A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: Leather + Rock = Crafting with Nature

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12 October 2015

Leather + Rock = Crafting with Nature

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A few posts ago, I shared my cute little slouch leather bag and today, I have a little project I have been wanting to do ever since I read WiseCraft by Blair Stocker. The leather I am using is courtesy of the Leather Hide Store, where remnants from upholstery (couches, chairs, pillows, etc.) are sold to crafters like me.  Instead of wasting the cutting room floor pieces, Leather Hide Store is embracing the use of remnants for beautiful, luxurious little crafts. Each paperweight I made (I crafted 4!) used a slightly different technique as I played around with the concept. I encourage you to start with one of my techniques and branch out to make your leather rocks your own unique creation!


Leather Remnant, small to medium size (Leather Hide Store)
Leather Shears - essential for clean cuts, these 5" shears are pictured below)
Awl (consider this inexpensive kit with 5 awls and overstitch wheel or $5)
Rocks of various shapes and sizes, flat and round are nice

Rock #1 - The Triangle

1. I found a cool triangular rock and made a little pocket out of leather for it. I sewed two sides up with an overcast stitch in waxed leather.

2. I "fit" the leather to the rock as I went, piercing both layers of leather with the awl and then threading through.

3. The result is a pretty, smooth covered rock that turns nicely in the hand.  It is a great "thinking" rock when you are pacing and need something to turn in your hands. The natural version of thos Chinese meditation balls, you know?

Rock #2 - The Sandwich

1. See the oval rock on the left above?  It is mainly flat on the bottom and rounded on the top, making it perfect for a "sandwich" leather wrapping.  I cut two pieces slightly larger than the rock, making sure they fit around the rock to just barely touch around the circumference.

2. Again, I pierced the leather with the awl around the circumference of both pieces of leather, then started threading while holding the leather taut.

3. After each stitch, I pulled and aligned both pieces of leather so that the finished product would be even all the way around the rock.

4. I rubbed this particular rock with a little coconut oil and it darkened the leather in places and added a nice patina that typically comes with age.

Rocks #3-4 - Smooth and Textured

1. The next two rocks are covered similarly, but one has a large, smooth surface, while the other has added detail.  The overstitch wheel (pictured above in rock #2 supplies) is made to puncture a clean stitch line, but I liked the patterns it made and used it to make a pretty dot pattern on a circle of leather.

2.  I cut a piece of leather about 1 inch larger than each rock, then pierced the edges all the way around with the awl.

3. Then, I started stringing thread from one end to the other, pulling taut, and crisscrossing so 
that I maintained a smooth "pull" on the front face of the rock.  The back starts to look like this:

The smaller rock took a lot less time and the pattern wasn't as cool on the bottom, but both are beautiful paperweights!

Here are all four rocks along with the slouch bag! (tutorial HERE)

 If you liked this tutorial, then you might enjoy the BOOK!

Make your own coconut oil.
Gather your own sea salt.
Grow your own grapevines for wreaths.
Give gifts naturally grown and crafted from your backyard garden.

Each chapter focuses on a plant or groups of plants and how to grow them in your home garden.  Then, gather up those natural ingredients and get crafting! From lavender wreaths and hypertufa planters to lambsear angels and pickled tomatoes, there are projects for beginners on up!

Crafting with Nature is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a MillionPOWELL's! (!!!!)  Booktopia (Australia!), IndieBoundAlibrisGlose.comThe Book Depository and Walmart.com.  Books are also rolling out to retailers and libraries, so check for them there. 
 If your library does NOT have it yet, this is why you should talk to your librarian!


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