Monday, December 17, 2012

Painting On Leather

The tree is decorated. That makes the weekend mostly successful since the tree and the bag were my weekend goals. There wasn't nearly as much progress with the bag mostly because of exploring an idea and in part because I woke up at two-thirty Sunday morning, started thinking about pocket placement possibilities, and never really got back to sleep after that. I definitely need more than four hours sleep to function. Tired does not typically lead to progress.




Thrift stores are packed with potential, much of which wants to come home with me, all of which I can't possibly use. That's why I rarely visit. Neither my budget nor my stash can handle any more potential however - a few visits ago - I bought an extra-large, calf length, raglan sleeve, leather coat... for $12.00... for the leather... because...




... I'd recently purchased Sassy Feet: Paint, Embellish and LOVE Your Shoes (and Bags)! along with an essentials kit from the Sassy.com store. On Saturday, I took apart one coat sleeve to use as the bottom of the bag. My friend's favourite print is zebra and her favourite color is red. I wanted to paint a red zebra print to match the red handles.




Real leather is prepped with acetone and synthetic leather is prepped with rubbing alcohol both of which are designed to remove any dirt and oil from the surface so the paint will stick.




Designs are marked with chalk. I drew freehand using a chalk roller. To trace a specific design, print it on paper, chalk the back, and then place the paper chalk to leather before outlining the design with a pencil. The outlining will transfer the design to the leather allowing you to paint in the spaces.




The book recommends Jacquard Lumiere acrylic paints and the kit came with a metallic russet only the color was more copper than red. I used four coats of an acrylic decor paint instead. You're advised to use a smooth, continuous movement as in applying nail polish. I recently read a headline that stated the only thing worse than chipped toe polish was no toe polish. That made me laugh because I can count on one hand the number of times I've applied nail polish. It's not my thing. I love painted nails for about a day and then I want them to get off of me right now - which means I'm not at all practiced at applying and my lines were less than lovely. It's probably fair to note that it would be easier to paint on shoes that are stretched tight into a shape than on loose leather... and especially not loose leather intended to be part of a gift.




I liked the way the white chalk outlined the shapes. After it was washed off, I tried outlining with a thin line of white paint only I couldn't paint a thin line, even with a thin line brush, and it was blotchy and uneven so I tried drawing with a gold paint pen... which ran out of ink... just about the time I decided that this - painting on leather - required more skill than I'd currently accumulated and was perhaps not yet ready for the gift giving stage, which turned out to be a good decision because....




... when I consulted my notes again, I realized that I'd been looking at the wrong number and the leather was too narrow which leaves us with red, no zebra. One out of two isn't bad. I decided she'd get red in a Myrna motif instead and - LOL - put the leather away and moved to plan B.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - that changing your mind is not a mistake, it's simply part of the process

9 comments:

  1. Interesting following your journey. Did you knoe leather can be ironed on suede side with a meium hot iron? If leather is a little thin for required purpose you can apply iron on interfacing to beef up. Have fun, great blog. Sheila C nz

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    1. Yes... about the pressing... but only because I tried it on a low setting with a silk organza press cloth... just to see what happens. Nice to know because the coat has wrinkles. Good to know with the interfacing. I'd been contemplating that.

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  2. I was with you all the way on this, reading along, waiting, waiting, for the finished 'zebra bag'. And then you abandon it...talk about a cliffhanger via blogging...J

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  3. I can wait...for plan b.
    There's always more leather fabric to tackle.

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    1. A whole jacket full although I bought a small cosmetic bag that I think I'll try next because it's a firmer more defined shape. It has a giraffe-like pattern that is screaming to have fun with paint.

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  5. I am wondering if some of the difficulty that you had with the painting was actually related to your choice of paints. I have had noticeably better luck with the Lumiere and Jacquard textile paints than with craft acrylics on my projects, in terms of how they handle and how easy they are to use. I even noticed that a fresh jar of paint worked better than the one that I had used that was several years old and had dried out a bit.

    Your description about painted nails had me all in giggles; made me remember a student we had once who when asked to file the edges of a metal jewelry blank, held it out at arms length and filed it like a woman filing her nails, one little bit at a time...

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    1. Definitely the paints were a factor. Lumiere isn't available locally so I'll practice with the supplies in the kit and decide if I want to order some. I also wondered how the decor paints would work with a textile additive. I'll try that too since I have LOTS of decor paint.

      LOL - so to learn how to file jewelry blanks I'll need another nail lesson. Time for manicure school. I don't wear lip stick either although I love make-up otherwise. I was thrilled to read that one should either play up their eyes or their lips. Wearing glasses, the obvious choice is my eyes. LOVE hairspray too... and hair that moves when I do... and how we all have our own individual quirks.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.