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How to Set a Cabochon with a Leather Bezel

Yvonne Williams of BacktoEarthCreations,  is one terrific crafter who has some pretty neat ideas on jewelry making.  I have shared a number of her tutorials before. 

This one is her clever idea on how to set a cabochon in leather!  She uses two pieces of leather, one of which is a ring.  The bezel is laced together at the edges. The lacing is also decorative and not merely functional. I do like how she wore her finished design on a simple leather cord at the end.  It really shows off the pendant.

The trickiest bit has to be the finishing as the leather ends have to be tucked in.  

I was briefly confused with the Aussie wax she was using to defuzz the cut leather edges. I initially thought she might be using the Aussie brand of hair wax! 

But what she meant was the Aussie leather conditioner!  It's made with beeswax.  I wondered if a beeswax wood conditioner like the one I use would also work?  It turns out I can.  For example, this brand of wood conditioner is also great on leather!  Maybe it won't be that far fetched to use the hair wax too as hair, wood and leather are organic materials!

Before You Go:

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM 


  1. Yvonne makes a lovely bezeled cabochon in this tutorial and the result is quite effective.

    Having grown up in a household where my mother was a furrier who worked in fur and leather all my life I learned a few tricks when it comes to working with leather.

    The first was - never cut leather with scissors. It leaves that frayed edge on the leather. A razor blade or craft knife gives you a much nicer edge and also gives you greater control over your cut. For anyone working with leather give this a try and you'll see the difference is appreciable.

    An awl is really the best thing for punching holes in leather - even over a leather punch. It again gives a clean cut. I understand Yvonne wanted a slanted cut and once again a razor blade or craft knife will give a nice clean finish.

    Of course using a blade takes a steady hand and comes with practice. My mother was an expert at this and it brings back wonderful memories of her at her work table and the wonderful smell of leather as she worked on it.

    If I was making this I'd add some leather glue around the inside edge to keep the leather from gapping away from the cabochon. It would give it a more finished look as well I think.

    The pendant on a single strand of leather looks too heavy and unbalanced for me. I'd add another strand to even out the look. If you wanted to create a bail using the leather you could do that by starting with a loop before you start lacing and tie it in with the lacing as you go. Running the lacing through the looping at the back and finishing it off with a dab of leather glue would secure it quite well.

    I quite like Yvonne's finished look. I can see using an old leather jacket or purse for the leather circles and it would give it a nice distressed look. Or - you could use a little Gilder's paste in any colour on a cloth and brush it across the lacing. We used shoe polish on leather every day to cover up knicks etc. that people had put in their leather coats. Make sure to buff any additional colour on leather well and that will ensure it doesn't come off when you touch it.

    (My mother would be proud that I retained her instructions and could use them in what I do now.)

    1. That is all awesome advice, Aims! Especially vital for those of us who don't work with leather much. Recycling an old leather jacket is a good tip too!

  2. wow! forehead slap! why didn't I think of that! ;)


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