Workshop Wednesday: Leather Collar Necklace with Chelsea Shannon

Hi y'all!

My name is Chelsea and I'll be bringing fresh DIY tutorials by Houston's talented makers to the Houston Makerspace blog every Wednesday.

Today's leather collar project is one of my own and will take you about 20-30 minutes of active work time.


It's a great way to upcycle vintage leather scraps and add some serious sass to any outfit.


Straight sass.

I found my leather scrap pieces at a fantastic leather wholesaler in Los Angeles, but for similar value, keep your eyes peeled while thrifting for leather garments or bags begging to be deconstructed.

How to Make Your Own Leather Collar Necklace:


a piece of scrap leather
paper for making your template
masking tape
a drill with a brad-point bit (I used a 5/32 bit - you could go a bit smaller, too)
large rhinestone for center
E6000 craft glue
needle nose pliers
2 jump rings (I like oval jump rings as they are less likely to pull open)
a clasp

1. Draw a template (or steal this one!). 

I simply sketched out the shape that I wanted for my collar then cut it out and held it up to my neck to make sure the sizing was right. If the shape is right but the size is a little off, scan your template into your computer and play with resizing it.

2. Using masking tape to hold your template to the leather, cut out two pieces.

. Now you're going to drill a hole in the leather so you can attach your chain. 

There are a number of ways to make your hole but the easiest to me is to use a drill and a brad-point bit - I used a 5/32 bit and it was kind of the perfect size. You could probably go a bit smaller, too.

(ignore the gold grommet in the photo - I originally intended on putting grommet in the collar's holes but decided against it. Putting grommets in will make the holes much more durable, though!)

(ignore the gold grommet in the photo - I originally intended on putting grommet in the collar's holes but decided against it. Putting grommets in will make the holes much more durable, though!)

Make a mark on the leather where you'd like the hole to go - careful not to put it too close to an edge.

Make sure you've got a surface you don't mind drilling into - I used an old wood shelf piece.

I found that drilling into the leather tended to pull and twist it which sometimes meant a wonky, or worse, a torn hole, so I taped my leather piece down to my wood to hold it in place and drilled just a bit to start the hole.

Then, once I got my hole started, I'd cover the area I was drilling with tape - pressing the tape into the hole so I could see where it was. Taping the whole area will really hold things together and ensure you don't end up with a torn hole.

Now drill hard! You'll know when you've make a clean hole and gotten through all the leather because bits of your wooden drill surface will shoot up like this:

4. Using E6000 craft glue, attach your big rhinestone center piece.

Squeeze a little glue out and carefully dab the glue on the back of the rhinestone.

Carefully align the leather over the top of the glue and press.

Allow to dry for at least 2 hours before handling to make sure your collar doesn't shift.

5. Attach your chain and clasp.

Hold your collar up to your neck and get a feel for long your back chain needs to be. I ended up needing about 1.5 inches of on each side.

Put a jump ring through each hole in your leather (I used oval rings so that the opening ends up being to the side and the leather is less likely to slip through it!) and then attach your chain with needle nose pliers.

Ta-da! Leathery goodness.

Stay tuned for new DIY tutorials each and every Wednesday here on the Houston Makerspace blog.

You can also follow my crafty exploits on my personal blog Now is Magic and via Twitter.

Happy making!


Copyright Houston Makerspace, LLC 2013.  Background images by Marisa Brodie and Alex Barber.