Raise your hand if you have trouble finding jewelry that you like! Modern and interesting jewelry at affordable prices can be such a unicorn, don't you think? Which is why jewelry is the perfect candidate for some good old DIY intervention!
I love rolling up my figurative sleeves to create unique, handmade accessories. My latest jewelry project is one you minimalists will love: DIY leather circle earrings.
These stylish earrings are a cinch to make and don't require any fancy tools. AND if you use thrifted or second-hand leather belts, they are good for the environment too! Keep reading to see how easy it is to make your own leather circle earrings.
- Thrifted leather belts — look for ones that are thick and wide so you have a good bit of material to work with.
- Sharp scissors
- Craft knife
- A tea light or other small round object to use as a template
- Tape (any kind will do)
- E6000 or comparable permanent glue (a two-part epoxy also works well)
- Earring posts and backs*
*If you have sensitive ears, try Creating Unkamen on Etsy for surgical steel or titanium earring findings. I’ve been replacing all of my earring posts and wires with these findings and they haven’t irritated my ears a bit!
Start by cutting a piece of leather off of the belt that's big enough to fit the round object.
Tape the round object (in my case, a tea light) into place in the center of your piece of leather. This will help keep the object steady while you cut out the circle.
Using the craft knife, score a line in the leather by tracing all around the tea light or round object. Try to follow the shape of the object as closely as you can with the knife, just as if you were tracing it with a pencil.
Use light pressure to cut just a shallow “score” line for the first pass. Then apply more pressure to your cut with each turn around the tea light, using the initial score line as a guide for the blade to follow.
Keep cutting around the same line, tracing the round object, until you have created a groove in the leather, as pictured above.
Once there is a deep enough cut to make a groove in the leather, you can remove the tea light. The groove will now act as a channel for the knife blade, as you make deeper cuts to cut through the whole fabric. Continue to cut around the circle until it pops out. Just like cutting biscuits! (Ok, a little harder than cutting biscuits).
Finally, grab the E6000 and glue the earring post to the back of the leather circle near one edge. Use just a tiny amount of glue, as you really don’t want the glue to get onto the part of the post that goes into your ear (yuck).
Repeat steps 1 – 5 for the other earring and–always the hardest part!–allow to dry fully.
And just like that, you have a pair of totally one-of-a-kind, handmade leather earrings to wear!
I love that these DIY leather circle earrings will look different for everyone based on what belt you find at the thrift store. Wouldn't they look gorgeous made out of old tooled leather? As if you needed another excuse to rummage around at the local Goodwill…
Have you made anything else with leather before? What do you think about making your own jewelry?