How I tame leather. Mini-tutorial on stiffening leather skins

How I tame leather. Mini-tutorial on stiffening leather skins

Stiffening leather tutorial

Those of you who have tried working with genuine leather know how temperamental it can be. Leather is a natural product and as a result may have imperfections such as holes or scars, the thickness and stretch can vary too. And it is completely unpredictable when it comes to shaping it with hot flower iron.
For my floral pieces I stiffen leather is several ways. Today I am going to share one of this ways with you. The result is a flat stiff piece of leather that can be shaped with a flower iron. I use flat stiff leather to make a range of flowers including my camellias, gerberas etc.So here is how I do it. But first of all the kit:

1. Measuring jug
2. A piece of genuine leather for stiffening
3. Bowl
4. White (PVA) glue
5. Measuring spoon
and a piece of plastic or a glass board as seen in the picture.
I use a rather thiсk PVA glue intended for craft purposes. The ratio of glue to water can be from 1 to 5  to 1 to 10 depending on how thick your leather or glue are and how stiff you want the leather to be. You might need to experiment with the quantities, but the general guidelines are: the thicker the leather the weaker the solution (less glue). The ready to use solution should look like milk.

I use a measuring spoon to measure the amount of glue.

In the picture 10 ml of glue are being mixed with 100 ml of water.

Dissolve the glue in water to get a solution resembling milk. If you have sensitive skin consider wearing gloves.

Immerse the piece of leather (about A4 size or so) into the solution and make sure it is well soaked in it.

When the whole piece has been soaked, twist it to get rid of extra solution. The leather should be almost dry.

Then stretch it to make it even and thin it a bit more. I tend to use leathers with a thickness of 0.6-0.8 mm or so the sellers say but it is still rather thick for the flower making. Stretching the wet piece of leather in some cases makes it thinner but it all depends on the properties of the particular leather you are using.

I stretch in all directions: horizontally, vertically and diagonally.

With your both hands flatten the stretch piece of leather on the smooth flat surface (like this glass board).

Leave the flattened and smoothed piece of leather to dry completely before cutting and tooling it. It might take up to 24 hours.

I hope this little tutorial has given you an idea of how to stiffen leather for leather flowers. If it was not clear enough or you still have questions please contact me by commenting below.

Good luck with your stiffening!

Summer: sun, fun and flowers

Summer: sun, fun and flowers

What do you associate summer with?

 Warm weather, bright sun, blue-blue sky. Summer storms. Walks in the woods. Or, perhaps, in the meadows where amongst the sea of bright flowers you definitely spot a clover. Usually it comes in purple pink colour

Pink clover brooch

but sometimes you come across a white, slightly lime green variety. This summer flower, so tiny and humble, is one of the symbols of summer to me.

White clover oval brooch

 Designer white clover brooch is an intricate accessory for those who appreciate unusual understated one of a kind hand made pieces. It will look equally good pinned to a white office shirt (as in the picture) or to a summer linen jacket, light cotton dress or, perhaps, a hat.

The piece is created entirely by hand from scratch  using different types of pure silk fabrics (hand cut, hand painted, hand shaped and assembled). And I have not forgotten to include a lucky four leaf ☺

The brooch is finished with a brooch base.

Has this brooch made you think better of a simple clover flower? 🙂

New tutorial out! Lace butterfly: a stunning accessory you can make yourself without special tools.

New tutorial out! Lace butterfly: a stunning accessory you can make yourself without special tools.

I think I have not met anyone who did not like butterflies. They are fascinating and delicate creatures full of beauty. No wonder we want to capture it and embody in our designs to enjoy their perfection and elegance as and when we want it.
I love creating butterflies made of delicate lace and pure silk. Such designs look appropriate in wedding themes, they are perfect for special occasions, as little girls’ hair accessories, etc. They make a nice gift too.
I have developed this tutorial in a way that you can make your own stunning lace butterfly accessory without having to use any specialised tools.
By varying the size of the butterfly and uBysing coloured laces you can create an accessory to match any outfit. This lace butterfly can be attached to a headband, a hair clip, a brooch base or just sewn onto a garment, such as a wedding dress.  It can be used in millinery too to decorate hats and fasciantors. The applications are endless. Once you have mastered the art of making lace butterflies you can easily create different accessories in sizes and colours that are required.
You will learn how to
  • make beautifully light feather antennae
  • create a stunning body of seed beads
  • wire the wings so they hold their shape
  • attach the butterfly to a headband / hair clip
butterfly 49 new

WAIT! THAT’S NOT ALL


For those of you who have a set of millinery tools I have prepared a FREE bonus tutorial. The free tutorial explains how to shape the velvet butterfly wings using a set of millinery tools for silk flower making as shown in the picture below. For this butterfly I have used a different template which I have included as well! 
To be able to receive the bonus tutorial you will need to subscribe to my mailing list using the link in the Lace Butterfly Tutorial. 
At the moment the lace butterfly tutorial is available for instant download now from my tutorial shop here.
lace butterfly tutorial
Should you have any questions regarding materials or tools prior to purchasing the tutorial please feel free to contact me either via this blog (comments) or at enquiries@presentperfectcreations.com