15 Ways to Transform Leather

Have an old leather purse that does nothing for you? Wondering what to do with scraps from another project? Check out 15 methods from pyrography to knitting that will change the look of last year’s accessories.

Arrows

1. No-Sew Arrow Applique Tee

Make this nautical applique tee  in less than an hour with one of my favorite tools– Mod Podge! If you aren’t afraid of needle and thread, use a blanket stitch around the edges for extra durability. (Source: See Kate Sew)

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2. Branded Purse

Woodburning (pyrography) tools work just as well with leather. Drastically change a blah purse into a statement accessory (but definitely practice on a scrap first!) (Source: Make Magazine

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3. Triangle Earrings

 These rustic painted earrings are a perfect use for leftover leather scraps. Get in on the geometric craze. (Source: Behind my Desk)

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4. Lanyard Bracelet 

Go back to camp with this grown-up take on the plastic lace necklaces that so obsessed us in Arts & Crafts!  (Source: Love Megan)


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5. Color Block Moccasins

Put new coat of color on an old pair of shoes. Try the Pantone Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid.  (Source: HonestlyWTF)

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6. Simple Circles Necklace

This elementary shape necklace requires little more than scissors and a sewing machine. Substitute faux leather or vinyl for a vegan  alternative. (Source: FashionRolla)


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7. Intaglio Necklace

Along the same lines, cut a design from a single piece of leather for a fantastic bib. Design your own on paper first, or take advantage of the downloadable pattern. (Source: A Matter of Style)

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8. Leather flowers 

Design your own flowers from scratch with this beginner leathering-work tutorial. Attach them to barrettes or as an accent on a solid-colored clutch. (Source: Tundraberry)

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9. Leather-wrapped ring

If you enjoyed the lanyard method, this quickie ring will have a home in your jewelry box. Size it up to make a woven bangle. (Source: The Perfect Pear Pair)

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10. Leather Feathers 

This is another great project that makes use of small pieces of leftover leather. Create sturdy feathers to adorn necklaces, cardigans and more. Leave the feathers natural or pair them with metallic paint. (Source: Beautifully Contained)

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11. Half leather/half knit gloves

Save yourself a trip to Fifth Avenue with this simple mix-and-match idea: leather gloves lengthened with a knitted sleeve. Use a sweater or cardigan you already own.  (Source: Selfish Seamstress)

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12 Fringed Scarf

You can easily add these embellishments to a scarf you already own, or use the pattern to make a new one. Experiment with contrasting color! (Source: Eyes of Style)

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13. Woven stack bracelets

You don’t need a loom to make these colorful stack bracelets. If you need to clean out your embroidery thread stash, this is the motivation you need. (Source: El Cuaderno de Ideas)


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14. Embellished cuff

You can embroider anything you want with this cuff tutorial, but we really love this take on geometric string art. (Source: Julep)

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15. Studded Collar

This faux Peter Pan collar is all grown up with the addition of metal studs. (Source: Creme de la Craft).

  


Eat your veggies!

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Here are a couple of new, luxury veggies to lead you into the burnt umbers and crunchy browns of fall. I’ve made a new pumpkins from a satin-like orange and a stretchy, soft velveteen carrot. Both are available in my store and ready to ship!


I’ve moved! [UPDATE: Just Kidding]

[Update: I am bad at making websites, so I am leaving my blog here. But JumboJibbles.com will now direct to a new front page. I hope you are not let down.]

I made myself a new website! (still kinda under construction).

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Anniversary Gifts By the Book

I love lists! They make things easier, and sometimes I am supremely tickled at the contrast between a simple visual format and the complicated meaning its text contains. Traditional and modern anniversary lists are a strange artifact– on one hand we see what was treasured a very long time ago (or what jewelers wanted us to buy) side by side with our desires in the modern day. Long ago, it was unlikely a couple would reach their 25th anniversary (mortality rates, you know) so the gift was spectacular. In Germany, a wreath of silver would be given to the wife, in a “Wow, you are still alive!” kind of gesture. With growing lifespans, prizes for staying alive don’t pack the same symbolic punch as they used to. Thus, modern gift lists provide utilitarian options.

Sure, you can get anything for any anniversary, but for people who  don’t feel confident in their ability to figure it out, the list is wonderful. For me and my spouse, it creates a game where we have a keyword, but have to figure out how that makes sense in the context of our lives. For example, the first 6 years of our marriage:

  • 1st      Origami earrings and a framed map (paper)
  • 2nd     Silly t-shirts (cotton)
  • 3rd      Miniature Klein bottle
  • 4th      Rotary cutter (appliances/linen)
  • 5th      Lemon tree and wooden moon phases puzzle (wood)
  • 6th      Meteorite and metallic bird planter (iron)

The thing is, I like this game and he likes it. So anniversary gifts are not stressful, and they usually make us laugh.

After the 15th anniversary (crystal and watches– boring!) there’s empty space until the 20th (china, platinum). So I’ve decided to come up with some new ideas to help us out.  Am I joking? Am I serious? What’s your list?

Traditional Gifts

  • 16th    Oil Painting
  • 17th    Handmade Journal and Pen Set
  • 18th    Wool Socks
  • 19th    Black Sabbath Back Catalogue

Modern Gifts


New! Cave Painting Star Necklace

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Inspired by 4,000 year old cave paintings in Guam, this Sky & Light pendant is an interpretation of the images ancient peoples illustrated on the walls of caves.  Primitive lines and dark, pulsing color depict the skies and what may have cross– the Milk Way, the tails of comets and meteors, or maybe a calendar what marked the passage of time by the stars’ location? All my jewelry is hand painted and no one is the same. Get yours at Sky & Light.

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Night Sky Cave Painting Pendant on 18″ silver chain


New Items at the Store!

Gold Unicorn Beanie

Blue Unicorn Beanie

Twilight Sparkle Unicorn Ski Mask – My Little Pony Headpiece

The nights are getting cooler and winter is around the corner– ok, maybe around a few corners. My handmade unicorn ski masks are hilarious for Halloween but also make weird gifts for snowboarders, cyclists, Minnesotans and your most-fashionable-than-average hoodlum. Check out the Jumbo Jibbles store today to see what’s in stock!


Underpricing Creativity, or, How to Use Your English Degree

I was trolling Etsy on this lazy Sunday, looking for ways to respectfully, but efficiently, sell my Sky & Light pendants to the same sex wedding market, when I came upon a listing for a love spell. “A spell?” I wondered aloud, “How can you sell a spell on a handmade marketplace?” Well, it seems you can sell just about anything if you know your audience (and have no scruples about stealing images from DeviantArt.com).

This post will be a quick primer on pricing your items for success.

Make someone love YOU forever – Real Spell Cast Just For You – Amazing results – from MYMAGICFRIEND on Etsy

Fall in Love Forever Spell $9.99

This is cheaper than a Slanket, and a sleeve blanket definitely does not last forever. What makes you think this spell will hold sway over a non-consenting adult for the span of their natural lives? When I buy eggs, like a fool I buy the most expensive ones because I let myself think that means the chickens had premium TV channels.  On that note:

Haunted Love Magick, Triple Casting for A Variety Of Love Issues – from INVITINGANGELS on Etsy

HAUNTED LOVE MAGIC – $137

Now, I can only imagine what that extra $7 is for (candle trivets? fashion tape? crystal cleaner?) but with a price tag over $100, this is a seller who respects her ability to steal from people. And you want to give your money to someone who respects herself.

When pricing your work, think of these tips from top Etsy seller Kelly Rae in her post titled “Pricing Tips for Your Creative Business“:

    1. Challenge yourself to charge a price that makes you feel slightly uncomfortable.

Bingo! I definitely feel uncomfortable.

       2. When you underprice your work, you’re sending the message that it’s not the best quality; that’s it’s cheap.

If you can put a price on dreams and lies, go big. No one likes a cheap dream or a lackluster charlatan. Are you one of the many 20-30 somethings with a mouldering English degree and a father who loves to ask you how you’re using it?  Tell him you’re writing people emails about how you may have sat in a circle of crystals and meditated on their Atkins diet progress- and that you’re getting paid $49 bucks a pop.