Why Repurpose Leather
Everyone and welcome to creative live my name is ken klosterman and I am your host today this is blair stalker welcome blair blair is doing a series of classes here in creative live on up cycling and this class is up cycling leather into accessories and you have just a beautiful array of items here I'm really excited about these photographs old photographs can't wait to see what you do with that, so I'm just going to let you take it away blair thank you, thank you, thank you guys for being here for tuning in to tell you a little bit about me I have a book that was published in twenty fourteen called wise craft turning tricks or fines, fabric scraps and natural objects into stuff he loved and I find huge inspiration in thrift store and what I confined there and how I can use what I find there. So in a nutshell, I like turning old stuff into new cooler stuff so that's what we're going to do today and all of the classes that I've done for creative life focus on up cycling and recycling ma...
terials that you find a thrift store but say we're going to focus on a leather and pleather you khun substitute pleather for our vinyl for any of these they pretty much act the same way, so what we're going to cover in this class is why we would do this why cut up a perfectly good leather jacket how to clean it and prep it to use it for your up cycling projects there we're going to do too different projects using our newfound leather pieces we're going to make a tassel test is a really big right now and they're really fun to accessorize purses and uh we're into necklaces and anything that you can think of really and then we're going to try sewing leather we're going to sew it into a blank book that you can use in all of your keeping your purse you can give it is a gift and we're also going to try some different treatments tow leather we're going to try stamping letters on toe leather I'm going to show you how I do that it's really fun and then we're also going to try printing photographs on leather so that's what we're going to do to our leather book that let's get started so when I go to the thrift store and look for leather, what we look for I do know I'm not looking for style and less it's a really large long leather skirt that's really awesome if you find a long leather skirt a lot of times what you find are mini skirts as we can imagine, but I have found long leather skirts that gives you a lot of usable leather so the reason I would look for these rather than buying a new piece of leather is mainly for the expense there's a lot of other reasons but it is much cheaper to buy and reuse a piece of leather and honestly in my opinion I think you get a much nicer feeling leather it's got a ged and a lot of times it's got a patina that a real leather just does not have so I do look for things like that and if you have a favorite leather piece that you're not ready to get rid of but you want to up cycle it and think of tears and feel good about reusing it that would be another reason but if you buy of new piece of leather in a leather shop they usually sell them by the hide vinyl and pleather sold by the yard and they're all different prices so here I'll talk mainly about just leather but a new hyde is going to be anywhere from one hundred on up to five hundred dollars depending on what you how thick it is what kind of leather it is and usually they will sell you unless it's you know scraps that they have specifically for sale they will sell you a whole hide or half heights you're committing to a large piece of leather which is good but you can go to the thrift store and find a leather jacket and cut it up and re use it for a lot of these same projects most of the jackets that I find in the thrift store are anywhere from ten to twenty dollars sometimes they're less expensive I found this one is so cut but I found a leather many skirt this was six, ninety nine and what was cool about it is it gave me suede and leather they could use them for both so some of these projects are so small you don't need a ton of ah leather pieces and some of the projects like the book that I'll show you it can also incorporate a seen through it if you want to cut a larger piece from the jacket with a scene so those were the reasons why we would do it let's talk about what kind of suitable leather pieces minimal scenes are best and that's why I say the leather skirt is such a great find I found a fulling leather skirt that I often by don't know why, but it was twenty two dollars and it was, you know, lower calf length that was perfect, but I went back and it wasn't there anymore and like I mentioned before, you get nice aging with this particular jacket that I cut up for some of the projects it is so soft and it actually had some repair I mean somebody really loved this jacket and had some repair areas where they have gone in underneath it and uh somehow put a piece of leather underneath that that matched it for a tear that they had there's some warren areas on the scenes I happen to like these but you know take that into consideration when you're looking at weather and decide if that's something that you want in your projects and sometimes leather if it's not a good quality leather could have cracks in it or just a dry feeling to it if the piece is something that you really like, go ahead and you know there's no rules you can you can take that piece for sure, but knowing that it's probably not leather in the best shape or probably not the highest quality leather could be a good one to practice on that you do see things like that at the thrift store as well. So when you bring these pieces home there are some really simple things to clean tio cleaning them and prepping them and I'll show you what I use I cut up old t shirts for rags and so I have a great t shirt here that I just cut into cotton rags things work really well for rubbing into the leather and most of this leather doesn't need a ton of cleaning, but if you do clean it, it usually brings the color out a little bit more and just makes it a little more vibrant I guess so I use any brand available is totally fine, but I use saddle soap to clean it, and this you apply with one of these cloths in a circular motion. I think the way that you apply these it's probably universal, regardless of the brand, you rub it in, it doesn't soap up like you would imagine don't add water. I think you might condemn pin the rag, but not the actual leather rub it in, then you buff it off, and what that does is it cleans and just sort of re moisturizes the leather, and then I'm actually holding up the romans two thousand, so then I use a conditioner, and again, any brand of conditioner, it comes in a paste both of these, I'll show you what they look like inside, but they come in a pace just and I think there's liquid ones as well, that this is just a pace that you would rub your cloth and just to get some on your cloth, and then you're going to just take it and you're going to take your leather and you're going to do it in circular motions like this to clean it the saddle so it's not really going to change the color of it all, but the conditioner made deep in the color a little bit, so if you're unsure if he would like that, do a little test and see, sometimes it'll deepen it and then as it dries, it will lighten it back up, but most the time it stays darker, so just keep that in mind when you're using not so much on blacks but on brown's and other colors do those work on leather and suede. So for suede, I would not use either one of those you can actually they have a spray that you can just you would take it to your front porch and spray it, and it just kind of sealed it, and sometimes they come with the brush on the top that you can just sort of buff up. I don't want to see buff up, but just sort of make up the surface to get the dirt and things off of it, and then you spray that on, so thank you, I forgot to mention that so that's really it? If you're bringing home pleather, I have a pleather skirt here or, you know, vinyl or anything like that, you're literally goodies and all purpose cleaner and a clock and just clean it that's really what you d'oh, I think you could probably wash the's in the washing machine, but I don't even know if you need to do that, just clean it.
New leather is durable, but costly on your pocketbook and the environment. In Upcycling Leather into Accessories, Blair Stocker will help you find second-hand sources for fine leather and teach you how to transform it into fresh, workable material.
As the author of Wise Craft: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects Into Stuff You Love, Blair is full of helpful tips on upcycling old goods. In this class, she’ll teach you how to make gorgeous new leather goods from old ones. You’ll learn how to:
- Pick the right tools for leather working
- Prep, clean, and cut leather for re-use
- Sew and glue leather pieces together
Projects will include; journal making, bookbinding, tassel making, stamping, and printing – all with leather.
Upcycling Leather into Accessories will make leathercraft an affordable and fun addition to your creative arsenal.