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DIY Faux Leather Earrings Using Hobby Lobby Faux Leather Ribbon

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It was very tempting to title this post “The Blog Post That Almost Wasn’t” or “Conquering the Hobby Lobby Faux Leather Ribbon (sort of)”. But I’m a stubborn persevering gal, and I was determined not to let an 8″ x 24″  piece of polyester defeat me. Let me explain…

Earlier this year, I wrote a tutorial on DIY Faux Leather Earrings using your Silhouette Cameo or Portrait. In that post I compared three different types of faux leather and declared the Hobby Lobby faux leather ribbon difficult to work with. I haven’t changed my mind about that and, in fact, am even more convinced that I prefer faux leather that can be purchased by the yard or Silhouette Leatherette Sheets.

But because the Hobby Lobby faux leather ribbon comes in an array of beautiful colors, I really wanted to see if I could make it work. After lots of trial and error, I did manage to make a couple of pairs of earrings from it and today I’m sharing the tips and tricks I learned along the way.

Pros and Cons of Hobby Lobby Faux Leather Ribbon

First, let’s discuss the pros and cons of using this material in conjunction with your Silhouette projects.

Pros:

  • Comes in a variety colors
  • Low cost. Often on sale for 50% off, or can be purchased using one of Hobby Lobby’s weekly coupons.

Ribbon Boutique Faux Leather

Cons:

Trial and (Lots of) Error

Before I started testing various theories of what might work with the faux leather ribbon, I tried to cut it just like the faux leather I usually use to make earrings, using a fabric blade and a mat that I had on hand which had been used a couple of times. Due to it’s stretchy nature, the material buckled and came loose from the mat right away.

Faux Leather Ribbon

It stayed in position better when I used a brand-new mat, but the stretch caused some distortion and the faux leather was still too thick to cut all the way through using a regular blade.

Faux Leather Earrings

Faux Leather Ribbon
Faux leather is scored on the top but not cut all the way through.

So I switched to the Deep-Cut Blade.

I cut from the front…

Faux Leather Ribbon

Faux Leather Ribbon

…and the back,

DIY Faux Leather Earrings

DIY Faux Leather Earrings

but still could not achieve clean cuts with the fine detail I wanted.

Faux Leather Ribbon Earrings

The next step was to try to stabilize the fabric and cut down on the “fuzzies” caused by the fleece backing. I tried self-adhesive embroidery stabilizer, freezer paper, and contact paper – none of which worked.

By this time, I had used up my roll of brown faux leather and had switched to a roll of gold. Notice the difference in the backing. The gold was also thicker than the brown.

Ribbon Boutique Faux Leather

As a last resort, I ironed on a piece of HeatnBond Ultrahold to the back of the faux leather ribbon. I was afraid that the polyester material would melt under the heat of my iron, but to my surprise it performed very well!

Faux Leather Ribbon with Heat n Bond Ultra

Because of the thickness of the faux leather ribbon, I placed the material to be cut in the very center of my mat to avoid the left and right rollers. I also chose to use less-detailed designs (a simple teardrop and oval) and eliminate the hole for the earwire.

Faux Leather Ribbon

SUCCESS!

Faux Leather Earrings with Heat N Bond

Cut settings used:
Blade Depth:
20     Speed: 2     Force: 33     Passes: 3
Line Segment Overcut: ON

The combination of using the HeatnBond stabilizer along with multiple passes resulted in almost no “fleece fuzzies” left behind. Two passes cut the earring shape, but three passes were even better. Once the Silhouette was finished cutting, I definitely had markings on my mat but, in my opinion, this was a small price to pay for achieving such a clean cut. (Remember: always perform a test cut!)

Finishing the Earrings

The remaining adhesive from the HeatnBond leaves a shiny finish on the back of the earrings. Depending on the color of the faux leather ribbon’s backing, you may choose to leave them as-is. I prefer a more finished look, so I tried two different methods to create a backing. First, I ironed two pieces of the faux leather ribbon together. The earrings looked nice but were rather thick, much like a piece of fun-foam, so I decided to try fabric. I used my Silhouette to cut a mirror image of the earring shape from a cute cotton print and then ironed it on to the back of the faux leather ribbon.

Faux Leather Earrings

To add the hole for the earwire, I used a tool that came in a scrapbooking toolkit I’ve had for years. It worked perfectly! You can find a similar kit here or use another tool such as an awl or a pair of punch pliers.

DIY Faux Leather Earrings

A set of double-j earwires from Craft Chameleon provided the finishing touch (and were so much easier to use than jump rings!).

Faux Leather Earrings

While I still prefer the faux leather that I can buy by the yard, I’m glad to have another option to use when creating earrings. Finding the right combination of cut settings and techniques to use with the Hobby Lobby faux leather ribbon was a bit frustrating and time-consuming, but worth the effort in the end. Here’s a summary of what I learned:

Recap

  • Choose designs that are large and do not include fine details
  • Use a new mat and blade
  • Stabilize with Heat ‘n Bond Ultrahold.
  • Place material to be cut in the center of the mat.
  • Always, always, ALWAYS perform a Test Cut!
  • Manually add the hole for the earwire.

Have you tried making your own earrings? If so, what materials have you used? There are SO many possibilities! Leave me a comment below or come join my Facebook group and share your thoughts.

Until next time,

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28 Comments

  1. I finally put clear contact paper in my mat sticky side up. Works good and just throw it away when you’re finished.

  2. I normally do not like reading blogs but you don’t put any unnecessary stuff in yours. You get to the point and are very detailed. I just love it! Anyway, my experience with HL faux leather has been so defeating today. I literally prayed to God every time I sent it through my silhouette. I used deep cut blade finally at 19, force 33, speed 1, passes 2. On the cheetah print, it worked beautifully. My problem is the faux leather adhering to the mat long enough to cut. The last 2-3 times it ended up getting caught behind the bar. I did use a stencil to hand cut a couple but I don’t want to do that a lot. Lol. I also did double sided, I like the finished look but hate the bulkiness. You should try the cheetah print one, when you can. The backing us much better or at least it was for me! I’m going to try the heatnbond and HTV maybe… just to get rid of this material. Will certainly try it out by the yard.

    1. Hi Hope! I can certainly relate to your feelings of defeat. Kudos to you for sticking with it. About the only thing I can recommend is to use a very sticky mat and adhere the faux leather firmly, securing with painter’s tape if needed. You might even try putting contact paper on your mat (sticky side up) and adhering the faux leather to that. I appreciate the suggestion about the cheetah print. I’ll have to give it a try!

  3. I’m struggling with keeping the faux leather glued together. The Glues I’ve tried make the earrings really thick or not stick at all . I don’t like the white fuzzy backs and was trying to figure out a quick method to covering the backs . I like it to match the front of the earrings. Any suggestions on a permanent glue to keep the faux leather together? Thank you
    Veronica

    1. Hi Veronica! Have you tried the Xyron adhesive? It’s very thin and adheres quite well. If it’s not sticking to the backing, try burnishing the top of the earring before you peel it away from the adhesive. As for thickness, I’ve found that some of the Hobby Lobby faux leather ribbon is really thick and I don’t like how it looks with a double layer. I do, however, like adding a piece of coordinating fabric using HeatnBond. Hope this helps!

    2. Hey there! I’m new to making all the faux leather earrings too. But instead of trying to glue 2 pieces of it together, or trying to add glue and fabric…ive been taking my scraps of htv and heat pressing the colors I need or want to the fuzzy side of the faux leather 1st and then cutting the earrings out, which has worked extremely well for me. I also use a strong grip mat and a blade from miss Kate’s cuttables that I found on Amazon bc the faux leather was ruining my silhouette blades pretty quickly w only a few cuts. So I only use the blade I got from Amazon on the faux leather material only and use my regular auto blade for vinyls so they last longer. I hope this helps u out if u choose to do it the way I did. Happy crafting!

        1. I used an iron for the HeatnBond and followed the manufacturer’s directions. I used a heat press for HTV, pressing for only 2-3 seconds at 305 degrees. Full details are in the post I linked in my above comment. Hope this helps!

      1. I’ve used HTV for other faux leather earrings and I think it’s certainly worth a try! Just make sure it’s HTV and not adhesive vinyl.

  4. I have now it about 100 pairs of earrings. I too don’t care for the fuzzy back on them and I find them extremely light in weight. After finishing a few pairs with the jump rings and hooks I tried some on myself. I can’t say I like how they hang as they are so light weight. I’m not sure if customers would be happy with the way they hang..if anyone has any ideas I’d love to hear from you.
    Tyvm
    Colleen

    1. Hi Colleen! Thanks for your comment. A lot of people really like the larger earrings, so it helps for them to be lightweight. Personally, I wear mine much smaller but I don’t have a problem with how they hang. It’s really all personal preference!

  5. Hobby Lobby sucked me in with the pretty colors and 50% off! After a few hours and a trip to Michaels (since Hobby Lobby was closed by this time) for a new cutting mat and deep cutting blade – only to realize I have an older cameo which does not work with the deep cutting blade…I MADE A PAIR OF EARRINGS!!! Heck, I made 5!!! How did I do it you ask? Cardstock and scissors!! 😏 I had already cut out my design on cardstock so I used it as a stencil, grabbed my fabric scissors and was pleasantly surprised at how well it cut. Now to buy double-j earwires so I can eliminate those jump rings! 😉

    1. Oh, I know that was disappointing to find out the Deep Cut blade wouldn’t work with your machine :(. But kudos to you for still finding a way to make earrings!

  6. Hi – what are you using to glue the leathers or the leather/fabrics together if you don’t have a fancy adhesive machine?

    1. Hi Susie! I’ve tried some liquid adhesive but I didn’t like it because it seeped out the edges, so I’ve stuck with the Xyron (no pun intended!). The Xyron sticker maker works well for smaller earrings (1.5″ wide or so) and they also make a 5 inch model. Both of those are substantially less expensive than the 9 inch Xyron.

  7. Did you end up needing the deep cut blade or did you use your regular ratchet blade? I also thought about using a fabric blade, I’m not sure if the differences. Thanks for your help, i can’t wait to try with the heat n bond!

    1. Hi Jessie! When I cut the Hobby Lobby faux leather ribbon I needed the deep-cut blade. When I cut the faux leather that I mentioned in my other post (https://caughtbydesign.com/2018/01/11/faux-leather-earring-tutorial/), I was able to use a regular blade. My preference is the premium blade, but the Autoblade or ratchet blade will work too. The fabric blade is identical to the ratchet blade except for color. Thanks for your question and I hope the HeatnBond works well for you!

  8. Hi, I just cut some of these yesterday with my 5 year old cameo. Ratchet blade 10, pressure 33, 4 passes. Cleaned up edges with Xacto knife, scissors. And a flame from a lighter to burn off fuzzy stuff. Lots of trial and error, was about to give up but really, really wanted to make these. Going to try the heat and bond method. Thanks for your info.

    1. That’s good info Peggy! I never like having to use an x-acto to clean up the cut edges, but in this case it does allow you to use the older model Cameo (or Portrait), which is a plus. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Thanks so much for this Lycia. I have been struggling with this hobby lobby material for weeks. I just thought I didn’t know what I was doing which was actually true. I had started putting vinyl on the back. Glad to hear about the heat and bond. I have ordered faux leather from art of folding fabric on etsy but it has not come in yet. Did not think about looking into getting some from silhouette. Thanks so much.

    1. You’re welcome Serita! If you can find some faux leather at either a fabric store or Walmart, you should try it out. I’m also thinking about teaching an earring class locally that you might be interested in.

  10. Thanks for this. I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to cut earrings using the HL brand ribbon and like you have had issues. I will give it another try using your tips

    1. You’re welcome Linda. The faux leather ribbon is so pretty and I really WANT it to work, but it just doesn’t cooperate. When Silhouette releases their new kraft blade later on this year, I’ll give that a try as well. I’d love to know if you have success or find anything else that helps!

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