DIY Handmade Jewelry Using Upcycled Leather {Coats}

Busy Bee Kate- DIY Handmade Jewelry ButtonHandmade gifts are so great to present this time of the year.  If you’re like my family and friends we are at an age where we don’t really need anything and something handmade means so much more.  To me handmade gifts means you thought of that person, what they would like and wouldn’t like, and you know them and their interests.  When you spend your time on making handmade gifts they will be much more cherished than another gift card or bottle of wine.  

When I thought about what to make for my Christmas gifts this year I had so many ideas in my head and I was still uncertain and undecided what to give to my friends and family.  Last year it was baked goods that I made together with my daughter and the year before was knitted scarves.  I really do enjoy making handmade gifts for them and it brings me much happiness when I see the smiles on their faces.  

After much thought I decided on jewelry for the gals and, well, for the guys, they might just be getting manly leather cuffs too – but that’s a project for next week!  Check out the preview below of what I made and also the additional single shots and tutorial throughout the post.

(p.s. I want to apologize to my friends and family in advance as they are seeing a sneak peek of their gifts a couple weeks ahead of time but I’ve got some new ones in the works for them…)


I started to think about what type of jewelry to make and I wanted to do something different than traditional beaded jewelry and thought about leather.  Then I remembered I was cleaning out a bin recently and there were two old ones.

I’ve had these stored in my attic for over 10 years and I figured now was the time to put them to good use.  I’m excited about using them as I know they would just be sitting for another 10 years so why not make some use out of them now; I didn’t want to toss and were pretty ‘crispy’ (if that is the word) to wear or donate. 

The first step in this project is to gather some old leather coats. If you don’t have any old leather coats around you can visit your local thrift store and pick one up or you can pick up pieces of leather at your local craft or fabric store.  

Below are the two coats I used, and as I was finishing up this project my Mom called and reminded me she had an old red one that she would let me use as well (so you’ll see I made one of the earrings with the red leather too.)


You’ll see from the above photo I did 5 pairs of earrings and one bracelet.  As I was working on these I pulled some other items from my craft stash so you may not see all of the items pictured below.  That is the fun of handmade items you can change it up as you go with what you like and don’t like.  Generally the additional supplies you’ll need are:

– Leather

– Earring Findings

– Earring Rubber Backs (these are light so you definitely want to add backs to them.)

– Scissors

– Beads (if you decide to use them.)

– Small hole punch

– Additional findings (not shown below – I put on my creative brain as I worked through this project!)

– Snaps (if making a bracelet) 


And don’t forget your pliers like I initially did!


For each of the earrings I made I took the similar approach to making, just changing up the shapes and findings as I went along.

First you want to cut a square piece off of the coat.  I found it much easier to work with then trying to make the shapes while holding a heavy coat.


Next cut the shape(s) you desire and a punch a hole at the top of the leather.


Grab a jump ring and your pliers and feed through the hole.


Taking wire, feed the beads as you’d like them to look on your earring.  For my first design I went with a simple choice of beads.


Now you can take your pliers and shape to fit onto your ear!  I grabbed an already made one to get the basic shape of it. 


Here is the completed look of this one!  


Next I made these fun double layer earrings using the same process.  I decided to add a fun circle finding and played around with the hole punch.  I have some other fun ideas to do with the hole punch like someones initials… I just haven’t gotten that far yet.


Another view of this pair:


These were the third ones I made and I how festive and just how super adorable these bow earrings turned out. I added the seed beads which really completed the look of a bow! 


Another view of these:


This is the fourth pair I made using the red leather coat my Mom dug out for me.  I wished she would’ve told me about it sooner as I really think the red is great for the holidays.  I definitely plan on using more red in my upcoming gift pieces.  I added a lovely heart to complete this pair.


Here they are hanging, these just might be my Christmas earring this year!


And last {but certainly not least} these are probably my favorite of the bunch. ;They look vintage and modern which is totally my style. I did a double layer of the brown leather, added a fun gold accent and some chain to make them hang a little lower.


After making these earrings I knew a bracelet would look rad with them… and was surprised at how easy it was to make. I’m going to bring you that tutorial next week, so be sure to stop back!


Here’s the last set… I don’t think I’m taking this off for a while!


Here is the round-up again:


The great part about homemade gifts is that you are giving a little piece of you and your heart along the way of making it.  I am super excited to work on more jewelry this weekend!  I love that I was able to use old leather coats and some of the many, many, many items from my craft stash.  

P.S. I have to give some big props to my Mom for allowing me to use her home for all the photos of the finished projects.  Isn’t it just awesome!?! Seriously though I keep telling her that it needs to be in a magazine. One day I’ll do a feature post on her home and share some of her decorating secrets that she has taught me too.  She has a great eye for decorating!  She even  joked that she was going to charge me a photo shoot few depending on how many photos I took 🙂 I sure do love my Mom… and she won’t be getting any of the above earrings this holiday as I’ll be making her a very, very special pair.

Looking for other fun gift ideas, crafts – traditions and recipes too?!  Be sure to check-out the #25BlogsofChristmas link-up below… there’s also a great giveaway going on!  

Happy Holidays!



Over the past week, 25 bloggers have shared their creative ideas with you for recipes, decor, crafts, printables, and holiday traditions. Be sure to check out all the posts from the week… and today, the end of our 25 Blogs of Christmas week, we are hosting a HUGE giveaway for a $250 Amazon Gift Card… see below details to enter!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Related Posts

Previous Post Next Post


    • Lindsay
    • December 12, 2014

    Very inventive!

  1. Pingback: $250 Amazon Giveaway! #25BlogsofChristmas | | Busy Bee Kate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 share