We saw a huge range of projects submitted for the tape contest. The majority were wall designs, followed closely by painted furniture treatments. In the end, only a few objects were submitted — but within those few were some really stand-out designs, like this painted leather sketchbook by artist Amber Jensen.
Amber has been crafting these sketchbooks for a while, and she likes to experiment with different finishes and mediums on the surface of the leather. You can see more projects on her blog, and if you want to purchase a journal instead of (or in addition to) making your own, she sometimes sells her original journals in her shop, Sketchbook Crafts. I love the depth of this particular design, which she achieved by layering stain over gold leafing. This journal is quick and easy, and it doesn’t have to stop there: I would love to see leather clutches, tech sleeves or belts with this pattern, as well. Enjoy! — Kate
See the full how-to after the jump . . .
- blue Scotch painter’s tape
- X-Acto knife
- 15 pages of Arches cover watercolor paper (cold pressed) 6″ x 9″
- 2 nickel-plated Chicago screws
- paper punch
- natural unfinished leather, 20″ x 7″
- Eco Flo leather dye
- wool for burnishing
- latex gloves
- Sennelier gold shellac ink
- Eco Flo acrylic leather finish
- ink pen
1. Cover the entire piece of leather with Blue Scotch painter’s tape and draw your pattern on top with a pen.
2. Cut away tape with an X-Acto knife to reveal a honeycomb pattern. Don’t worry about making the shapes exact; subtle imperfections give the pattern a lovely organic quality.
4. Gently peel the tape away to reveal the pattern. I chose to go back into my pattern with Sennelier gold shellac-based ink with my ink pen for a pretty glow. Once dry, use a clean sponge to apply acrylic leather finish — be sure to wear gloves for this step. This will seal the entire surface.
5. Cut down the watercolor paper to fit inside the book. Cut so that it is 1/2 inch smaller than the leather on each side. Punch the back of the leather and 1/2″ in from the binding in two places. Insert Chicago screws and tighten with screwdriver.