by Yun-Han Lin
We tried making wallets before, which was the first time we used fasteners into our works, and that gave us an idea to try making small plates or saucers with the same materials!
We found some projects with similar designs on Pinterest. As for our own design, we prefer the ones on the left in the pictures below, where the shape comes in hexagon or a circle. Considering the materials and methods, we used laser-cutting to cut the leather and try to wipe off the burn marks on edges. After a few trials, we ended up using the most basic shape- square.
We bought sample leather in small pieces from Shopee, and there were no options for the color, type, nor the thickness. Yet, the overall quality is good, making them suitable for our project.
b. Metal fastener: 10mm snap buttons
They come from Ye Ming Fu Leather Workshop, also on Shopee. There are 4 colors to choose from, and we mainly use the color of fog bronze and black nickel, and a few gold ones. The challenge in using metal fasteners in leather work is that the buttons come in different sizes and each requires different installation tool, and not to mention the buttons also come in a wide array of styles, shapes, and colors.
c. Bed surface treatment agent (or regular surface treatment agent)
The back of the leather is mostly fuzzy. Should the hair bits be too long or get dusty, making a messy and rough surface, surface treatment agent can be applied. The agent is a latex-liquid like resin. You can apply some onto a brush and brush down the hairy bits on the leather pieces to form a layer of coating. Next, use a piece of wood or glass to smooth down the hairy bits. After drying, the surface should be smoother. The one we use also comes from Shopee, and we have not tried the ones from other brands.
d. Wood glue
The square piece of leather in the middle is pasted with wood glue. We have used the glue by Titebond before, and we tried another type of glue this time. Both of them are good, and the biggest difference is that the one by Titebond comes with better waterproof effect. That being the case, it is suggested that most leather works have no contact with water, so it really makes no difference which glue we use.
a. With the back of the leather, usually the rough side, facing up, we cut out two pieces according to the specs and design drawing above. The lines marked in black stands for those to be cut off, while the blue ones suggest those to be slightly cut with marks. The marks will come in handy for alignment when the smaller piece is pasted onto the bigger one.
b. Wipe the burn marks on the 4 sides with a slightly damp rag until there is no marks coming off. Next, leave the leather to be air-dried.
c. Should the back of the leather be too fuzzy, apply some treatment agent onto the 4 sides. We did not do the same about the middle part that is to be pasted, because we believe the hairy bits could help with the glue and strengthen the fixture. For the use of surface treatment agent, please refer to the above sections (2-(3)).
d. Stick the two pieces of leather back to back using wood glue, and the amount of glue should be a thin layer applied with a scrape and not more, in case of too much gluing coming out upon pressing the leather pieces. After aligning the squares and pasting, use a heavy object or a fixture to press the two pieces. Wait for it to dry.
e. For installing the snap fasteners, please refer to the following video.
Note: The size of the eight small holes in the four corners is determined based on the types of the metal buckles to be used, which are also elaborated in the video.