Moonlit Owl – DIY Leather Bracelet

This post brought to you by LeatherCord USA.DIY owl bracelet with LeatherCordUSA leatherWe’ve had a break in the weather today—-perfect for you know what this weekend!  Yes!  A cozy fire in our new fire pit.Fire pitSitting around a fire in nature is so restorative for my soul (not to sound dramatic, haha).  I just love the ambience of it: the sounds, being outside, toasty hoodies…. We like to make sandwiches and treats in our pie irons for these winter picnics.  It is these simple pleasures that make life sweet.

Today’s project is brought to you by LeatherCord  I put this little DIY owl bracelet on my Instagram feed (@candiecooper if you want to see behind the scenes in real time) and had a few people ask about buying it!  I love that.  I’ve worn it a few times and gotten compliments too so I think it’s worth sharing so you can make your own.

DIY owl bracelet with LeatherCordUSA natural blue round leatherThe secret is having large holed beads that work perfectly with the 1.5 diameter natural blue round leather cord.  You can braid and weave the leather easily through beads like this to get a solid look.  These beads are from Tierra Cast and the owl from Green Girls Studio.File Feb 19, 3 11 04 PMOnce you get the beads in place, it’s time to CAREFULLY measure.  Michelle at leatherCord USA and I have a joke about measuring many times before cutting–somehow we always make things too small.  I want to show you a trick so you can get yours to fit just right.

Do as I say…not as I do. Haha.Glue and Go leather jewelry finding from LeatherCordUSA.comThese are leatherCord USA’s Glue and Go findings.  They come in all different diameters, styles, and metal colors.  The key to sizing your bracelet is remembering to account for the recessed area inside the finding.Using Glue and Go findings from LeathercordUSA.comMeasure this piece end to end and subtract it from your finished bracelet size, then add 1/2″ (1/4″ on each side) for the recessed areas and this is what length you should cut your leather pieces.

Clear as mud right?DIY owl bracelet with LeatherCordUSA leather -gluing leatherYou can always shave a little off at a time and test the fit as you go.DIY owl bracelet with LeatherCordUSA leather on Candie Cooper's blogWhen you’re positive you have the right length, use the Loctite Adhesive to glue the ends in.DIY Jewelry making Leather Owl braceletThe natural leather finishes are some of my very favorites.  With the earthy fashions this spring, these leather cords for jewelry making are going to be hot!  You’ll find them on this page at the bottom of the color chart–look for natural before the color name.

Get fine leather and the special Glue and Go findings from

DIY Painted Leather Cuffs That Will Knock Your Socks Off!

How to paint and embellish leather cuff bracelets LeatherCordUSA.comThis post brought to you by Cooper demoing in the LeatherCordUSA booth at the To Bead True BlueAll last week, I worked in the leathercord USA booth showing mixed media techniques to use with leather at the To Bead True Blue Show in Tucson.  Holy cow.  I painted cuff after cuff and after each one, I fell a little more in love with the process.  These are some of my new friends I made as well as Michelle and Que that work at LCUSA.  It is lovely visitors like these that make my job fun.  If I didn’t say it at the time–thank you from the bottom of my heart for stopping by and watching, asking questions and chatting.  YOU are my favorite part of these gigs.Leathercord USA booth at the To Bead True Blue showWe were hoppin’ at the LCUSA booth and people were really digging the new metallic gold and silver gecko printed and stitched leather (it really is magical looking–you get lost looking at it).  The tassels were also hot sellers!Leathercord USA at To Bead True Blue show in TucsonIf you do art shows or craft festivals, you know that displaying work can be a challenge.  I overheard compliments on the frames of leather over and over in the booth.  It really is a great idea.

Now onto some techniques!

If you love artsy jewelry and building up layer after layer (or making artsy messes in my world), I think you’ll find this post right up your ally because I’m going to show you some new ideas on how to paint and embellish leather.LeatherCord USA tassels

Do you remember that post that was all about painting leather tassels?  That’s one of the first leather surfaces I tried adding Ranger Patina paints on.  These are a few tassels I splashed some metallic paints on with a stiff bristle brush.

Here’s a peek at my demo area in the leathercord USA booth–there’s a little bit of everything, no doubt!
Candie Cooper in the LeatherCordUSA boothRemarkably CLEAN and tidy by my standards though.  I don’t trust an artist with a clean work surface 😉  Haha.
How to paint and distress leatherThis is a detail of one of the cuffs.  Believe it or not–these take about 10 minutes to create, start to finish.  Tracy at Tierra Cast put the rivets on for me (thanks Tracy).  I love these simple little details that add so much!

leathercord USA makes the cuffs in all different sizes and finishes.  You can see them here.
Painted leather cuffs by Candie Cooper with LeatherCordUSA cuffsQue at leathercord USA filmed me painting one.  This is me talking in the video.  If you like it or have questions, let me know in the comments.

Have fun! (useful supply list at end)

LeatherCord USA cuffs (wholesale order on site or has them)

Stencil1 Stencils

Sakura PenTouch gold pens

Ranger Patina paints

Stayz On Ink pad

Leather hole punch

Tierra Cast rivetables


Whipped Buttercream Frosting Leather Jewelry Idea

Easy Jewelry Making with leathercordUSA leather from Candie CooperThis post is brought to you by color inspiration for January 2016

Leather Cord USA sent a box of goodies recently with all kinds of color palette ideas for the next few months.  Sign up for their newsletter to get inspiration like this delivered right to your inbox (the sign-up box is at the bottom of their home page).

January’s pallet is all about butter and mushroom colors.  I love both.

Hungry yet?  Me too.
Jar of vintage crystals color inspiration

Mixing and matching the leathers, I started seeing this color combination everywhere.  On bananas, when the sun hits the porch walls just right, and in this jar of crystals I’ve had on my shelf for years.Leather Cord for Jewelry Making -all colors from LeatherCordUSA.comThis is my swirl of favorites.  Yum.  Swirl.  This is the moment I saw buttercream frosting.  Paging Cinnabon.  Come in Cinnabon.  Did I mention I’m trying to get off the bread and carbs?  That’s another story for another day.

I’m only using the round leather cords from LeatherCord USA in 1 and 1.5mm diameters for these projects.  This is the simplicity that I love when it comes to using leather in jewelry making.  Pick your favorite colors and go!
DIY leather earringsThe first idea I had was to make some earrings using those funky fold over end findings (get them at Hobby Lobby) and delicate shell bead dangles.How to use fold over end findings for leather in jewelry making tipSimply cut your leather so one piece is 3 and one is 3.5 inches long, string some beads and set the ends inside the finding.  Use chain nose pliers to roll the ends over.  Connect to ear wires and add beaded dangles.  I’ve ironed out the kinks so I think you can knock these out in 30 minutes.DIY Jewelry Making Gold and leather braceletThe second idea I want to share uses the super skinny macaroni-sh shaped beads strung onto the leather to make a bracelet (also from Hobby Lobby).  I really loved how this instantly gave it a chic feel.  Cut ends at an angle so they fit nicely in the end finding from LeatherCord USACut the leather at an angle so it nestles nicely in the LeatherCord USA Glue and Go end finding (see foreground).Use Loctite glue gel for leather jewelry makingUse Loctite gel to glue it in one end.  Check the fit and make adjustments.  Glue the second side.

Tip:  Leave one or two strands out and use a toothpick to pry open a spot or two so you can put them right where you want them.DIY Leather and gold jewelry making idea using leatherThat’s really all there is to it.  Shout out to my vintage picnic basket for making the perfect surface to shoot this on.
Easy Jewelry Making with leathercordUSA leather from Candie CooperThis set is going to get me through winter.  Sunny days ahead people!

Check out for more beautiful leathers and ideas.

Eden: Gemstone Necklace with Round Braided Leather

This post brought to you by LeatherCordUSA.comDIY multi-strand gemstone necklace with thick braided leather elementIt’s raining here today.  This doesn’t bother me in the slightest when I have the joy of staying inside and making jewelry.

Yesterday was gorgeous.  Today it’s overcast and drizzly.  Yin and Yang.

So with this gray day, I’m presenting a piece that is lush in gems and texture.Round braided leather comes in a ton of finishes and sizes from LeatherCordUSA.comIt started with a pile of this unique round braided bolo leather from  I can’t tell you how much I’m intrigued with this stuff.  It comes in different finishes and diameters.  Really really amazing quality.Round braided leather from LeatherCordUSA.comI opted for the natural finish for this piece.  It’s thick and perfect to support the weight of the gem section in the front.  Speaking of gems…DIY multi-strand gemstone necklace with unique braided leather element--Beadalon 15 strand beading wireI’ve had these hanks of gemstones hanging in my studio for two years.  They were inexpensive so I bought a lot.  The time had come to use them and as is because the odd bead shapes together made my eyes happy. The only thing was I felt it needed a tiny bit of contrast yet something to unify the group so I added tiny copper colored rondelles to each strand.Beading tip from CandieCooper.comI used Beadalon gold 15 strand beading wire so it blended with the stone colors, then crimped them to a wrapped wire loop with #1 crimp beads.DIY multi-strand gemstone necklace with unique braided leather element, good for layeringThen I strung the large bead cone onto the wire with a few beads and finished with a wrapped loop.  Nice and tidy.DIY Jewelry Making Gemstone necklace with leather elementNothing but colorful goodness.DIY Jewelry Making--use a toggle clasp ring for a connection.Once you have the gemstone section secured, cut the leather to the desired size and glue end caps to the Glue and Go findings.  I removed the clasp that came with the end findings and connected it to toggle rings which were then connected to the bead cones to create a decorative element.Eden necklace with gemstones and LeatheCordUSA round braid tutorial from Candie CooperDIY multi-strand gemstone necklace with unique braided leatherDIY multi-strand gemstone necklace with thick braided leather elementMy plan is to wear this as a layering necklace.  I will create some shorter chain and pendant pieces to go with it.

Visit LeatherCord USA for more inspiring leather jewelry ideas.

DIY Leather Bracelet

DIY Leather Jewelry Doodled on leather cuff bracelet for an easy braceletYesterday, I spent eight hours at the hospital waiting for a procedure to be done on one of my family members.Waiting roomHospital waiting rooms.  Quite possibly one of the most nerve-racking places for me on the planet.  As a highly sensitive person, I try really hard not to soak up what’s going on around me (or else I might not get out of bed.  Ever.).  Yesterday’s group wasn’t too bad.  But, my mom said, bring something for us to work on…so I did.

Leather cuffs from to doodle on.  It was the perfect waiting room craft.Zentangle Leather Cuff with Sakura pens and cuff from Candie CooperWe used Sakura markers–Pen-Touch in gold, black and white.  We like the extra fine and fine tip ones.DIY Jewelry Quick Zentangle and Sakura Pen-Touch pen CuffThis is my moms that I doodled on top of with the black.

I made the black and gold one (took me about five minutes).

The end verdict was, we want to make more for ourselves and think this would be a great teen craft.  I even whipped up a slide show while I was in that waiting room–let me know if you like it!

DIY Leather Cuff with gold paint penOn an end note, the doc was really happy with the procedure so we are feeling blessed.  I hope you like this tutorial!

DIY Bolo Leather Layering Necklace

This post brought to you by Leather Bolo Necklace from LeatherCordUSA.comFall leaf inspirationThe leaves are turning fast around here.  We’ve had some amazing weather too.  70s and sunny?!

Be jealous, California.

The weather guy said there was 8″ of snow on the ground back in 64′!

I’ve been painting our floors with oil based paint and it’s been a blessing to be able to work outside at our picnic table.  Not to mention inspiring!  Fresh air is good on so many levels.  Why do I forget that so easily?  Oh I know, because there are piles of things to do inside. bolo cordThis is a necklace I’ve had on my mind for a long time.  It uses beautiful bolo braided cord from  The cord comes in all different finishes from metallic to matte and natural.  Another bonus is that you’ll find it in many diameters–from 3.0 to 13.0mm!Leather Jewelry Making DIY bolo necklaceYou know I love layering bits and pieces together and the leather is no different.  Bolo cord bundles with two strands of metallic kansa 1.0mm round leather does my heart good.

Looking at this photo, I think the next paint job needs to be on our cellar doors!Leather jewelry making assistantMy dog, Rock likes the round kansa leather cord too!  I was working it through the beads and wondered why it wasn’t moving.  It was caught up on Rocky’s paw.   The funny thing is that he didn’t move.  I pulled his paw went up and then down, up and down.  This is just another day in Rocker’s world.   He does what he can around here.  Thanks, good dog.Large hole beads keep multi-strand leather pieces togetherThe large holed silver beads are from Tierra Cast.  I got the baby tassels in Tucson–I think they are made in Taiwan.  They are so sweet on anything! The crystals have been a bit of an obsession the past year or so.  I have a little stash of them.  Needless to say, mixing and matching all these surfaces makes me happy.  I think I’ll wear this necklace today.
Leather findings from LeatherCordUSA.comI finished the ends with these stunning Glue and Go findings also from  They matched the beads perfectly, so it was a no-brainer.  These findings were actually a touch too big for the bolo cord so it worked out well to add the extra kansa green cords to fill up the space.

Use this glue to adhere leather and metal together.LeatherCord USA necklaceFollow me on Instagram @candiecooper to see behind the scenes action when making pieces like this!

Happy day!

The Leather Scout Bracelet

This post brought to you by
Jewelry Making-leather stitched bracelet on @candiecooper blogGood morning, campers!  Autumn is here and the mornings are brisk, making that hot coffee taste extra amazing.  I call this the scout bracelet because of the colors, textures and the fact that it seems kind of multi-purpose:  you can wear it as a bracelet, a necklace, or tie the tent pulls together (you know, if you need too).
LeatherCord USA leatherWhere do you find inspiration?  For me, it’s often in the materials.  I was collecting and gathering things around my studio to use with the LeatherCord USA  suede and 10mm wide deertan lace.  It comes in a ton of colors, but this green and brown combo was perfect for a fall statement bracelet.
Jewelry Making  Stitching on leather - Steampunk JeweleryI really didn’t want to cut this nice long piece of lace so the first thing I did was experiment with stitching the two leather types together.  The pair has a nice contrast with the matte suede and smooth deertan lace surfaces.
Sewing on leather with LeatherCord USA strap and suedeNot going to lie—it was tricky keeping the leather and stitches in the center.  I slowed the machine to “as slow as it would go” speed.  This is an all purpose needle, but I plan to put a new one in before I start piecing fabric together again.  After a yard of sewing leather, it’s sure to be dull.
Making a leather bracelet with a rivet and buckleNot in the photo is this buckle clasp and rivet from Tierra Cast.
Riveting Leather in Jewelry MakingYou’ll need to hole punch the leather so it fits perfectly with the rivet diameter.  Put the skinny part in through the layers back to front and top with the mushroom piece.
Riveting leather together how-toI changed the buckle piece up a bit by adding the wood ring to make the bracelet a little more chunky.  Place the rivet section on top of a steel block and tap the top of the rivet with an eyelet setter or simply a plastic mallet.

Tip-seal the back side of the leather at the end with Fieblings Leather glue to keep the stitches from unraveling.
Jewelry Making-Wrap Around leather braceletWrap and roll.  I love lots of wraps, but you could do a couple and trim the leather exactly how you want.
Steampunk Jewelry Idea with leatherLeather wrap around bracelet with leatherDid I mention I love lots of wraps?
Steampunk Jewelry Idea-Wraparound stitched leather braceletHere’s another experiment with zig zag stitching and colorful leather.  Only a couple wraps here…and you don’t have to “walk the line” while sewing!  For the free spirits in my life.
The Scout Bracelet- Steampunk Jewelry IdeaThis would make a great steampunk jewelry accessory piece too.

Visit LeatherCord USA for great leather products and more ideas.