DIY Marbled Leather Coasters

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The holidays are in full swing, and if you’re anything like me, you’re scrambling around trying to figure out a last minute gift for friends & loved ones. This year, I decided to get messy and try out a project I’ve been itching to do for quite a while now! I love the marble trend that’s happening in home decor and the simplicity of veg tan leather, so combined both of them in this fun + simple DIY.

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What You’ll Need:

leather rounders
carrageenan
alum
acrylic leather paint
– shallow dish ( i used an old pyrex pie dish )
– spray bottle
plastic droppers
– toothpicks
method hand soap
– sink/water
– towel

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How To Make It:

The first step in marbling any kind of surface ( paper, fabric, wood, leather ) is creating a “size” (thick cellulose type solution) for the paint you’re working with to float on. I tried marbling with straight up water, and while it kind of works, the results are not as vibrant and the paint tends to sink rather than float like oil on water. The folks over at Dharma Trading are a great resource and have some useful tips if you end up having trouble, or would like to try a different marbling technique!

Step 1: In a blender, slowly add 1 TBS of carrageenan (seaweed derived gelling agent) to 3 cups of warm water and blend until fully dispersed. Pour mixture into a plastic container and let sit for at least 1 hour so that all the bubbles dissipate. If you are hand mixing, allow up to 12 hours for bubbles to settle and powder to dissolve.

Step 2: Dissolve 1 TSP of alum into a cup of warm water, then transfer into in a small spray bottle. Spray leather rounders to “pretreat” and let air dry. The alum helps the paint adhere to whatever surface you’re working with, so it’s an important step!

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Step 3: Pour carrageenan “bath” into a shallow pan or container, such as a pyrex dish (about 1/2″ – 1″ deep)

Step 4: Use a plastic dropper to drop in acrylic leather paint, then use a toothpick to help create a swirl, or pattern that you desire. Add in additional colors as desired, and repeat swirling motion with toothpick. This is where you can get creative! You can add in as many colors as you’d like, or stick with just one. Totally up to you! I stuck with two colors as I wanted to create a bright, yet simple marbling effect.

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Step 5: Once you are happy with a pattern that you’ve created, simply take your leather rounder and dip it flat into the bath, and slowly lift up. Voila! Don’t be afraid to experiment and get messy – have fun with it and let your creativity go wild!

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Step 6: You’ll notice that your newly marbled leather coaster is covered in paint + is a bit slimy. Let it sit for about 30 seconds, then gently rinse off the leather coaster with cool water. The process can get pretty messy, but I recommend using method hand soap to clean up when you are done. I love that their products are biodegradable, made from recycled materials and 100% recyclable. They’re also animal and human friendly. Plus, they come in such fun colors!

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This post was sponsored by method. All ideas + opinions expressed are my own as I love to create! Thank so much for supporting the brands that keep LA LOVETTA going!

 

Meet The Maker / 01: Melanie Abrantes

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Meet Melanie Abrantes. A designer and maker by trade, the bubbly Texas-native is one of Los Angeles’ rising talents – a real hidden gem! Trust me – she’s one to watch for! Charming, perpetually happy, and just a complete pleasure to be around – Melanie has an energy about her that translates into both her work and craftsmanship. The idea of quality and taking time to hand make something worthy of passing down through generations, is the premise behind her thoughtful creations. A true labor of love.

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Over the past year at the studio, I’ve watched Mel hone her skills in woodworking with the first cake stand that she made for a secret santa gift exchange, and now explorations into cork-based pieces – a material that has roots in her Portuguese heritage. After debuting her California Tree Series in Crafting Community’s One King’s Lane Artisanal Sale last year, Melanie is now selling her one-of-a-kind bowls, vases, planters and stands alongside local LA makers Hedley & Bennett and Dominik Woods on the much-coveted marketplace now through Jan 31st.

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1. As a product designer, what drew you to work with wood and cork as materials? I loved the look and feel of both materials. You get such rich colors in the grains of wood and such a simplicity in the cork. I am such a tangible person, and being drawn to the feel of an object is always something that entices me. I am also the first one to get kicked out of a museum because I always have the urge to touch the sculpture, I KNOW it’s wrong….but I cant help it!

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MelanieAbrantes_5 Continue reading

Design of Illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli

Oh hello there, boobies! This was my first reaction when I came across the illustration Olimpia Zagnoli did for 55DSL (shown above) as I scrolled through her portfolio the other day. I came across her work on none other than Pinterest and was immediately sucked into the bright colors and starkness of her shapes and overall design. It’s brilliant, right? Olimpia has collaborated with the best of the best brands and publications including The New York Times, Google, Levi’s and many more. Below are a few of my favorites but you can see more of her work + read her bio here. Needless to say, I am obsessed!

Decor 02 / 9 Best Minimal Modern Planters

1. BOSKKE Sky Planter Ceramic // 2. Jonathan Adler Okura Wide Mouth Planter //  3. Neon Air Plant Pot from Bird and Feather Co. on Etsy // 4. Geo Vase by Kelly Lamb // 5. Pik Vase from A+R // 6. Jonathan Adler Okura Tall Planter // 7.Yield Planter Box // 8. Nantucket Ceramic Planter from One King’s Lane // 9. Geometric Wooden Planter

During our weekly thrifting escapades last weekend we found a perfectly weathered Prince AHA Stool made by Philippe Starck for Kartell (that doubles as a planter) which got me on the search for new indoor plant holders for our bungalow. I’ve been housing a few air plants + reviving several succulents on the kitchen windowsill – and happy to say that some will need permanent homes soon! From table to ceiling, here are 9 of my favorite minimal planter finds for the modern home.

 

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