Laser Thursday: marbled leather keychain card holder

Last night I made this nifty keychain card-holder. I usually take the bus to work and have on more than one occasion missed said bus because I stuck my Orca card (Seattle-area public transit pass, courtesy of Glowforge) in a random pants or jacket pocket on my commute home. Hopefully having it readily available on my keychain will solve this problem.

The design was very simple and was cut out of one small piece of cream-colored 2 oz leather - Glowforge does the cut of the outline and the stitch holes, and it took about 2 minutes & 45 seconds.

Then, I did a really fun nail polish marbling technique on both pieces (you just pour a few drops of polish into some water, swirl, and dip), and then I stitched it together with some creme thread and added a key ring.

Here it is finished, with and without a card:

A little behind-the-scenes action:

Here are some other pieces of leather and some acrylic that we also marbled:

PS - I am noticing a theme to my projects, which is “Things to hold things that I might otherwise lose or forget.” If you missed my puppy pouch, here it is.


That is so kick ash!!


Very cool, yet another idea for future projects! The look reminds me of some of the polymer clay work we have done in the past. Unfortunately, most of that ended up being used for switch plates and outlet covers in the house we used to live in, so no pictures to share.


Very nice job. I especially like the color combinations that you used. Thanks for sharing your projects with us. :grin:


Love this!!! Any idea if the marbling will fade a lot? :slight_smile:


Yeah, does it like scratch off and such? It is pretty neat.


I’ll keep an eye on it and report back in a few weeks - should get a decent amount of wear and tear if I carry it around on my keychain like I’m intending to do.

From our tests, it seems like the nail polish dries really quickly on the surface of the water, so you need to dip it QUICK (within less than 30 seconds) for the polish to actually absorb into the leather rather than just adhere a weird “skin” to the top of it. Those that we dipped when the polish was more dry/tacky do look like they are going to peel and lost some of that supple-ness and flexibility that the leather naturally has. This one has nearly the same texture as it did prior to being dipped and I don’t see any cracks or flaking on the bendy bits. Finger crossed!

Oh! Another tip with this technique: we lightly sanded the leather prior to the “dip” process. I think this helps it to be more porous and absorb a little better.


Just did a fingernail test - no! :slight_smile:


great quick project.


Love what you did, but love even more seeing HOW you did it. I can hardly wait for my turn!


Thanks @bailey!! This is great!! I cant wait to try it!!


Grayt job @bailey. Really like the work and color combos.


That is so cool; I love elegantly simple solutions to problems. It’s essentially a variant of the hydrographics painting people are using on 3D printed parts but so much easier.

When you dip in, do you dip through the layer of polish or lay it down on the layer of polish?


This was so cool to watch unfold. @Shell had the bright idea to suggest that Glowfolk who wear nail polish bring any extra on thursday so there were a lot of colors to choose from!


You sort of lay it down on then push it under to fully submerge.


Next time I do something with this technique I’ll take a video!


That would be awesome to see. I’m already thinking of things I could do with this, or a similar technique with something a bit more temporary (Easter eggs come to mind)

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That’s where I first saw the technique. Oil on water and, blow on the color(S) to mix into streaks and dip a dry egg through it.
That year I did as many eggs as the kids! :sunglasses:

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An artist near me makes custom paper (& wallpaper even!) using that technique. Fun to watch him work and amazing as he replicates a design from piece to piece.


And always unique. A medium so easily manipulated is so much fun to experiment with. More often than not little surprises and creative insights lurk in playing around. Have a good time and get a little physics lesson in the process. :sunglasses:

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