Hey guys! I’ve got another quick project for you if you love DIY leather accessories! Make up these mixed media floral-themed hair pins as an instant-gratification project, using your Sizzix Big Shot to die-cut leather scraps and texturize metal accents. Top it off with a crystal rivet for a hint of sparkle that’s great for any summer hairstyle.
For this project, you’ll be getting out your Sizzix supplies, and also a few very basic leather and metal working tools. I’ll leave links below where you can buy these supplies, or check them out more closely. These links are affiliate links, which means if you do make a purchase, it supports my blog at no extra cost to you (and thank you, by the way). If you’ve had your eye on a Sizzix Big Shot, a new die, or any of the Sizzix products, I’ve even got a discount for you – be sure to enter code SZB2015 at checkout to get 15% off your entire order!
- Sizzix Big Shot, extended platform and standard cutting pads
- Flowers from Sizzix Bigz Flower Basket Card in a Box die
- Sizzix Steampunk Parts DecoEmboss die
- Sizzix Daisy Swirl DecoEtch die
- 16mm Vintaj brass blanks
- Hair pin blanks
- Vintaj reliefing block
- Upholstery Leather
- 1/8 inch leather hole punch
- Large Screw down metal hole punch (with 1/8 inch punch)
- 6mm crystal snap rivets
- Rivet setting tool and rubber bench block
- Hammer and steel bench block
- Gutermann glue (or other leather and metal-suitable glue)
First, die cut your leather flowers. I’m using the Sizzix Bigz Card-in-a-Box die because the flowers in that die have cute lacy cutouts, and they’re the perfect size for accessories at roughly 1″ in diameter. I recommend using any of the Bigz dies for leather – they power through with crisp edges when you layer scraps on top of the appropriate area, and sandwich the die between a pair of cutting pads. I have a serious addiction to using my Big Shot with leather!
The flowers are already lovely, but I wanted to add a metal element to them (because if you read here often, you know mixed media is kinda my thing). Sizzix also has a Vintaj line with embossing and etching dies for metal blanks. I used one of each to see what sort of effects I could add. The steampunk DecoEmboss folder had a sprocket texture that made a perfect floral stamen look, and I etched a spiral with the daisy DecoEtch die.
To make the design stand out from the metal, I polished the blanks lightly with the Vintaj reliefing block, which is a like a sanding block with an extra-fine grit. In the photo above, you can see that the blanks on the left have been polished, and the ones on the right have not yet, so it adds quite a bit of depth and texture just to polish the blanks.
Next, punch 1/8 inch holes in the blanks and the leather. Metal needs a heavier tool, so I recommend the screw-down punch. Hand punches work well for smaller holes, but by the time you get to 1/8″ then the screw down punch will be your best bet.
Leather is much softer, and you can certainly use a hand punch to create your hole. The flowers are small enough you shouldn’t have any issue, though I prefer to use my hollow punches for all my leather work. You position them where you want to punch the hole on a steel bench block, and tap the top of the punch a few times with your hammer until it creates your hole.
Finally, I assembled the flowers with crystal compression rivets. Don’t be intimidated by riveting; it’s probably easier than you think! Just layer your floral parts and snap the rivet through. Then, place the flower crystal-side down on a rubber bench block. (The rubber absorbs some of the impact so that the crystal won’t crack.)
Position the rivet-setting tool over the backside of the rivet (the concave end fits right over the rounded backside of the rivet) and tap the top of the tool with your hammer a few times until the rivet is tightly set.
Now, all that’s left to do is glue the flowers onto the pads of your hair pins. I prefer to use Gutermann glue for leather and metal projects (you can find it on Amazon – there’s a link above in the supply list), but any glue that will bond both leather and metal is a good choice. Just add a small amount to the hair pin, and position the flower on top. The rivet sinks into the bezel perfectly – then just set the pins aside to dry for a few hours, or overnight.
Anytime you’re using your Sizzix machine, you can work assembly-line style, so I was able to make up these 4 pins in just 10 minutes (though if I were to make just one, it would also take almost 10 minutes on its own, haha). But you could make up dozens in just an hour if you’re planning to do some power-crafting!
Thanks for joining me for today’s 10-minute project, and I’ll see you guys again soon!
I’m a member of the 2015 Sizzix design team, and as part of that partnership I receive free Sizzix products to bring my hour-or-less ideas and designs to life. I was not paid for this post, and the ideas and opinions are my own.