It’s Monthly DIY Challenge day!! The girls and I teamed up with the Leather Hide Store this month to work with the classic home decor material, leather, and also have a fun giveaway for one lucky reader to win some leather for their own project!
I’ve never worked with leather, other than making a leather bookmark with my name back in elementary school which was awesome, so I was looking forward to playing with it for this challenge. I had grand dreams of making a stitched pillow cover but considering I have yet to successfully use a sewing machine for basic fabric, I figured leather’s not a smart thing to practice on.
So, loving all things monogram, I decided to make a large-scale monogram “M” for the husband to take to his office. Leather and nailheads are always a good combo and always a cool masculine vibe.
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Supplies for Nailhead Leather Monogram
- large monogram to trace
- sharp scissors
- furniture nails – I used about 125
- 1″x4″ boards cut into five 20″ segments (or however big you want yours to be)
- wood stain – I used this gray
- miter saw, jigsaw, or hand saw
We teamed up with the Leather Hide Store and got to choose a piece from their HUGE selection of leather upholstery to use in our project. I wanted a leather that had more of a rustic, soft finish to keep with the slight distressed look I wanted the sign to have so I chose one from their Original Upholstery Collection. The piece had such a beautiful finish to it and was the perfect thickness for this project, not too thick and not too thin.
How to Make A Nailhead Leather Monogram
You can trace any sort of monogram you have, or print one out on thicker cardstock if needed. I had this wooden “M” covered in corks that a friend of mine made us for our wedding which happened to be the perfect size and font style for my sign.
I placed the letter face down on the backside of the leather then traced it using a piece of chalk. I started with the disappearing ink pen shown in the pic above but couldn’t see that on the hide so the chalk worked much better.
Using good quality scissors, I cut my monogram out as straight as I could. Good thing about the nails, they’ll cover up most of the edge so it doesn’t have to be perfect :)
To make the wooden back, I cut a couple 8′ pieces of 1″x4″ lumber from my stash into five 20″ sections with my miter saw then used my favorite technique for getting an old, distressed look on new lumber. Once they were dry, I just screwed a couple more sections onto the back of them. You could also use pocket holes but I was too lazy.
I centered the monogram on the boards then started nailing my nails from the center of the “M” out. It takes a little bit of patience/precision to get the nails to start going in but once they do it’s just a couple more hits and they’re down. This was also my first experience with furniture nails and while I LOVE the look, I’ll definitely measure out the spacing before starting. I was also too lazy to do that here and there’s some areas that got a little wonky, but luckily you can only tell if you look closely (don’t look too closely…)
I worked from the center out to make sure the leather stayed nice and flat with no ripples or bumps and tried to lay them out in a section first to make sure they’d all fit evenly (since you can’t really get them out once they’re in).
I LOVE it and it came out exactly like what I had pictured in my head!! Our home decor is much more texture-based instead of color-based so of course I was happy to incorporate a couple new textures to the space with both the leather and the nailhead detail. But the weathered wood behind it still fits in perfectly with our coastal decor.
(obsessed with our new mantel too, read more about it here)
Huge thanks to the Leather Hide Store for partnering with us on this project and letting us try all sorts of their beautiful upholstery leathers!!
AND they are giving one lucky reader a FULL hide of their choice from the Upholstery and Special Collections, just enter via the widget below!
Now go check out what the other girls made with their leather!
26 thoughts on “Distressed Nailhead Leather Monogram”
SO, SO fun Emily! LOVE the planked background and that nailhead trim brings a fun industrial sort of feel to the leather! LOVE it!
I LOVE the nailhead trim Kristi!! Thanks :)
That looks great! I love monograms. I definitely need to try some projects with leather soon, it always ends up looking fantastic.
I know right?! All these other projects definitely gave me the itch to try it in more projects!
Love this idea! And it will be perfect in your husband’s office!
He was pretty excited about it :)
This is so cool! Love the nailhead trim.
Thank you Amy!
Such a great idea! Love how it turned out, Emily!
Thank you Tara!
I’d have a hard time selecting my favorite leather for a project. I really like the old school feel of the Originals OI#5 WESTERN MESQUITE leather…
It was definitely a struggle! Thanks Kim!!
What a gorgeous piece of custom art! Love the richness of the letter paired with the whitewash of the wood. Stunning!
You’re very sweet Erica, thanks!
It’s the perfect addition to your newly updated mantel! Love it!
I love having so much more space to decorate on it ;)
I love how you made this work with your coastal decor, it’s perfect!
I wasn’t sure how it may work in the beginning, but I think it turned out great :) Thanks!
You all made such GORGEOUS projects! I haven’t worked much with leather . . . obviously I need to!
Thank you Amy!!
Girl! You had me at nailhead and distressed :) This is an adorable addition to your mantle. I totally love it. I might repurpose this idea for some bins in my new office! – E
That would be super cute, go for it!!
This is totally unique and so masculine! I love how it looks on your mantel and if your husband takes it to work, I bet it will look great in his office, too!
Thank you Bre!!
This project turned out so beautifully! I’d choose the Urban – Austin Gun Metal!
Thanks so much!!