Create Your Own Badge With Leather and Beads

John Bead Beaded and Leather Badges!

Earlier this year we shared some images of the “make and take” project John Bead presented at the winter trade shows.  These leather and bead badges were very popular so we are sharing our step by step with you.


Color has meaning and we chose to focus on five unique palettes.


The leather badge was created utilizing tooling leather for the shaped background and leather sheets for the stripe.

Leather sheets  Tooling Leather

We have attached the PDF created by our Marketing department so you can make your own.


Leather Badges template


It is helpful to have a leather punch so you can make holes for the pins to go through.


We also provided some leather crafting tools so that the leather edges received some detailing.  This is the leather edge beveler.


Each badge featured one of these kilt pins.  There are three open spots to hang an embellishment or charm on.


Beads we have an abundance of!  We provided a selection of gorgeous Czech glass beads for our make and takes along with eye pins and jump rings.  We think everyone really enjoyed creating their own bead charms/dangles.  We also had some tiny metal spacers available for anyone wanting to add some metallic shimmer.


Although we had a color palette for inspiration we noticed quite quickly that some participants wanted to select their own colors.  That worked out really well too!


We also gave our participants one more opportunity to embellish their pins since there was a little extra space available before setting the kilt pin onto the leather badge.


I think the extra beads made the top look extra special.


This is an easy make and take to set up.  It is a great way to use up smaller beads and leftovers.  We hope you enjoy making your own badges, with and without, a leather badge background.  The kilt pins are perfect for all awareness campaigns.

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New Leather Works Tools – The Punches

This is the leather hole punch tool that cuts these oblong shapes in leather.

This is the .5 inch oblong punch.  It is also available as .75 linked here and 1inch linked here

The round hole punch is one that you will use all the time in leather making projects.

The round punch is available in 3/32, 5/32, 1/8, 3/16, 13/64, and 1/4 inches wide.

Leather Works is our newest Metal Complex collection.  We’ll be showing you all the components, leathers and tools over the next few weeks.

Fish Leather Is Here!


Just when you thought you saw it all, Metal Complex’s Second Skin’s  100% Tilapia Fish Leather hits the do-it-yourself market!

This groundbreaking and sustainable material Second Skin  is perfect for making bracelets, necklaces, earrings, shoes, and all kinds of leather goods rich in texture.

There are 10 fantastic fashion colors in leather and suede and they work beautifully teamed with Ultra Suede Brass Cuffs, and Bezels.

Brass Cuffs 

When purchasing any type of leather including our Second Skin Fish Leather, make sure you have the best Leather Scissors that provides a clean and professional cut.

Leather Scissors

How To Use The New Metal Punches

This beaded metal blank only took minutes to craft using my new metal punch pliers from John Bead.

Earlier this week I introduced you to the four new punches.

Each plier comes with an extra set of tips.  In my mind, it is these tips that make these punches so effective.  The angle on the cutting tip goes through metal as though it was paper.

All you do is hold the plier horizontally and with your hand pressure you will punch through the metal.

I have a metal punch from a competitor and I always had to apply a lot more pressure to make my hole.  It often bent my metal blank.  With these new pliers I had to remind myself NOT to apply as much force….the holes were made so easily.

Here are three metal blanks (24 ga) each sporting 5 holes: square, circular and oval.  I would not have even attempted this in the past since making holes is not my favorite chore. Now I won’t hesitate to make wired charms!

You may be wondering how I got some extra designs onto my metal blanks.   As an extra step, I also decided to experiment with a DecoEtch die available in retail stores on the market.

I applied a little black gilders paste to my etched designs so they would be more visible.

Metal Punch Pin!

Yesterday’s blog post introduced you to the new hand held metal punches in the Metal Complex family of tools.  This little pin shows you how easy it is to add square, oval and circle punches to a metal blank.

My studio is filled with the Metal Complex product line.  For this small project I used Brass Oval Blanks (24 ga), bench block, hammer for letter punches, the three new plier hole punches (square, oval and circle) and some findings.

The metal alphabet I used I discovered the last time I shopped in the warehouse.  It is a new one: Storybook 3mm Uppercase.  I marked my metal blank and then stamped the letters with my hammer.

I applied pinotage gilders paste to my blanks to make the lettering pop.

Isn’t this alphabet gorgeous?  I wanted you to see how great the lettering is!  And look at the square punch!

My final steps were to add the rhinestone beads to my finished blanks.  I attached them with jump rings  to my gold 3 loop kilt pin.

Metal Punches – Square, Oval and Circles!

The Metal Complex Tool Section has just expanded!  Let me introduce you to the new metal punches(one of four not shown) They are made of carbon steel and the ergonomically designed handle is crafted for durability and comfort.

There is a square punch – it makes these cool 1.5 mm shaped punches.

There is a 1.7 oval!  Isn’t this shape fantastic?

Finally, there are two circle punches 1.25 and 1.8 mm.

These tools easily punch through copper, silver and brass 24 gauge metal.  Each Metal Complex Punch Pro comes with and extra pin set, so it you do a lot of punching and wear out your shaped tips, you can replace them.  You can even buy the extra tips individually packed.  My samples were made using Metal Complex copper blanksHave you seen the dozens of shapes and sizes in the metal blank section?  The choices are endless.

To make my samples, I simply held my pliers horizontally and applied pressure to punch my hole.  It was very easy.  The back of the blank was virtually clean, but I will take a little sander to the back to make sure their are no metal burs.

Now that I have tested the punches I plan to make a sample using the punches and metal stamp alphabets!  Stay tuned!

Metal Complex Personalized Butterfly Sentiment

Yesterday I introduced you to the world of Metal Complex metal blanks, metal alphabet punches and tools.  Here is a little sample to get you started thinking about personalizing your own metal blanks.

Metal blanks come in all shapes and sizes in the Metal Complex line.  One of the first blanks I chose to work with is the 24g Brass Butterfly.

Lots of people have different tips on how to get your words or letters punched into the metal.  I like to just use a charcoal pencil or marker to make some spacing dots.  Others might use a a little masking tape to create a straight line.  I am a pretty good at eyeballing my lettering.

In order to impress a letter (there are several alphabet punch sets to choose from) into the metal you need a chasing hammer, which does all the work.  One strike with the hammer on the bench block and you get a very deep impression.  I choose the sentiment: ” I Will Always Love You.”

The metal hole punch made my holes for me.

See how it punches out the perfect little disk?

Then I set about colouring my butterflies.  This makes them my own.  First, I added lots of colour to the letter impressions with Iris Blue Gilders Paste.

Then I covered the butterfly (being careful not to go into the blue lettering) with Inca Gold Gilders Paste.

Then a final coat of Silver Gilders Paste.  Now I have a completely personalized set of butterflies.   I choose to make them a grouping on a necklace.  I have so many different ideas I want to try out though!

Have You Seen Metal Complex?

There are some fabulous new tools and products in the John Bead catalog.  Metal Complex is the reason I have created these pretty leaf pendants.

The metal alphabet punches in the Metal Complex collection are the stars of this special blog post.

Alphabet punches are getting more and more popular.  They allow you to create your own names, sentiments or patterns on what would ordinarily be a blank piece of metal.  For this project I used a strip of metal to practice on and then three Metal Complex Leaf blanks.  The blanks are 24 gauge brass.  They are also available in copper and German silver.  The chasing hammer does all the work.  One strike with the hammer on the bench block and you get a very deep impression.

I used a charcoal pencil to write my sentiment on the blank.  It made it easier to see where I would be punching and I knew that the words would fit.

The metal hole punch made my holes for me.

Just a few twists with the tool and a perfect hole can be had!

Then the fun began.  I pulled out my Gilders Paste and choose a group of colours I wanted to work with.

I added dark colour into the letter impressions and then lighter colours around them.

I let these dry for 12 hours and then I applies a matte lacquer coating.  I hope you are inspired to start working with punches!

Stay tuned for many more posts about metal stamping!