Friends, friends, friends. Many of you might consider me a DIY person and while I love some DIY and I’m not incompetent (i’m sorry but have you not seen my 4-h state ribbon collection?), I have some friends that are wildly better at it. So, with my collaboration, the very lovely Stephanie Todaro came up with some projects that we styled and shot together to share with y’all. (Shot by the lovely Tessa Neustadt).
This first one involves copper and leather – two of my most favorite and on trend materials for 2014. Plus there is a Bearcat modeling in this post which guarantees it to be a big old hit. Thanks, Steph!
As of late, I’ve seen so many wonderful pieces with leather weaving. I’m a fan as much as the next girl, so I thought it would be fun to try and recreate the look in a custom side table with copper detailing.
This project will definitely take up a couple hours of your time, but I think the end result is well worth the DVRing of Shahs of Sunset….err…I mean 60 Minutes.
Here’s what you’ll need…
- Approx. 3-4 yards leather piece or pieces (I decided to hit up a local discount leather store scrap bin in downtown LA and found some great pieces. I recommend finding one near you or checking out your local fabric store.)
- 13-15 ft copper piping (we used 2 – 3/4” diameter, 10ft metal pipes found at Home Depot and cut them down to size with a tube cutter)
- 8 copper cross-bar connection pieces
- 8 copper corner connection pieces
- tube cutter
- Gorilla glue
- x-acto knife
- cutting mat
- paint matching the color of your leather
1. Measure out the appropriate lengths for each section of tubing and cut with the tube cutter.
*HELPFUL HINT: You can really make this table to any size you like. But if you would like to follow my exact proportions to create a small side table, here are the dimensions:
2. Once all of your pieces are cut, assemble them using the connection pieces. (See detailed graphic below) NOTE: You will have to disassemble portions of the top section to fit the leather pieces on…so no gluing yet.
3. Take your leather pieces and start cutting them into 1” strips (or as thick as you like) to appropriate length. NOTE: Make sure to leave an additional 3” on either end of your strip for looping around.
*If you are following the measurements of the table I made, you will have 4 – approx. 24” long strips going longest-side across and 11 – approx. 18” long strips going shortest-side across. You are going to want the leather to stretch tightly across the top, so be sure to accommodate to get that taught look.
4. After cutting all of your strips, start creating the loops that will hold the strips to the pipe by folding over one end (approx 3”) of your leather strip around and lying flat on the cutting mat.
5. Then with your x-acto knife, cut a tiny X in the center of your folded section (the goal is to create a hole for your grommet to fit through both sides of the now folded section).
6. Put your grommet in place and secure with a hammer.
7. Repeat on all ends of every strip.
8. Once all of your leather strips have loops created on either end, you can start to place on the copper piping. (This is where the disassembling begins.)
9. As you begin sliding each strip into place, keep in mind the weaving pattern and continue to re-assemble the table top as you go.
*HELPFUL HINT: You will have to be a bit forceful with the shifting and nudging of the leather to get it to stretch taught across the table top, so don’t be afraid to put some elbow grease into it.
10. After all of the leather strips are in place, you can trim any excess leather from the bottom fold and start to paint the grommets in the same color as your leather – totally optional. If you like the look of your silver, brass or gold grommets, by all means let those grommets shine!
11. Once you are happy with the look of your tabletop, attach the top to the bottom legs by dabbing some Gorilla glue on the interior of the attaching connection pieces. This will keep things in place.
12. Go ahead and shine that copper up with a homemade polish of white vinegar, water and salt.
13. Finally, set your side table in your desired location, adorn with your favorite trinkets and admire from afar.
Stephanie Todaro is a Midwest-bred, West coast-raised, globetrotting gal who spends her days running a creative digital agency in Los Angeles. She recently opened up a small wood shop, Maker Made, with her dad where they handcraft simple and rustic items for the home and garden. In her time off, Stephanie likes to craft, blog about her pup, Mr. Harvey, and roam the streets of LA looking for inspiration and marvelous things to photograph.
All photos by Tessa Neustadt testtest