Designer: Randa Roberts
IG: So Comfy Designs
A macrame hanger that has spent more time in a drawer than hanging with a plant in it, plus leather stripped from a couch equal...... a fun, easy, and 100% upcycled way to incorporate some natural texture into a useful and beautiful home décor accent.
There’s nothing more satisfying than a little DIY to change up the look and function of something we are already using. That’s why I hope you’ll love this fun and easy upcycle and will look for something that you can turn from this into that, with no sewing machine involved!
I’ll show you how to use the OLFA Circle Rotary Cutter to make a perfect circle out of scrap leather, and then in a few more steps, you’ll be using your new leather tray.
If you haven’t got a leather punch, now’s a great time to get one. It’s useful for many things and the one I used costs way less than you might think.
Here’s what I used for this fun and quick DIY:
Tools and Materials:
- OLFA CMP-3 Rotary Circle Cutter
- OLFA FCM- 17x24 17” x 24” Folding Cutting Mat
- OLFA 7” SCS-2 Serrated-Edge Stainless Steel Scissors
- Leather Scrap, 10” square
- Macrame cord and wooden beads
- Leather punch – I use this one with a 6mm hole size
- Wonderclips or binder clips
- Clear tape
Steps to Cutting a Perfect Leather Circle
Flatten out your leather scrap on your OLFA Cutting Mat.
Set the compass point at the farthest left point. Your circle will have a 9” diameter
PRO TIP: Make sure you take the time to practice some circles on scraps so you can get the motion down. OLFA recommends a ‘stir the soup’ motion with your hand and wrist, and I find that description to be perfect. Check out this video to see how I use my OLFA Circle Rotary Cutter to cut perfect circles out of leather.
Remove the cap from the compass point and place it on the end of the circle cutter (I LOVE this feature!). Press and push up the blade guard and place the compass point in the middle of the scrap. Gently push the circle cutter blade into the leather.
Using your dominant hand, Hold the ratchet of the circle cutter in your hand, apply enough pressure, then start moving clockwise with a steady pace. Use your other hand to coax and move the scrap so that the circle is continuous. Voila!
Gotta love the animal scratch marks! Luckily, they’ll be on the bottom of the new tray. Great way to use up leather with imperfections on it.
Punching Holes in the Leather
I used the largest hole setting on my punch. Once it was ready, I folded my leather in half.
Yup, just like a taco! Find the center point and punch a hole through both layers, about a quarter inch down from the edge.
Fold in half again so you’re left with a quarter circle. Use clips to keep it together. You’re only going to punch 6 holes but will end up with 25. Notice I don’t bother marking holes, and just used my best judgement to space them as evenly as possible. You won’t notice slight imperfections in the finished piece.
Wasn’t that fun?
Turning a Circle into a Tray
It's time to take apart this cute, but essentially useless, macrame holder. This cording is thin, so I kept it a double strand.
PRO TIP: Macrame cording can be ironed on high heat with some steam – easy and quick to iron out the kinks and make it look brand new.
PRO TIP: use a piece of tape around the end of your cording to make threading through the holes easy!
Start your threading on the good side (outside) and go in and out of each hole until you’ve threaded all the way around the circle.
In this video I show how I tighten up the cording and shape the tray. Using my hand, I pressed the bottom and evened out the space between the cording until it became the shape I was looking for.
I then threaded a salvaged wooden bead with the cording ends, tied a simple knot, and then separated the cord threads for a boho tassel vibe.
Here it is!
It isn’t a complicated DIY, but it was fun and easy. See how a little outside of the box thinking, some amazing tools, and fun items to upcycle can change up how you use things you already own? I hope you’re inspired to go through your stash and find something to turn from this to that.
See you next month for a new upcycle!