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DIY: The Leather Sessions

7.12.11

I needed black leather for new project and decided to take some of the unused pieces to design a clutch-styled bag. The initial vision: creating a bag with an aged appeal.


Getting caught up in the excitement of craft time, I immediately had to write down a few more ideas for my fabric, which resulted in adding contrast lining. You may remember viewing this material here. Needless to say, there was loads of inspiration in the work-space. I hope that you like it!

Materials:
Leather - pieces cut to your desired size of bag
contrast fabric for lining (cut pattern of bag)
Scissors
Buckle or trim
Contrast fabric for lining
Chain 
Sealant
Magnets (heavy duty) or snaps
Lobster claw (2)
Spray paint
__________________________________________________________________________
Aged Beauty:
To start, I cut out a pattern that I made in the shape that I preferred. Mine has an asymmetrical flap.  Next, I took my cut leather pieces and used solid spray-paint to colour the material. You may use gloss finish, however for this project I wanted a matte finish because I was using a gloss sealant for the end result. After you've coated the leather to your liking, let dry.

Custom Details:
I began sewing my bag pattern with the lining separately because I added small inside loops (.25"), this is so that my bag can be worn with the chain (shoulder strap) or without. Add lobster claw closures to each end of chain. Instead of using the face-side of the leather, for the outside flap I turned it over to use the suede side. This allowed me to mix textures and have the unique aesthetic that I was envisioning. 


Lastly, magnets were added for secure closure ... the buckle tab is also not solely for closing the clutch, it's versatile width can accommodate my on-the-go needs if I happen to carry a wider item, hence the longer tab length. 

There are various ways to achieve the aged leather effect, some use crackle, or use an antique coloured paint, but I wanted to control my affected area. To do this, I completely sewed my bag, and began to carefully fold and bend areas that I wanted the paint to be cracked (looked aged) with my fingers. When doing this you may use a small dry brush to dust away excess pieces. 


After I was pleased with the aged area of the leather I used a sealant to lock-in the finished look! You may also use a glue sealant, brush on, or spray sealant of your choice, which may be acquired at a local crafting, art, or paint supply.
Mission: Create a versatile clutch with an aged look, and in a hue that I do not possess. 
Result: I'm quite the happy fashionista!

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