Transformable Leather Sculpted Earrings

Yea! Be sure to show us how they come out and let me know if thee are any issues. Make sure it’s veg tanned leather if you want them to be sculptable.


This is so cool! Looks like a perfect project. Proofgrade leather is veg tanned so it should work well.

If I had time, I’d love to create an acrylic jig to let them dry on to really dial in the shape. I’m terrible at molding with my hands.


They’re awesome!

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It’s actually very easy to get the shapes I made. The veg tanned leather holds shape very well while only really wanting to move in certain ways. It’s like posing a barbie doll. You move it and it stays. If it was more “floppy” or dried quickly, I’d totally agree. However, a jig of some sort could make it stay in some positions it doesn’t readily want to stay in. You’ve given me an idea. I’ll see if I can pull it off with what I have on hand and come back with it soon.


OK — You’ve motivated me to finally test out my Proofgrade leather. Picked up some jump rings and findings at Michael’s and grabbed the cut file from your 'structable.

Stupid leather noob question: Given the masking/covering on the Proofgrade, I assume I can soak the leather after cutting, then form? :blush:


Yes, when lasering, you can. When you’re cutting by hand, it’s a bit easier to cut when wet. Since the laser is doing all the work, you should laser, wet, then mold and dry. I look forward to seeing how they come out!


@brooklyntonia Awesome Writeup!
I really love the design! :grinning: My wife would love these.

Btw, I started to make these, but the settings on my PRU are currently “too hot” – even at min power / max speed it cuts through the leather like butter, so no scoring is possible. This will change at some point, and look forward to trying again.

I may need to buy a respirator first, though – the smell is much stronger than even bone! Phew… :ghost:


This is a very ugly hack, but you can expand your cutlines into fills and then engrave them. That will give you access to engraving speeds, which are higher than vector speeds.


That’s how I’ve done it.

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Okay I’m still having a bit of trouble understanding the terminology around here. I have always used cut and engrave. Cutting is pretty self explanatory. Engraving means the laser doesn’t cut all the way through. You can engrave vector strokes and the laser will follow the line or raster an image with fills and the laser operates like an inkjet printer. What is scoring?
Unless I misunderstand? The design only requires cuts. If you want to add a design/pattern, that’s a different story.

Going to suggest you read a tutorial…(yes, i push tutorials)…but it explains the terminology.


It looks like maybe @dwardio is thinking that your border on the leather is supposed to be scored. I’m thinking you just did that as a guide for how far to go on the cuts, and it doesn’t really need the score.

Those earrings are beautiful! :sunglasses:

I forgot I had put that in there. Yes, it was a guide for where to stop the lines, but it’s pretty engraved too.

Whoa… didn’t get that at all.

Yep – that was my takeaway from Step 4 in the Instructable:

Use a pointy (not sharp) tool to gently draw a line around the edge of the leather about an 1/8" from the edge.

… seems like a textbook example of scoring (coming from experience papercutting).

When I work in a new (to me) material, I tend to be very literal and attempt to follow instructions to the letter. Didn’t want to come back and say “well, this didn’t work out at all” and have it turn out it was because I hadn’t included the absolutely critical score line. :innocent:

As an instructional designer, my pet peeve was end-users that wouldn’t follow procedures, then griped about poor outcomes. :wink:


I appreciate you reading and following the directions. My art students have a habit of blaming me when their work comes out weird or destroyed because they didn’t read and understand the directions they were trying to follow.

That being said, you don’t need that score line if you can’t get it to work. It was important in the handmade version, but it’s purely aesthetics in the laser cut design.

Before I looked at my design again and saw that I had indeed put an engrave line, I thought perhaps you were trying to engrave some sort of pattern over the leather before cutting it out.


I took the Instructable as only needing cut vectors in the Glowforge for the slits. The scoring was as a marker to stop the slits/cuts and not really necessary as a design feature except as a way to heighten the thin boarder that goes around the perimeter. This scoring from a traditional leather working terminology doesn’t translate into Glowforge notion of scoring without adding a visible dark line.


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