Monday, February 13, 2012

Carefully crafted

The week without sugar is over. I can best sum it up as follows:

The Good: I lost 2kg just from cutting out sugar. How cool is that?

The Bad: I only actually lasted four full days sans the white stuff. On Friday I went to book club and partook of several sweet, sweet granules.

The Ugly: On days two to three I was really grumpy. This was not aided by a flu-afflicted husband who had kindly decided to support me by also giving up sugar. Tempers flared. My husband ate a biscuit.

The result: I shall forgo sugar for at least four days every week until I decide to either step it up or scale it back – I have no idea which way it will go at this stage.

In other news…

Making happy for me is very much linked to happy making and so this week I’m turning my attention to all things crafty. I’ll offer a disclaimer upfront: I’m not actually very good at crafting. But I enjoy it and everything I create is made with love. And maybe, if I spend more time on homemade and handmade pursuits, I’ll get good at it.

Well-chosen handmade gifts (knitted toilet roll covers in the shape of Spanish dancing ladies notwithstanding) can become unique and much-loved treasures and below is an idea I originally saw in the (sadly now defunct) Notebook magazine. These leather cases are perfect for cameras, mobile phones, passports and other stuff that needs a beautiful home.

The case at hand: create a leather case

Download a template that can be adjusted to size, here (PDF).

You will need:

Soft leather or soft faux leather; one piece of fabric for lining; fusible webbing;

One rivet; ruler; scissors; leather punch; hammer; pencil; iron; scalpel (all available from craft shops).

1. Use the template to cut the leather to size. Lay the leather flat as a diamond, with the suede side up. Place the relevant object, such as a camera, on its back so it lies along the horizontal line between the two side corners. Fold the sides in to the middle so they just overlap and mark with a pencil. Fold up the bottom and top corners so they also just overlap and mark. Rule a straight line between each of the four marks so you have either a square or rectangle, then cut to size.

2. Layer the lining fabric and the fusible webbing together then place the leather on top with the suede side up. Trace around the leather then cut the fabric and webbing together.

3. Place the leather flat with the suede side up. Layer the webbing and lining fabric, pattern side up, on top. With the iron set to a low heat, press the layered materials until the three layers have fused.

4. Place the sandwiched leather flat on the table and lay the relevant object on the centre of the square. The corners of the object should lie approximately halfway along each of the straight sides and slightly to the centre. Mark where each corner lies, use the ruler to draw a V from the corner point to the edges. Cut the V away − you should be left with an elongated cross.

5. Use the hammer and leather punch to place a hole in each of the four points. If you have used thicker leather, use the ruler and scalpel to mark a crease between each of the inner corners. Bring the two side corners in to the middle, and then fold up the bottom corner. Use a rivet fastener or prominent leather stud to secure the three points together. Place the object inside, then slide the hole in the top corner over the stud to close.

For my own project I have chosen a rather manly “distressed” brown faux leather and a vintage map print fabric and I’m going to make a passport holder. If that goes well, I’ll supersize the same design and create an A4 document holder.

Stay tuned for more crafts-worth-gifting!


  1. oh i love it! and have a little boy's birthday coming up it would be perfect for. where does one by fusible webbing and leather from?

  2. Thanks Hannah! I bought my fusible webbing at Lincraft but I'm pretty sure spotlight have it as well. I got my faux leather from eBay (and eBay also has a seller offering a black leather and vinyl mix which might be nice for larger designs) but you can get real leather here:

  3. They look like beautiful pouches and I can think of a million uses for them including jewellery and tax receipts!

  4. Great ideas Siobhan! Maybe they could be nappy pouches as well for when we're out and about.