DIY Duotone Leather Utensil Sleeves

As we reflect on the importance of gratitude this month, we have rehearsal dinners and the special purpose behind them on the mind. Not just for going over what happens at the ceremony the next day, it's the perfect way to express your thanks to your closest loved ones for their love, support, and involvement in making your wedding day become a reality. Smaller and more intimate than a wedding reception, you can do a lot more to personalize your rehearsal dinner no matter your budget! Inspired by upcycling leather scraps, we have created a gorgeous way to "say thanks" for your place settings with these DIY duotone leather utensil sleeves. They're no sew and so easy to make that you'll want to reuse them again for Thanksgiving!

How to Make No-Sew Leather Utensil Sleeves

Difficulty Level: Easy
Color Inspiration: Navy Blue, White, and Copper

[for utensil sleeves]
• Computer/Laptop
• Pencil
Leather Scraps
E-6000 Craft Glue
• 1 - roll of Navy Blue Iron-On material
• Personal electronic cutting machine (e.g., Cricut)
Weeding Tool
Standard Grip Adhesive Cutting Mat
• Downloadable "From Our Grateful Hearts" Graphic
Iron or Cricut EasyPress
Ironing Board

[for table setting styling]
• Large White Geometric Pumpkin
• Glass Charger
Copper Flatware
• Dark Blue Fabric
• Navy Blue Napkins
• White Square Plates
• Copper Decoration Figures
• Hammered Copper Serving Pan
• Natural Beaded Charger
White Tea Light Candles

1. Lay out all of your materials. We'll first start with the leather.

Sourcing Tip: The best place to get leather scraps is from leather artisans who make bags and other leather products. They have swatch books for their work and never like things to go to waste! So support eco-friendly small business and reach out to your favorite leather artisan (like we did with Tahel Sadot Handbags and her now closed Etsy side shop.)

2. Since leather scraps can vary in size and shape, trim, cut, remove labels, or size down to your preferred size and arrange in preferred color theme. It doesn't matter if they are different in length size as long as the widths are the same. I recommend using a set of flatware to determine how long you want your folded utensil sleeves before any cutting or gluing happens!

3. Use a marker to make one dot on each edge where the base leather color will need to be glued to the "pocket-to-be" leather. To protect your table, put pieces of cardboard underneath your leather before doing any gluing. On the bottom "pocket-to-be" leather color (on the rough side), use your craft glue to create a square and an X on the inside. Place your base leather piece (smooth side up) on top of this glue shape and smooth out.

4. On the "pocket-to-be" leather, draw one glue line on the left side and then on the right side. Be sure not to put glue on the top and bottom! You've got to be able to put your flatware in there!

5. Carefully fold the bottom leather, create the pocket, and press down to the base leather. The E-6000 craft glue needs at least 24 hours to "cement" (aka cure) materials together, so place weighted objects on top of your utensil sleeves overnight.

6. After your utensil sleeves are ready to be personalized, download our FROM OUR GRATEFUL HEARTS graphic and upload into your personal electronic cutting machine software (I used my favorite and preferred Cricut Design Space for my iron-on decals!) and set up your iron-on material on the adhesive grip mat. Size your graphic between 3" to 4" wide depending on your leather scrap size.

Important Note: For iron-ons, you must make sure it is a mirror image before you cut, or it will iron-on backwards on your cozy! Your software should have the option clearly marked before cutting.

7. After you weed out the negative space on your freshly cut graphic, leaving only the words and circle, preheat your iron to the highest setting (such as Cotton) and set up your ironing board.

8. Place your cut graphic (shiny liner side-up) in the center of your utensil sleeve's pocket. Using the iron, press down over the shiny liner two or three times. Carefully lift the shiny liner to see if the iron-on material has transferred onto the leather. If it has not, replace the shiny liner and continue to apply heat to that area until the iron-on material removes itself cleanly and completely from the liner.

9. Let the leather cool and then place your flatware inside the pocket to see your thoughtful detail all finished!

Thanksgiving-Inspired Rehearsal Dinner Styling Tips

For any kind of rehearsal dinner, it's all about the experience, and you can make that experience special by personalizing little details and setting a thoughtful table. Since I'm a must-have-more-than-one-purpose kind of person, consider using a non-traditional color palette with autumnal metallics like copper or rose gold. By pairing the warm metallic with dark blue and contrasting white, it really helps set a beautiful tablescape... and most likely you might already have a ton of decor options around your house!

Instead of turkeys and cornucopias, you can still bring in those festive textures through your chargers and centerpiece details like bold geometric pumpkins and fun copper mushroom figures. Modern shapes and design elements help you bring a fresh spin on a traditional favorite!

- Chelsea

Photography, Design, and Styling: Chelsea LaVere | Leather Scraps: Etsy (update: shop now closed)

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