by Suki Baynton
Hi everyone! How are we all holding up?
Anyone eaten their body weight in chocolate yet? Accidentally put wine on their cereal this morning? No?
If, however, you have lost all routine (and sanity) and need a little inspiration to get you through the week, I have some good news to share with you. Our range of distance learning crafts are growing, great value, sanity saving and here to stay.
Not only do they deliver, boy, do they deliver!
In the name of research and let’s face it, selfless customer service; I have diligently and joyously scrolled through the different types of distance courses we have on offer and have picked out a few to try and, whether I spectacularly fail or not, share the results with the class!
So, first up, is the leather earring making kit by Rosanna Clare, which at £8 is incredible value and suitable for anyone to have a go at. There are sharp tools required so plan ahead if you intend on using this around kids and Rosanna Clare state the kit shouldn’t be used by anyone under 12 years for this reason.
So, let’s open this kit up and see what we get!
Inside the leather earring making kit
4 pieces of colourful leather
1 pair of silver-plated earring hooks with jump hoops
1 pair of antique brass earring hooks with jump hoops
3 templates you can cut out and use
Clear and simple set of instructions
What else do I need?
Now Rosanna Clare very helpfully let you know what tools you will need to hand on their listing, but naturally, I completely forgot and spent the first 10mins scrabbling around for the suggested tools or whatever alternatives I could find. I am definitely not one to follow all the rules, so if I can do this, anyone can.
I only had my old trusty glue covered craft knife, the type with the blades that snap off. It’s not particularly sharp so made it harder than it needed to be, but I do have fabric scissors which are very sharp and did the job nicely.
I didn’t actually use the ruler, this would be really helpful if using the templates, but I went rogue and there were no straight lines in sight!
This is essential really. You might have an alternative like a chopping board you’re not that bothered about or something similar, but you will be cutting and tapping the leather so don’t do this directly onto a work surface or anything fragile.
An awl or hole punch
Well, I’ve never heard of an awl, but I do have hole punches. If you don’t have either, don’t let this put you off, a sharp knife can cut through and although it is much easier to use a punch to make the holes for the hoops, I think you could get around it with a bit of creative thinking.
Get your tools ready
What do I do now?
Faced with a colourful kit with modern templates and simple instructions, I did waiver at this point. I’m all excited, I’ve taken photos, I’m ready, why am I nervous??
The sensible option at this point is to follow the instructions, listen to the experts and cut out the templates provided as they are modern and fun. You just pop the cut-out template onto the leather, mark around it with pencil and cut.
Naturally, I decided that I would go for my own design because... I just can't help myself. I saw the dark blue leather and envisaged storm clouds, so I decided to make ‘storm’ earrings! One cloud with rain, one cloud with lightening.
Instead of marking around a template of my design, I just drew my pattern onto the leather. I realised at this point that my old trusty craft knife was struggling against the intricate cloud shape, so I dug my fabric scissors out and cut the leather easily with them. The craft knife would be perfect for straight lines or larger patterns though.
Cutting out leather shapes
This seems too easy, how can I muck it up?
Well, if you think about your design beforehand (or use the great templates) and think about the fact that a hole needs to be punched somewhere to put the earring and connector through (or use the templates), you shouldn't really mess up. Follow the lines, cut the shape, punch the hole.
Naturally, I didnt do any of the above. I cut my piece then placed the hole punch over it and thought... hmmm.... that won't fit. I did it anyway just in case but, nope, start that shape again!
There is plenty of leather in this kit, so mistakes really don't matter, just have a go!
Another good lesson I learned, is that if you are overlaying and not using the templates, then remember to punch the hole in the same place on both pieces so they sit together properly. Or you know, just use the templates.
So by the second attempt (or is it third now?) I reaslised my error and put the leather shape I had already punched, over the next piece, lined up how I wnated them to sit on the earring hoops and marked the bottom piece of leather, through the hole I'd made in the top piece. Simple!
Starting to look like earrings
Finished leather earrings
Once you have successfully cut out your pattern and punched/cut your holes, it's time to pop them on the earring hoops!
You will notice the jump hoop isnt a fixed hoop, the two ends meet but can be pulled apart to 'open' the circle. Using your pliers (or fingers) pull the little jump hoop apart so the gap is enough to go through the leather hole and the earring hoop to connect them both together. Then squeeze the ends of the hoop back together again to close the gap. Obviously this is much easier with pliers, but you can do it with your hands it's just fiddly, so don't be put off if you dont have pliers.
And hey presto, you have leather earrings! I absolutely love mine. Unfortunately so do my goats.
This kit was so much fun and I immediately went and made a second pair. I do have earring hoops at home so this is a craft kit that will just go on and on for me, and you can buy extra earring hoops in lots of stores online to continue the fun and I really think it is worth it.
Rosanna Clare have an amazing variety of leather courses available on CraftCourses, just take a look here here and you will see Rosanna even has her own book!
If ever there was a time to try a fantastic value craft kit like this, it's now.
**SMUG FACE ALERT**
Smug crafter (Suki)!