Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Making Bracers/Vambraces/Gauntlets Part 4: Inserting Grommets/Eyelets into Leather without a hole punch, Dyeing Leather with Shoe Polish

(All parts of tutorial listed on this page)
See tutorial part 1,and  part 2, and part 3
FINISHING (Grommets, Dyeing)
Note the kind of "weathered" look. I achieved this with fabric dye and shoe polish. (plus some ill fated salad dressing) See below.

How to insert grommets into leather without a Hole Punch.
  1. Using an exacto blade, and a pencil to insert 1/4" eyelets without a hole punch.
  2. First, cut a (small!) slit where you want the eyelet to go. 
  3. Then force a pencil through it, underside out. 3x. It should feel difficult, as the leather stretches. Then send the pencil through the 4th time, from the leather side (this pushes the leather in). 
  4. Now insert the tall side of the grommet from the leather side. I used a pencil to help push it through.
  5. Then flip it over, and using a fingernail or the tip of the pencil, poke all the unruly threads down around the lip of the grommet.
  6. Now put on the shallow side of the grommet.
  7. Put it on the eyelet "anvil" and hammer the "tool" part onto it, making sure to rotate the tool while hammering.
  8. DONE.

Re-dying leather bracers.
To change the color of the leather, dye can work, but it kind of hangs out on top and rubs off. (I used RIT dye orange).  I didn't like the look of it alone, and it seemed to come off to easily. However, it works very well underneath shoe polish. I had greenish brown leather, and I wanted a warmer brown leather, so I rubbed orange RIT dye on all of them, and then rubbed them all down with brown shoe polish and brown shoe cream after I was done quilting them. I liked the uneven color, it gave more depth. If you want even color, shoe polish it before quilting.

I had a bad experience with hand-made conditioner (salad dressing, basically vinegar and olive oil). It blotched and stained funny. I guess if you want darker stains on it to look weathered, then go for it.

The 5 part tutorial is here.

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