Category: crafts

Leather bow bracelet DIY

Leather bow bracelet www.nestinthewest.comLet’s get crafty! There’s a photo of this bow bracelet all over Pinterest and I’ve been wanting to make one for ages. The lack of instructions was holding me back but it was pretty quick and easy to figure out plus I learned a new ‘skill’. I love how this gives a big hit of color but is practically weightless on. Gather some supplies and make some too!

You need:

  • scraps of leather, suede or pleather
  • rotary cutter or scissors
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • small hole punch (optional)
  • snap kit OR button, thread and leather needle

Leather bow bracelet www.nestinthewest.comMay I offer a couple of suggestions for finding leather? Michael’s sells scrap bags that are literally that. You never know exactly what you’ll get but you can see most of it through the bag. Most towns will have a leather shop, ask them for small pieces or scraps. They’re often really good quality and reasonably priced. Check your local thrift shops for leather skirts, jackets or pants. Those 80’s fashions can be cut and upcycled!

Okay, let’s make a bracelet.

  1. Use a rotary cutter or sharp scissors to cut a piece of leather to 2″ wide by about 10″ long. Also cut a scrap about 1/2″ wide and 2″ long.
  2. Pinch the centre of the leather strip using a bit of an accordian fold. On the back side, put a dot of glue in the middle of the pinch. Attach the short side of your little scrap and hold a moment until set. Wrap the rest of that scrap around the front of the pinch and add a second dot of glue to the back side, probably on top of the strip and glue again. Trim any excess leather and glue bits. This is your ‘bow’ done!
  3. Wrap the leather around your wrist with a good inch or so of overlap. Trim the length if you need to. Now we need to figure out how to attach the leather ends to form a bracelet. You guys, I tried hammering on snaps for the first time and am blown away at how easy it is – I totally recommend it. If you go that route, use a small hole punch or the little tool that comes in the snap kit to punch a hole at one end of your leather. Find the centre and go in a good 1/2″ from the end. Do the same on each end. Follow the very clear instructions on the back of the snap kit to hammer the snap and closure into place.
  4. Another option for a closure if you’re shy of the snaps is a button. I prefer the ones with a loop on the back over ones with holes. They give the leather a better place to sit when buttoned. Just sew a button on one end and cut a small slit on the other. The slit should be just big enough for the button to squeeze through. An exacto knife works well for cutting leather.

Leather bow bracelet www.nestinthewest.comLeather bow bracelet www.nestinthewest.comSofter leather works best for these because they let you get the best pinch/fold – plus they’re super comfortable to wear. If you make one, please remember to remove it for showering and swimming. Now I’m off to find more projects that require snaps…so fun!

Inviting Spring to the front patio

Rainbow porch at www.nestinthewest.comIs it Spring yet? According to the calendar it is but it’s sure taking it’s time reaching my neighbourhood. Maybe a welcoming front patio decked out in a rainbow theme will help? Oh how I love making changes to the entry decor. This bit of curb appeal probably won’t stay up for long (because I have a scrappy project in mind) so I didn’t put heaps of time, money or effort into it.
Rainbow porch at www.nestinthewest.comI started with 7 sheets of felt and cut them in half on the long side. Then I cut those bits into bunting flag going from the bottom centre point up to the top point on each side. With the scraps from this, I repeated the process and got a second set of smaller triangles. Ditto for a third tiny set. Each set got sewn in a zigzag stitch onto a length of yarn with long tails left on either side for hanging. The largest garland hangs across my front window, the middle size is across the rocking chair and the little one is on a wreath. The rest of the felt scraps were used to make flowers and foliage for the already-yarn-wrapped wreath. Felt was my go-to for this project because it doesn’t fray, comes in great colors and is inexpensive. I love felt!
Rainbow porch at www.nestinthewest.comEvery year I vow not to buy a pot of forced bulbs but I always cave. It’s so nice to have an instant shot of color at the front door. I justify the purchase by planting the bulbs in my garden when they’re done to enjoy next year.
Rainbow porch at www.nestinthewest.comThis has just been up for a few days but I gotta say I’m liking it. Coming home to my very own rainbow is making me smile. Now if the sun would just stop by to see it!

Leather clover hairpins

Leather clover hairpinsDo you celebrate St. Patrick’s day? When I was really little I had an Irish uncle that I’d send a card or funny button to, but that’s about the extent of it. I made a vow to myself to start wearing barrettes and hair bands more often, which means like ever because this is another thing I haven’t done since I was young. I’m crossing two things off my list with this teeny hairpin craft! Play along, won’t you?

  • small piece of green leather or felt (or color of your choice)
  • bobby pins with pad for glue
  • glue (I like E6000)
  • scissors
  • clover shape

SuppliesI did a google search for ‘clover clip-art’ and got oodles of suitable images for this project. Adjust the size on a photocopier or draw your own then cut it out. Trace the clover onto the back of your leather or felt scrap. Cut out with your sharpest, pointiest scissors. Glue them onto your bobby pins taking a moment to check the direction. I knew I wanted to wear mine on the same side rather than one on each side so I glued them on the same direction. Let them dry.
cut and glueleather clover hairpinsNow I’m pinch-proof for the 17th plus I have new hair accessories for my collection. Why not make a set for yourself and let your Irish eyes smile on St. Paddy’s day!?