Making “Leather” Holly Leaves
with Charlie Davenport
Follow along and learn how to make a beautiful holly leaves out of leather. This simple but elegant project makes a great gift or a holiday decorating project to do with family and friends.
3-4oz Vegetable Tanned Leather
Modeling Tool – Stylus
Modeling Tool – Med Pointed Spoon
Cova Colors – Kelly Green
Cova Colors – Yellow
Eco-Flo Super Shene
PATTERN: Holly Leaves Pattern
Step 1 Taking a sponge dampen the leather with water.
Step 2 Transfer the leaf pattern to the leather by tracing the pattern using the stylus. Using only enough pressure to transfer the pattern.
Step 3 Start cutting the leaf along the exterior solid lines of the pattern with the craft knife, holding the knife a about a 45 degree angle. Be extremely careful not to cut yourself or parts of your leaf.
Step 4 Once the leaf is entirely cut out, re-dampen the leather if it has dried out.
Step 5 Utilizing the ball-end modeling tool first, by rubbing the back side of the leaf to raise the areas on either side of the center line and in random areas elsewhere on the leaf. Now using the medium spoon modeling tool press along the dotted vein lines on the front of the leaf as pictured below. The final part of this step is to use the smaller tip of the stylus to lightly draw in the smaller veins. You may also utilize your fingers to mold and shape the body of the leaf by squeezing the sides, pulling, and or rotating the ends. Let dry.
Step 6 Once the leaf is dry, you can color your leaf however you choose. Being vegetable tanned leather you could use Cova Colors, leather dyes, paints, markers, watercolor pencils the choices are almost limitless.
I colored my leaves by painting the entire leaf front and back using the Cova Color—Kelly Green straight from the bottle. Then using some of the Kelly Green mixed with the Cova Color—Yellow I painted the tips and the main vein with the yellow-green. Once the paint has dried, I applied a light coat of Super Shene with a brush. This was a very fun project, I have since made a quite a few of these making the stems just a little longer so I could tie three of the leaves together to make fancy gift tags.
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