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April 01, 2019

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Every time I use Rit Dye to color something I thoroughly enjoy myself. Traditionally I always go for paint but Rit is creeping in on that feeling because it’s incredibly easy to use and just so darn versatile. Today I’m sharing how to create your very own leather guest book, hand-dyed using three different techniques: a dip, a wipe, and a splash. We’re also dying the paper inside for an overall bohemian feel that will impress your guests and be a very special keepsake to read along the years ahead.

Learn how easy it is to hand dye leather with Rit Dye!
Make your own custom dyed leather guest book!
Make a leather guest book and then hand-dye it too!

Create Something Truly Custom

Many of our creative brides struggle to find something that is 100% “them”. They don’t want a store-bought thing that will work, they want something special and unique. Something truly custom, which is what we’re creating today with these leather guest books. Rit Dye offers you endless color options within their Color Formula Library. Almost any color under the sun can be created with just a teaspoon of that color and a tablespoon of this one…

Learn how easy it is to hand dye leather with Rit Dye!
Make your own custom dyed leather guest book!
Make a leather guest book and then hand-dye it too!
Learn how easy it is to hand dye leather with Rit Dye!
Make your own custom dyed leather guest book!

SUPPLIES:

  • Rit All-Purpose Dye, in your choice of colors!
  • 3-4oz Tooling Leather
  • Heavy Duty Hole Punch
  • Heavy Duty Corner Rounder
  • Watercolor Paper
  • 3/4″ Binder Rings
  • Alphabet Leather Stamps
  • Wooden Mallet
  • Resolene
  • Paint Brush
  • Cutting Mat
  • Craft Knife
  • Gloves
  • Iron
Make a leather guest book and then hand-dye it too!

Make Your Own Guest Book

Here we’re opting to make our own guest book from scratch, but you don’t have to! You can easily find a special leather notebook or guest book to dye yourself. Etsy is a great place to look for something like that!

Cut The Leather

Using a craft knife and cutting mat, cut your leather guest book cover. I created three different shapes and sizes. Pick a size and shape that gets you excited!

Learn how easy it is to hand dye leather with Rit Dye!

Round + Smooth

If you’d like, use a heavy duty corner rounder punch like this Corner Chomper to round the edges of the leather. If there are rough edges, you can sand them with a nail file.

Make your own custom dyed leather guest book!

Add Holes

Where you add holes and how many are totally up to you. Mark them using the ruler on your cutting mat and the craft knife. Then punch using a heavy duty punch like the Crop a Dile. You can see all three sizes I did here.

Make a leather guest book and then hand-dye it too!

Cut The Paper

You’ll want to add about 20 sheets of paper to your guest book. Maybe less if you’re having a small wedding and maybe more if your wedding is going to be huge. Cut your pages using the craft knife and cutting mat, roughly 1/4″ smaller than the leather. Punch holes to match.

Learn how easy it is to hand dye leather with Rit Dye!

Dye Bath

To dye the leather and paper I created 4 different dye baths in total using the hottest water from my tap, large glass bowls, and 4 cups of water for each.

Rit Dye Color Formulas

  • Icy Morn, pale turquoise. Mixed in 4 cups hot water.
  • Jade Green, vibrant teal. Mixed half the batch in 4 cups hot water.
  • Cosmic Sky, pale lavender. Mixed in 4 cups of hot water.
  • Persian Violet, vibrant purple. Mixed a double batch in 4 cups of hot water.
Make your own custom dyed leather guest book!

Test Swatches

Make sure to do test strips of both fabric and leather. Test different times so that you can find your desired color. Remember, you can always add more dye to the water if the color is too light and if the color is too dark – just add more water!

Make a leather guest book and then hand-dye it too!

Dip It

For the dip method I submerged the leather for 30 seconds in the Jade Green, holding both pieces together to get the same dip height on front and back. Then I let them dry on parchment paper.

Learn how easy it is to hand dye leather with Rit Dye!

I dipped the watercolor paper into the Icy Morn for 45 seconds and held all 20 sheets at the same time. Making sure to move the paper around a bit and swirl it in the water. I clipped them together and hung them outside to drip dry. If you use regular paper or cardstock and not watercolor paper, you won’t be able to submerge it as long and if you do it might warp or fall apart.

Make your own custom dyed leather guest book!

I also dyed a little bit of cream colored yarn in the Icy Morn and Cosmic Sky for fun!

Make a leather guest book and then hand-dye it too!

Wipe It

For the wipe method I used a small piece of microfiber cloth, dipped it into the Persian Violet and wiped it repeatedly across the edges of the leather.

Learn how easy it is to hand dye leather with Rit Dye!

I wiped the paper the same way using the Cosmic Sky blend.

Make your own custom dyed leather guest book!

Splash It

Just like we did in elementary school, I splatter painted the leather using a toothbrush and both the Jade Green and the Persian Violet.

Make a leather guest book and then hand-dye it too!

I did the same to the front and back cover paper page, not the actual signing papers!

Learn how easy it is to hand dye leather with Rit Dye!

Iron

If your leather starts curling from the liquid you can iron it flat again. I had the best results ironing the rough side and letting it stay that way until it cooled. I’m using my Cricut EasyPress instead of an iron because it’s better than any iron! You can also try to put your leather under really heavy books overnight to flatten it out, but I didn’t have luck with that method. I’m thinking different types of leather, possibly thinner leather might work with the books but I had success with the iron.

Make your own custom dyed leather guest book!

Personalize

I used leather stamping alphabets to create the personalization in the leather. This needs to be done on top of a piece of wood. I taped off the leather with washi tape to keep my stamping in a straight line.

Make a leather guest book and then hand-dye it too!

Seal

Add a thin coat of Resolene to the front and back of the leather to seal the dye. Otherwise it could rub off on clothing or tabletops.

Learn how easy it is to hand dye leather with Rit Dye!

Bind

The last step is to join your leather and paper with the binder clips… it’s now a book, yayay!

Make your own custom dyed leather guest book!
Make a leather guest book and then hand-dye it too!
Learn how easy it is to hand dye leather with Rit Dye!

Special Messages

The best thing about a guest book is being able to read it year after year. Those special messages have a way of transporting you back to that special day. Unfortunately for many, the messages live on after our loved ones and that is also a very special gift. Do yourself a favor and create an ultra special place to hold those special messages, just like this!

Make your own custom dyed leather guest book!
Make a leather guest book and then hand-dye it too!
Learn how easy it is to hand dye leather with Rit Dye!
Make your own custom dyed leather guest book!

DIY Tutorial Sponsored By:

This is a sponsored post written by Something Turquoise on behalf of Rit Dye. The opinions and text belong to the author. Rit Dye make dyes to customize your world. Non-toxic DIY color for your wardrobe, home décor, crafts and more!

Make a leather guest book and then hand-dye it too!

As with all our DIY tutorials, if you create one of our projects please send us a picture – We Love Seeing Your Creativity! If you use Instagram or Twitter please use the hashtag #SomethingTurquoiseDIY and it will show up on our Get Social page. Happy Crafting!

DIY Tutorial Credits

Photography + DIY Tutorial: Jen Causey of Something Turquoise // Rit Dye: courtesy of Rit Dye // 8.5″ x 11″ Tooling Leather, 3-4oz: Amazon // Leather Stamps: Amazon // 3/4″ Brass Binder Rings: Amazon // Wood Leathercraft Mallet: Amazon // Cutting Mat: Amazon // Fiskars Fingertip Craft Knife: Amazon // Crop-a-Dile Hole Punch: Amazon // Corner Chomper: Amazon // 90lb Watercolor Paper: Amazon // Nail Polish: OPI – Withstands the Test of Thyme

Shop The Supplies:

Find the supplies you’ll need for this project from our affiliate links below:


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