This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
Ready for a leather DIY? How about three! I’ve been on a bit of a leather kick ever since making this engraved leather clock. So the other day, I drove out to a leather store and picked up a handful of things to experiment on with my Cricut Maker. After playing around a little bit, I came up with three brand new DIY leather projects to share. I made a mini leather wall organizer (which might be my fave of the three), leather wrapped planters for an indoor herb garden, and a leather notebook.
Want to see how it all came together? Click through for all three tutorials…and a bonus mini project too.
You know I have a bit of an obsession with my Cricut Maker – as evidenced by some of my previous projects: DIY sandals and other DIY summer accessories / DIY iron-on projects / DIY holiday ornaments. And today I’m sharing a new set of projects made with the Maker AND the new tools that Cricut just recently launched. These new tools (which include a perforation blade, wavy blade, fine debossing tip, and engraving tip) allow creators to utilize even more techniques and materials with the Maker.
So what does each of these four new tools do? I actually used ALL the new tools for today’s DIY, so you can see them each in action. But here’s the quick explanation…
The fine debossing tip, which is one of my faves, creates detailed debased designs on things like leather! The perforation blade create tear-offs and easy peels using paper, cardstock, etc. The wavy blade creates wavy edge (as opposed to a straight line) when you want to add a little whimsy to your projects. And the engraving tip is for engraving unique designs onto flat, soft metals, leather, anodized aluminum, and more. Each of these tools are part of the Maker’s QuickSwap suite btw, so you can quickly move between tools as you complete projects. Here’s what I made with the new Cricut tools…
DIY Leather Wrapped Planter Herb Garden
- Cricut Maker and Fine Debossing Tip
- herbs ready to be potted and soil
- used food cans in various sizes
- plant saucers slightly larger than cans*
- thin tooling leather / vegetable tanned leather (ideally 0.8mm)
- leather hole punch
- thick string or twine
*These can be terracotta, plastic, etc because they’ll ultimately be covered.
Whenever summer rolls around, I suddenly get an itch for all the plants my little house can manage and secretly I think part of my obsession has to do with my urge to make new DIY planters. Want to make your own?
Start by washing the empty cans and poke a hole through the bottom of each for drainage. Wet the leather with a damp rag and let it dry flat. Next, download one of my patterns and upload it to Cricut Design Space. Then use masking tape to secure the leather sheet to a StrongGrip mat (tape around all four sides of the leather with masking tape). Cricut recommends this to make sure the leather stay in place while running through the machine.
Make sure the fine debossing tip is in your Cricut Maker, load the mat into the machine, and press the Cricut button to get the project started. Once finished, remove the leather from the mat and cut it down to size to fit your cans. Punch holes down the length of the two ‘back’ edges and string twine through the holes and double knot the end when finished too secure.
Okay, this step might be a bit extra and you can totally skip it if you’re not feeling fancy. But just in case you’re like me and 100% NEED a matching plant saucer for your leather wrapped planters, here it is…Measure around the outside edge of your plant saucer to determine the length of leather and height needed to cover the saucer. Then use any leftover scraps of leather to cover theater edge of the plant saucer and either finish the same way as the planter wrap or use a strong all purpose glue to attach.
Plant the herbs in the can, add the plant saucers, and a little water. Now you have a functional, potted herb garden that will look cute on your window sill.
How to Make Perforated Herb Markers
- Cricut Maker and Perforation Blade
- medium cardstock
- wood popsicle stick (or similar)
- craft glue
- pen or pencil
Want some herb markers to go with your herb garden? Here’s a super easy project.
I used the perforation blade to create little herb markers for each planter. Technically, I could have also just used the fine point blade to cut the material completely. But if you want to get your kids involved in the process, the perforation blade is perfect because they can be a part of the process. Spark a conversation about the different herbs you’re planting / what kind of foods you’ll make with them as the plants grow, while the kids pull the pieces apart and glue them to sticks to mark their favorite herbs. It’s a fun way to get kids involved.
Once torn from the paper, you can write the name of each herb on it with a pencil or pen and glue the paper to a small wood stick before adding to each planter. OR have your Cricut Maker do the heavy lifting for you and use a Cricut fine point pen to draw the herb names directly onto the perforated herb markers. I like the ultimate fine point pen set for drawing projects so I can use any color I want.
Engraved Leather Notebook Cover
- Cricut Maker and Engraving Tip
- notebook cover kit
- small notebook that fits inside the finished cover
- leather cord (optional – if you don’t want to use the elastic provided in the kit)
This is a really simple one (and a good back to school project btw)…It probably shouldn’t even count as a DIY because I bought a notebook cover kit. BUT the fact that it’s engraved, pulls it back into the DIY realm for me. So, here we go…
To make your own, wet the leather with water and a rag and let it dry flat. Then, attach the precut piece of leather from the notebook kit (good side up) to a Cricut StrongGrip mat. Next, tape around all four sides with masking tape. From there, load it into your Cricut Maker, select a design or make your own (I quickly drew one in ProCreate and saved as a jpeg before uploading), and use the Cricut engraving tool to create the pattern.
Once finished, remove the leather and masking tape from the mat, and (if desired) add a wash to bring in a little color. This also helps to bring attention to the engraved line work. To make a wash, mix acrylic paint with water and then brush it onto the leather. Note: If you want a more even look, get the leather wet before adding any paint wash and use a rag to rub it in. Once dry, string the elastic that comes with the kit (or a leather cord like mine – which I bought separately) through the pre-punched holes and the notebook. That’s it! Really easy.
*I decided to cut down the outer flap a tiny bit while I was finishing things up to make it look a bit more modern and simple. If that’s something you want to so, you can cut it down while it’s wet from the paint wash very easily (easier to cut wet leather than dry).
DIY Leather Mini Wall Organizer
- Cricut Maker and Wavy Blade
- two sheets of 8.5×11 thin tooling leather (0.8mm is ideal)
- waxed linen thread and a needle
- leather hole punch and/or awl + poly mallet*
*I found a new leather hole punch that works so much better than my old one. This is the one I’m using now. I also added an awl and poly mallet to the list of materials in case, like me, you are punching holes that aren’t super close to the edge of the leather. An awl punch and poly mallet are great for punching holes anywhere, whether it’s close to the edge of the leather or not. Where as the leather hole punch I used for part of this project only works for holes close to the edges because the punch can only go so far in without stopping.
For this project, you’ll want to use two pieces of leather, one for the backing of the organizer and one to run through the Cricut Maker. Use the shapes setting in Cricut Design Space to make two rectangles and two circles in your desired sizes and change the linetype for each shape to wavy. Then, put the wavy blade tool into the Cricut Maker and run it through the machine to create a wavy edge on all of the shapes. You can also use a standard cut instead, but for this one, I like the wavy option just for some extra detail and it makes the edges of each shape look more finished / intentional.
Once you pop the finished shapes out of the leather sheet, arrange them on the other leather sheet and mark all the holes you want to make on the leather shapes. *This would also be the time you would want to cut one of the circles in half to make a pocket, like mine – if desired. Then, use a leather hole punch (or awl and poly mallet) to punch all of the holes for the shapes. Once finished, thread the waxed linen thread through the shapes and leather backing piece and double knot the ends of the backside. Add two additional holes at the top and wax thread to hang the finished piece and it’s ready to hang.
And that’s it for the DIY leather projects! Like I said, I think the mini wall organizer is my fave of the three, but I’m curious to know which one is your favorite. Will you let me know in the comments below?
And be sure to check out the Cricut Maker and the new Cricut tools I used for these projects, right here.