Rad DIY Black Leather Earrings

Oh my goodness, it's December again! Lately my crafting bug has been coming back, and I made these rockin' black leather earrings as a recent do-it-yourself project. I felt they were missing from my life. Sometimes I'd get dressed and look at myself in the mirror and CRAVE long, dangly, aggressive earrings to complete my look. 

I put these together with components from Brattleboro's fantastic local bead & jewelry store, Beadniks. You can make them too—for yourself or maybe as a DIY gift for someone special.

Here's what you need:

2 silver kidney wire pierced earring findings
1 yard of 5mm wide black leather 
2 large silver ball-chain sections
2 silver headpins, about 3 cm long
pliers & safety pin

First, cut the leather into 4 strips of 2 lengths. I made 2 strips about 17 cm each, and 2 about 14 cm each. Cut the ends at an angle. Then fold the strips in half and press between your fingers to lightly crease—see photo below.

Next, where you've folded each strip in half, make a hole right through the strip using the safety pin. (The safety pin is wider and stronger than the head pin.) You can even wiggle the pin around to make an even wider hole. I stuck the pin through from the smooth side of the leather to the rough, so I could make sure the hole was going right into the center of the strip. Do this with all 4 pieces of leather.

Next, stick a head pin from the rough side (inside) of a short strip through to the other side. You're starting to build the earring.

Now stack a longer strip on top of the short one from the same direction (poking the headpin through from the rough underside). You should have both strips stacked on the headpin like this:

Next, put one of the large ball-chain sections over the headpin like you're stringing a bead.

Finally, use the pliers to create a loop at the end of the head-pin wire, and add the kidney wire earring finding. With the pliers, twist the extra wire around the next of the loop. I had a bit more wire sticking out, so I pushed it down into the ball-chain. The image below is a little out of focus, but trying to show how I made the loop and twisted finish that attaches everything to the kidney wire.

Now repeat the procedure with the rest of the materials to make your second earring. All done!

Do you have handcrafted or DIY plans for holiday gifts? For yourself? Please tell in the comments below!

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