Crafts,  decorating

Framing Art With Scrap Leather Instead of Using a Mat

Why, yes!

I did use leather in another crafty home decor project.

Give me some scrap leather and I will come up with a host of ways to use it.

And in case you are wondering (you’re not, but let’s pretend), someone DID give me a stack of leather and said, “Maybe you can use this for a project or two.”

Challenge accepted!

This time I used a piece of leather instead of a picture frame mat for framing a piece of art.

Let’s not discuss the fact that I have scrap leather, but I don’t have an appropriately sized picture frame mat.

Nor am I willing to buy one, apparently.

I have used all sorts of things instead of mats for framing art: wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, fabric, burlap. And now leather.

The leather is my favorite though because of the subtle texture it provides.

Don’t the home decor experts always say you should add lots of texture to your home to make it look warm and inviting? It seems like something Joanna Gaines would say.

I’m pretty sure she wasn’t envisioning this exact project, but whatever.

All you have to do is cut your leather to size, put it in the frame and place your art on top of it. As you can see, it’s a super technical project that will take you approximately 33 seconds to complete. To be on the safe side, you’d better clear your schedule.

Depending on how tightly everything is squeezed into the frame, you may or may not need a dab of hot glue to keep your art in place on top of the leather. I feel like there’s a joke somewhere in that sentence, but I’m just going to leave it be.

I happened to have a piece of leather that fit inside this frame with a little trimming. What you can’t see is there is hole in the middle of the leather that is conveniently hidden behind the art. That’s partly why I’m calling this project a scrap leather project. I’m using piece of leather that might not have been useful for larger projects.

If you’re salvaging leather from a chair, a pair of boots (which I have done) or a jacket, don’t discount those imperfect or oddly shaped pieces of leather or faux leather. They can be used for all sorts of projects – like framing a piece of art!

Let’s discuss this art for a minute. It is actually a greeting card. It’s a map of Ireland made with idioms unique to that country. I bought it from a little shop in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, to send to a friend.

However, one of the sweet people I live with accidentally wrinkled the card before I got around to sending it. Normally this is the type of letter I’d send anyway and blame the wear and tear on the postal service.

“Oh good, your card arrived?! What’s that? It was wrinkled and looked like it had been run over by a truck? Huh. So curious. Must have been the post office.”

Yes, I’m terrible!

Perhaps my better judgment kicked in this time because I decided not to send the card. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it because cards are expensive and this one looked like art to me! I couldn’t throw it away and you know me…eventually I will think of a way to use it.

I decided to distract you from the wrinkle in the card by framing it with gorgeous navy-colored leather. It worked, didn’t it? I thought so.

The moral of this story is art may be waiting for you in your mailbox.

No, that’s not it.

All that’s waiting for me is the latest ValPak coupons and an incredible offer to switch cable providers. Never mind that we don’t even own a TV.

The moral of this story is if you don’t want people to look at your wrinkles, wear leather.

No, that’s not it either.

Besides. Those wrinkles are a sign that I have kids of a life well-lived.

I’ve got it this time!

The moral of this story is art may come from unexpected places and it’s okay to frame it however makes you happy!


For grins and giggles, here are some of the Irish expressions used on that card. We spent two years living in Ireland and some of these expressions we heard regularly and some we did not. 

Acting The Maggot – Behaving foolishly. Could also refer to something not running or working properly.

Soft Day – A term used to describe weather in Ireland when it is a cross between a mist and a drizzle. Handy Husband’s coworkers used this “soft day” phrase a lot.

Deadly Buzz – A good time. Unless it is used sarcastically, then it’s a very bad time. The Irish are good at using sarcasm.

Up the Yard! or Get Up the Yard! An expression of annoyance or disbelief. Sometimes it means “get lost!”

Hot Press – It’s the cabinet where the water heater is stored. There are often wood slats above the water heater where people hang clothes to dry. I showed you a picture of my hot press from our house in Ireland in this post.


If you thought Framing Art With Scrap Leather was fun, here are some other leather projects you might enjoy! 

Leather Map Made From A Pair of Old Boots

Leather Wrapped Rock Paperweight 

Is Buying a Leather Sofa From Amazon Really a Good Idea? 

DIY Leather Pumpkin

Easy DIY Leather Drawer Pulls  

DIY Leather Christmas Tree

I’m done, I swear. Well, for now.

But my next leather project idea is percolating in my head! Lucky you!

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