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Topic: Marbled Leather Jewelry with Marbling on Leather Tutorial  (Read 20150 times)
Tags for this thread: recycled , leather , upcycled , tutorial , marbling  Add new tag
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« on: February 16, 2015 09:39:43 PM »

I'm a jewelry designer, and my favourite thing to work with is leather. I harvest 100% of my leather from used clothing, mostly jackets, skirts and pants from the thrift store. There seem to be infinite possibilities, tons of which I'm still discovering. The marbling trend seems to have really taken off lately, so I decided to try it out on some leather.

The leather I used was harvested from a light camel coloured coat, with a very even nonporous surface. I purchased supplies from www.Dharmatrading.com, which consisted of Alum (mordant), Carrageenan (a thickener), and Angelus Leather Paints.

Here's the process:

1. Begin by dissolving the alum in water, and applying it to the leather in a spray bottle. I don't know if this is recommended for health, but I took a hot iron to the leather until it dried, and repeated the process a couple times, until I was sure it was completely saturated with alum. Alum is a chemical compound, so yeah, I wouldn't recommend ironing it like I did. Just let it dry naturally, then repeat the process with the spray bottle.

I used a large pyrex dish to mix my solution in, but if you have a marbling tub that's even better. The receptacle gets filled 3/4 of the way full with water, then about 2 TBSP of carrageenan gets whisked briskly into the water, careful not to make too many bubbles. Once the solution is thick, the paint can be added to the surface.

3. I used Angelus leather paints for my project. However, these leather paints are not made for marbling, so it took a bit of playing around to get them just right, but I'm quite pleased with how they turned out. Once the paints are floating on the surface, you can take a toothpick and manipulate it, swirling it however pleases you.

4. To transfer the paint to the leather, simply place the flat, prepared leather face side down carefully across the painted surface of the solution. Leave it in contact for a few seconds. Lift the leather, drop it into a cold water bath, and gently shake until the slimy stuff is gone, being careful not to brush any unnecessary paint off the surface. Once it's dry, the paint will be permanent, and the leather can be used however you like. It can be cut into earrings, wrapped and snapped to create bracelets, or sewn into a coin purse.

Check out my pictures below for some project ideas, and to see how the paint floats on the surface.

thanks for reading!

« Last Edit: December 18, 2015 11:59:54 AM by kittykill » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2015 10:07:58 PM »

Those are lovely. I'm very impressed at how you get the marble effect onto the leather. You must have a very steady hand. I'd be afraid of messing up the patterns or that the paint would run when I lifted the leather out.  Thank you for the tutorial.  I'd like to try it one day but I'll maybe practise the technique with paper first as I do not have a steady hand. Tongue
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2015 11:04:34 PM »

Those are lovely. I'm very impressed at how you get the marble effect onto the leather. You must have a very steady hand. I'd be afraid of messing up the patterns or that the paint would run when I lifted the leather out.  Thank you for the tutorial.  I'd like to try it one day but I'll maybe practise the technique with paper first as I do not have a steady hand. Tongue
Thanks! You know what, the marbling process is quite forgiving, even if you don't have a steady hand. Since the pattern is very abstract, it doesn't matter if you mess up. As for the paint running off the leather, it shouldn't if you've used enough alum mordant. But yes, using paper for a first try is definitely a good idea.

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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2015 12:48:59 PM »

super neat! what a great effect Smiley

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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015 10:59:40 PM »

super neat! what a great effect Smiley
Thanks so much!

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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015 03:02:35 AM »

Super beautiful!

Check out Trinkets & Jewelry! Wink
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2015 11:54:42 AM »

Super beautiful!
Thanks for reading!

« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2015 02:38:37 PM »

very nice work!

I enjoy marbling and I took 2 classes:  one for fabric and one for paper.
I've made many items with marbled paper and fabric.  I've made some jewelry with the marbled fabric and paper.  I also made hats, ties, messenger bags and purse with the fabric. 

I would have never thought about marbling leather.  Thanks for sharing your creative pieces.

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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2015 10:20:33 PM »

Wow, I love it. I have never heard of marbled leather before. I am going to try it as soon as I get the chance.

« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2015 04:44:15 AM »

Wow, neat! I love the last photo of the bracelet with triangles.

Learn all about paper quilling, especially paper quilled jewelry. Free tutorials! http://HoneysQuilling.com
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2016 07:11:42 AM »

Beautiful work and so creative.  Thanks for sharing.
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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2017 02:52:13 PM »

Very clever! Thanks for sharing Wink
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2017 04:17:53 PM »

Wow! I'm loving the pieces you created! so funky! you inspire me to try creating them too!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017 08:08:22 PM by artzdescrap » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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