I decided to delve into the world of leather crafts this summer in an attempt to make a homemade anniversary gift for Roddy. Early on in our marriage we decided it would be fun to exchange traditional anniversary gifts as a creative way to celebrate. This year the gift was leather, and I felt like making, instead of buying something.
Luckily, while browsing pinterest, I came upon this really fun book made by Kelly from Trans-craft-inental out of a deck of cards. It contains 52 things that she loves about her husband. I thought the idea was genius and decided to do a spin-off! Mine is different though; I did not use a deck of cards and instead I made a miniature leather bound book. Luckily, I was able to acquire some scrap leather for free from a saddle maker in town for this project. Oh, and mine has 55 things I love (It was going to be 50, but I miscounted the pages and already had it assembled before I figured it out! The more the merrier!). This project was so much fun, and I really enjoyed coming up with my list of “loves”!
Roddy and I both really like Celtic designs, so after searching online I found the symbol for eternal or undying love (appropriate for such an occasion, don’t you think?) and decided to give it a go. I am no expert in leather crafts, but with a little imagination and experimentation I was able to come up with something that actually resembles a book! Yay!
My leather bound book- "55 Things I Love About You- A Subset of a Much Larger List"
Anyway, on to what I did:
1. First I prepped my lighter colored leather by wetting it down with a sponge until the color turned a shade darker.
2.Then I put it aside to dry for a bit. During this time I traced the Celtic design to a sheet of tracing paper.
3. As soon as the light colored leather started to dry up I transferred an indentation of the traced image to the leather by using a stylus ( I made my own stylus by taking the ink out of a ball point pen). Tandy Leather Factory has a demonstration of this process that I found really helpful.
4. After tracing I cut out the design with an Exacto knife and secured it to the other piece of leather using rubber cement.
5. I perforated the edges around the cover prior to sewing the leather cord around the outside.
6. As far as the actual assembling of the book pages, I primarily used Squidoo’s Leather Book Binding tutorial as a guide.
One of the many things I love about my husband...
I did not have any proper leather tools, so I did a lot of ad-libbing. I suggest getting a simple leather working kit if you choose to experiment in such crafts. You will be able to do a lot more and not be burdened by the frustration of having inadequate tools. Next time I’ll make the investment.