Okay sorry, sorry I'll try to temper my enthusiasm here, but I have to hurry up and get this tutorial written so I can go cut some more leather. Can you tell my mind is racing with like 1000 ideas a minute?!
First up - where to get leather. I got this scrap piece of lambskin leather from the Leather Hide Store. Yeah they're an awesome wholesale supplier of leather so go check them out.
Here's the key - you want lambskin because it's thin and soft and well awesome for cutting. I will warn you up front your mat will take a beating cutting leather, but it's all worth it so don't worry. The leather will stick to even a relatively unsticky mat, so see if you can get by with an old one....(no judging, k?!)
Stretch the leather as you lay it on your mat. Stretch it as much as you can to kind of thin it out. Create your design in Silhouette Studio - I was making a leather bow cuff - and when you're ready to cut swap out your blade for a fabric blade.
SIDE NOTE: If you're following along making the leather bow cuff, too, this is for you...I found a bow pattern through a google image search and then traced it in Studio. Then I used the draw a rectangle tool to draw out a long rectangle - this is my piece that will cover the cuff. Since I am covering an acrylic cuff, I made sure the rectangle piece was long enough and wide enough to cover the entire top of the cuff...for me that means at 1" wide and at least 9" wide. Since I know you'll ask, I get my blank cuffs from Punch Place Plus. I only had white on hand, but they do sell clear I think if I do this again (which, hello!!!) I will use clear so it's not quite as obvious from the side view.
In Studio, I created a custom cut setting for leather. I found that a blade of 10, speed 3 and thickness 33 and double, double cut worked well. You may even need it to double cut a third time. More on that in a second.
Alright so switch out your blade so you are using your fabric blade. Then go ahead and load your mat with the leather on it into your machine. Make sure the leather doesn't scrunch up at all near the rollers as you're loading. You want it nice and flat.
Now go ahead and cut. Be amazed...be very amazed.
When it's done cutting, don't remove the mat from the machine. Instead, you want to hit "cut" again in Studio to do the second double cut pass.
Once it was finished the second double cut, I lifted up a corner of the leather to see if it cut completely through. On one piece it had and another it hadn't. If you need to send it to double cut one more time and then remove the mat and the leather.
From the back, you can see that in a few places it didn't quite cut all the way through even with six passes! No biggie...I just used my sewing shears to clip it following along the cut line. Actually I didn't even have to snip because what remained was just a very thin area and separated at the touch of the scissors.
I put my bow together first with a few dabs of hot glue. (The piece that looks like a super hero mask is folded over with the tabs together to form the loops of the bow.) To cover the cuff (again, all I had was white on hand) I used more hot glue on then and laid down the leather strip folding it over the ends. Then I put the bow right in the middle with another dot of glue.
Um...I might be in love with cutting leather on my Silhouette!
Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School. If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!