Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Faux-Leather Stenciled Jewelry by Linda!

Jewelry made from StencilGirl® designs? And embossed onto painted a Lutradur surface that looks surprisingly like leather? Yes and Yes!

While rummaging in an old box of unfinished art quilts, I stumbled upon pieces of a half-finished project made with painted Lutradur and Tyvek. About five years ago, I had a vision of using strips of black and white harlequin painted Lutradur along the edges of my painted Tyvek design. The project never quite worked out, so I decided to try stenciling over the Lutradur to see what would happen. It had been years since I worked with Lutradur, a non-woven fabric that is often used in furniture construction and has been embraced by crafters.

Using a Versamark stamp pad through a stencil, the embossing powder looked perfect before heating.
The beauty of Lutradur is that it takes paint well, is lightweight, and can be easily stitched through by hand or machine. The downside is that it melts and becomes lace-like when you use a heat gun or blow dryer on it. My first attempt, on the partially painted harlequin design was a fail: the Lutradur melted away in the unpainted section and stayed put on the black painted areas.

Once I blasted the design with a heat gun, the unpainted (white) Lutradur melted. The areas painted with black gesso, however, were perfectly intact.
So, I decided to paint the whole strip of Lutradur, and covered it generously with Golden's black gesso. When dry, I tested various favorite StencilGirl® stencils using a variety of embossing powders. The fiber had more weight with the addition of the black gesso, and the paint prevented the Lutradur from melting when I heated the embossing powder. Gold, pale blue, and white looked great against the black. It looked surprisingly like black leather, but since Lutradur is vegan, lighter weight, and less expensive than leather, it was a win/win.

I set about stenciling some of my favorite StencilGirl® design on the black strips of painted Lutradur. I had a vision of making a cuff bracelet. I combined one of Jill McDowell's circular Japanese-inspired Crest stencils with a cross from Laurie Milka's Pilgrimage to the Renaissance.

After the stenciling was done, using a rotary cutter, I cut the design to the length I wanted for a cuff.

The painted Lutradur was a little scratchy, so I also cut some black felt (to use as a lining) to the same size. After some deliberation, I selected a decorative stitch on my sewing machine and carefully stitched along all edges.

The finished, stitched cuff.
I needed a closure of some kind, and decided to use Velcro. I carefully lined up three pieces of the Velcro on each end of the cuff.

The finished cuff is easy to put on and take off with the Velcro closure.
I was pretty excited about the success of the cuff bracelet, so I decided to make more jewelry. (It was kind of addictive!)

I used another one of Jill's Crest medallions for a pendant. I made two, and glued them together with Golden heavy gel gloss. I used Jill's full 2.5" circle as a template, traced around it with a pencil, and cut each shape so they would match perfectly. A small hole was punched with an awl, and a small jewelry ring inserted through the hole. I hung it from a piece of black cording that I found at my local bead store.

Clips held the two sides together while the glue dried. Be sure to cover the edges with waxed paper or parchment paper so the clip doesn't stick to the surface.
Some of my favorite India-inspired shapes from Gwen Lafluer's Not Afraid to Try design became earrings, as well as one of the shapes from Laurie Milka's Pilgrimage to the Renaissance.

Each earring shape was carefully cut out with small, sharp scissors.
I used a piece of wood behind the stenciled Lutradur to avoid poking holes in my worktable.
Two sets of the finished earrings.
I decided to make a more delicate, feminine cuff with a floral shape using pale blue embossing powder. I chose a section of Laurie Milka's Pilgrimage to Mexico. I tried adding white dots to the edges but they smeared so I used only the blue area. After trimming away the excess, I cut a piece of black felt for a lining, and used a machine stitched floral design along the edges. Again, I used Velcro for the closure.

Last, I took some triangular shapes from Laurie Milka's Pilgrimage to India, cut them carefully, and attached them to wide black grosgrain ribbon with Golden heavy gel gloss and brass brads.

Each diamond was backed with black felt.

Here are all of the embossed design that I experimented with. A few of the embossed shapes are being saved for future projects.

Finally, here's the finished collection of my handmade, faux-leather jewelry, ready to be worn.

* Lutradur is fibrous, so if it is humid, extra embossing powder can stick where you don't want it. The excess powder can be brushed away with a fine paintbrush before heating. 

* Any extra embossed powder that ends up in the wrong place can be covered over with a black sharpie. 

* It doesn't really matter if your embossing powder isn't perfect; the edges are going to be trimmed away so only the center of the design shows.

Stencils used:
Laurie Milka, Pilgrimage to Mexico 
Laurie Milka, Pilgrimage to India
Laurie Milka, Pilgrimage to the Renaissance 
Gwen Lafluer, Not Afraid to Try
Jill McDowell, Crests


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