because this was to be a book cover, we opted to use Neatsfoot Oil to soften the leather.
This makes the leather darker in color and very soft.
Next, we used Dark Brown antiquing gel...it's thick and spread all over the leather.
Then the top surface is wiped clean...like glazing...gives the impressions a darker finish.
I love the look of antiquing.  It's my favorite, and therefore what I recommend!
It makes it look so rich!
We held the leather up to the light...check this out!
I'm wondering if I can do some kind of awesome lamp shade with this technique!?
Hopefully this project makes the 2015 "to do" list!
 After drying, the book is slipped in the cover and admired!
I love how it turned out!
It's a great journal cover and fits any book about 5 by 8"...
ours is 2 inches thick...but thinner books work too!
 The fish just wraps around the book, I love the spine!
I love the fish scales!
(my 6 year old son did not like the "extension cord" coming off the fish face--hahaha!)
 I love the look of tooled leather!
What do you think?
 And all those little details!
This would make a great gift too!
We are working on some other fabulous leather projects to give as gifts
 to others this holiday season!
I've got some leather things for sale in my Etsy Shop too!

Check out your local Tandy Leather...or shop online this weekend
 for unique gift ideas at great prices!
They have loads of kits for summer or scout camps, groups or parties!
I just ordered a bunch more stuff from them too!
Follow them on Facebook for more ideas and specials too!

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This post published on Doodlecraft first


E. Chikeles said…
Oh my goodness I LOVE that design!! I would so buy it from you.