I did a thing! : How I hand-painted my leather backpack.

Small weekend projects are great. I made a soft goal to try to do at least one small creative task a week and this particular project was a quick and easy one to tackle.

I started googling instructions on how to paint leather at 11:30pm on a Friday and then finished at 2am, so only about 2.5 hours worth of work (if not less). This fun project is super simple, straight forward, and I was able to get caught up on all my podcasts while I worked. This was also possible because I had all the materials on hand already with the exception of the matte varnish to seal in the design and protect it from cracks and scratches. I picked that up the following day at my local craft store.

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Step One: Determine: design, color, size, placement and lightly mark the guidelines on backpack. I used a yellow and white milky pen because they were nice and opaque against the red leather, but I could wipe it off after with a damp paper towel and it didn’t stain or leave traces.
Step Two: Print out design on paper, cut to shape, trace and transfer design onto backpack with the milky pen.
Step Three: Paint design with acrylic in very thin layers. Start with lightest color first, and build up layers as you go. I simply used the cheap bottles of craft acrylic from the craft store. These worked out better because they are fairly watered down which allows you to build up really thin layers. If you use acrylic that is too thick you might run the risk of the paint cracking and chipping later.
Step Four: After paint is completely dry, wipe off guidelines with damp rag. Now only the painted design is left.
Step Five: Paint over design area with a few light layers of matte varnish. Let cure.

Wear it out and enjoy!