How to Make Leather Earrings {+ 3 Free Templates}

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Have you been seeing all those cute leather earrings everyone’s obsessing over?

You know, the ones made famous by a certain HGTV star (cough…Joanna Gaines…cough).

Were you thinking “I bet I could make those”?  You’re absolutely right, you totally can!

And you can make them WITHOUT a Cricut Maker!

DIY leather earrings are really simple to make with the right tools and a little know-how. 

Plus a free printable template never hurts!  

Now don’t get me wrong, I love using my Cricut Maker to cut leather.  It makes cutting earrings a breeze, especially if you’re making more than one pair at a time. 

But you can totally do it without one, so if you aren’t on the Cricut train, don’t let that stop you!

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make three different types of trendy leather earrings from start to finish without a Cricut. 

I’m offering a free printable template with the three different earring shapes in two sizes each as an added bonus!

You’ll find the link to download the file in the supply section below.

Before we start, I wanted to answer some commonly asked questions about DIY leather earrings.

(This post contains affiliate links. If you click one and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Find out more here. Thank you for your support!)

Can you make these earrings using the Cricut Maker?

Absolutely!

I wrote a post (click here to open it in another window) previously all about cutting leather with the Cricut Maker, and there’s a link to the free SVG version of these earrings in that article that you can upload to Design Space.  

In this post, I’m linking to a PDF printable template for subscribers, so everyone can make some awesome leather earrings, Cricut Maker or not.

What are some other machines for cutting leather?

One popular (albeit pricey, but for good reason) option is the Glowforge.

The Glowforge is a 3D laser printer that can cut leather and wood (plus tons of other materials) and engrave on just about anything. One of these bad boys is on my wish list.

Another reliable (and more affordable) option for cutting large amounts of leather earrings is a manual die cutting machine.

Many different die shapes are available online and you can even get custom designs made.

You can cut faux leather and other materials with one of these as well. They use steel plates and force to press the dies down through the material, sort of like a heavy-duty cookie cutter.

In addition to cutting, this machine can also emboss designs on leather.

If you plan on making and selling leather earrings, keychains, or even wallets and other leather accessories, one of these machines would be a great investment in your business.

How big are these leather earrings?

I made two sizes for each shape. 

The Folded Petal style comes in 2.5” and 3”, the Bar style comes in 2” and 2.5”, and the Teardrop comes in 2” and 2.5”.

Here’s me wearing the three I made for this tutorial for reference.

finished DIY leather earrings example

Where can I get leather for making earrings?

For this tutorial, I used leather I bought at Abe Leather, Frogjelly Leather and from The Leather Guy

You can also find a limited selection of leather for crafting at local craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels.

You can find a whole post talking about where to buy leather for jewelry and crafts here

Where can I get the earring hooks, jump rings, jewelry making pliers, leather hole punch to make these leather earrings?

You can find all the tools needed for this project on Amazon or your local craft store. 

In the supply list below you’ll find affiliate links that will lead you to all the necessary equipment.

Ok, now let’s get down to business!

Supplies You’ll Need

How to Make DIY Leather Earrings: Tutorial

Gather Your Supplies

Print out your leather earring template. 

You can either get the free one I made or draw them by hand.  Cut out the shapes you need from the template.

Choose the piece of leather you want to use and lay it face up on your self-healing mat.

leather i used for these DIY leather earrings

Let’s start with the Teardrop-shaped earring.  I’m going to use the pretty patterned leather in the middle for this one.

DIY Teardrop Leather Earrings

Cut Out The Leather Earring Shapes

Put the cut out earring template on the leather and carefully outline the template with a pen. 

Outlining template on leather

Make two of each shape so you end up with a pair instead of just one!

Outline the other leather earring

Very carefully, cut the leather with the Exacto knife.  Don’t try to cut all the way through in one cut. You’ll get much better results if you make several passes with your knife and concentrate on cutting nice and straight.

Cutting out leather earring with exacto knife

If your leather is thicker it’ll take more passes.  

Tip: If you’re using thin leather and it’s stretchy, apply painters tape or contact paper to the back of the leather before cutting it.  This will keep it from stretching all over the place and make it easier to cut.

Punch the Holes

Once you have both of your shapes cut, lay the template back on top and mark the spot for the hole. 

Mark the hole with the template

Grab your leather hole punch and set it on the smallest size punch setting.

leather hole punch

Punch a hole in the spot you marked.

Punch hole with leather hole punch
After punching the hole in DIY leather earring

You may notice that the sides and back of your earring shape are hairy looking at this point.  We can fix this!

unfinished leather earrings

Burnishing the Leather

Grab your bottle of Gum Tragacanth. 

gum tragacanth

Get a small amount on a cotton swab (or your finger) and spread it onto the back and edges of the leather.  Try to avoid getting it on the front side.

applying gum tragacanth
applying gum tragacanth

To smooth it down further, use the edge of a bone folder or a wooden spoon to rub back and forth briskly against the sides and back of the earring.  

burnishing the sides of leather earrings
burnishing back of leather earrings

This is called burnishing and the more you keep at it, the smoother it will get.

You can get really into this and make it super smooth but for this tutorial, I’m just concerned with getting rid of the hairiness.

Add the Hardware

Once you’re happy with the way it looks, it’s time to add the hardware.

earring with hardware

For this pair, I used a jump ring and ear hook. I used a 6 mm jump ring in this example.

If the loop on the ear wire is facing the wrong direction like mine was, carefully use your pliers to twist it around.

Twisting earring hook hole around
Before and after twisting the ear hook loop for leather earrings

Open your jump ring with the jewelry pliers. Make sure to twist it open and not pull it apart so it doesn’t become misshapen.

twist open the jump ring

Thread one end through the hole in the earring. Thread the ear hook onto the jump ring also.

thread jump ring through earring

Carefully close the jump ring with the pliers.

Earring with hardware attached

Repeat the process for the other earring.

Ta-da!

Completed DIY leather earrings

Pat yourself on the back, you just made a pair of DIY leather earrings!

DIY Leather Bar Earrings

The procedure is the same for the Bar-shaped earring, but let’s quickly run through it once more so you can see how it looks with a different type of leather. 

I’m using a thicker oil-tanned leather this time.

Cutting out the leather earring
Carefully cut out the leather earring shape
Marking where to punch the hole for leather earrings
Mark where to punch the hole.
Hole mark bar leather earring
Hole marked
punching hole in leather earring
Punch the hole
Apply gum tragacanth and burnish bar shaped leather earrings
Add Gum Tragacanth and burnish if desired
Adding jump ring and hook to leather earring
Add hardware
Another hook option
Here’s a different ear hook option that’s even easier
Finished with different hooks bar leather earrings
Finished earrings showing different hook options

Alright, now you have two pairs!

DIY Pinched Petal Leather Earrings

Let’s move onto a slightly more complicated one, the Pinched Petal.

Wearing DIY leather folded petal style earrings

All the steps are the same, except your going to punch two holes instead of one and attaching the ear hook is a bit different.

Cut the earring shapes out of your leather. I recommend a thinner leather for these because it’s tricky to fold the thicker stuff.

Mark and punch your holes, and now we’re ready to assemble them.

Holes punch in folded petal leather earrings

To attach the hardware, pinch the earring together and line up the holes.

Pinch leather earring together and line up the holes

Open the jump ring and thread it through both holes.

Opening up jump ring to thread through holes of leather earring

Thread the earring hoop onto the jump ring and then close it up with the pliers.

Insert ear hook through jump ring
Closing jump ring leather earrings

Finished!

Finished DIY pinched petal leather earrings

You just made three different pairs of trendy DIY leather earrings! 

Besides upgrading your outfit, these earrings make awesome gifts.

They’re also a great item to make and sell. 

If you’re planning on cranking several of these at once, I seriously recommend looking into a Cricut Maker.  It can cut several pairs at once very accurately while you work on something else!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! 

Let me know down below in the comments if you have any questions or comments.

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How to Make Leather Earrings | DIY Tutorial + Free Printable Templates

2 thoughts on “How to Make Leather Earrings {+ 3 Free Templates}”

    1. It’s totally fine if you sell the items you make, just don’t sell the template itself and make a mention that you got the template from Marchingnorth.com. Thanks and I hope you sell a bunch!!

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