Beta Project: Leather Earring Experiments

About a year or more ago my wife somehow lost one of her favorite earrings. She was pretty upset, because she loved them, and wore them often. She says they were light weight, comfortable to wear, and had a very simple design style and elegance to them. We bought them at an art gallery in Santa Fe, NM.

At some point I saw the one hanging there alone now on our bedroom mirror, and I told her I could make her a new pair when I get my GF. So, I did… :grin:

I’ve never worked with leather before so I wasn’t really sure how big of a challenge this project would be. I went out and bought some Eco Flow Water Stain from Tandy Leather, and earring hardware that looked as similar to the original as I could find at a local bead shop near me.

Designed in Illustrator to replicate the original. Cut out of 2oz leather.

Raw leather just after cut.

Dyed black, and finished with protective wax finish, and hardware on.

Original is thicker leather (5oz?) and wasn’t really finished (burnished) on the back (flesh side) and I’m not sure if it was pre-dyed or coated with anything. Definitely going to try another set using the thicker leather material to see how it turns out. These new ones are lighter, and a bit more delicate, naturally…

Anyhow, here’s a side by side comparison with the original.

My beautiful wife modeling them…

She liked them so much, that I decided to try and make some other ‘versions’ of my own design.

Dying them…

Hanging to dry…

Definitely going to design and make more and do further experiments with leather!

Thanks for checking this project out. :smile:

  • R

Those turned out great! Hard to tell which is the original in the side-by-side!


Those are fantastic. I’m inspired!


Her smile might be the best part! These are so much fun, nice job. Leather is unexpectedly my favorite material. And great representation of just how thin you were able to get the cuts.

PS … The OCD in me wants to fix the thumb tacks so pairs have the same colors!


My daughter is going to love this post :slight_smile: Nice work!


WOW! I wouldn’t be surprised if you inspired a few folks around the office to experiment with this too!


Thanks for the kind words everyone! :grinning:


I like it! I see many leather ear cuffs and dangles in my nieces’ future! :smiley:


It looks as if the original had slightly wider cut line. Which would make sense if it was done by a punch of some kind.


Absolutely Bea-UIFUL! The earings too. :wink: (kidding)


Losing one of a pair would break my wife’s heart.

I wonder how closely scanning the original would have reproduced it…?! :thinking:
If not close, cut 2 of the scan for a matched pair. :sunglasses:
Thanks for sharing a great idea!


This is right in the middle of the wheelhouse for what my wife and I are wanting to do once we get our GF. Thanks for the post, your designs look great. I’ll even give them a :squeeee:!


Awesome Project. They look awesome. Extremely Excited to do this kind of work on my Glowforge when it gets here. Thanks for sharing this.


These are fantastic! I like so many things about this post–not just the product, but your process, and why your wife likes the earrings. Thanks for sharing these!


Love this post! You put a huge smile on the wifey and inspired many to create!

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Great post! I bought a collection of leather in Europe and LA to be ready when my GF arrives, but I stuck with nicely finished leather. This post led me down a rabbit hole of online reading about finishing leather. Love it! It also inspired my wife to work on some designs…so thanks!


These are great!

Thanks for sharing.


OMG Those look amazing! Leather is one of the first things I want to experiment with when my Glowforge comes. :smiley:


Leather and jewelry products are definitely one of the things I am most excited to get the GF for – how long did the whole process take you in Illustrator of designing the duplicate earring to match the original? - and were there any snafus you had to go back later and account for?


Those are beautiful!! Thank you for sharing!

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