DIY “Tooled Leather” Wall Art (psst – that’s not real leather!)

If you saw this Tooled Leather Wall Art at your friend’s house, would you know what it was? Would you guess leather, or maybe embossed metal? Believe it or not, this DIY wall art is made with paper! Today, I’m going to take our scrapbook paper wall art and kick it up a notch.  Because sometimes you need more . . . more mystery, more intrigue, more sophistication (what, wall art can deliver all of that?).

how to make textured paper wall art

Tooled Leather Wall Art by Kathleen George

Making wall art with scrapbook paper is fast, easy, and really inexpensive, and I love all of that. But, when you work with textured art papers and upholstery tacks, we’re talking a little more drama and a more contemporary look. But we’re also keeping it real because it’s almost as easy as making scrapbook paper wall art. And the papers are all easily ordered online at Paper Arts.

DIY wall art with upholstery tacks

Check out the textures in these papers. The upholstery tacks add even more intrigue.

Kathleen George will walk you through it.

To make Tooled Leather Wall Art, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: three 12″ x 24″ x 1″*
  • Textured papers: Stucco paper and Ancient Tablet paper
  •  Large upholstery tacks, 200
  •  Black acrylic craft paint
  •  Yes! Paste or thick, white craft glue
  •  Tools needed: Putty knife; paint brush; pencil; ruler; Exacto® knife; straight pins; hook & loop picture hangers; rubber brayer (optional)

To make Tooled Leather Wall Art:

how to make contemporary wall art

You’ll outline the Stucco paper with upholstery tacks.

1. Paint black the edges on the three sheets of STYROFOAM brand foam, and also paint a 1” border all around the front of each piece. Let dry.

2. Cut three 12″ x 12″ pieces of Ancient Tablet paper. Referring  to the photo, stagger the placement of the paper squares on the three foam sheets. Using a ruler and pencil, score the foam sheet to mark the placement for each paper square.

3. Using the putty knife, spread a layer of Yes! Paste on the foam sheet, staying inside the scored lines. Center and glue the paper square onto the foam sheet. If needed, pin edges in place until glue dries.

4. Measure the uncovered areas above and below each paper square and cut the Stucco paper to fit. Adhere the Stucco paper to each foam panel. Let dry.

5. Referring to photo, push upholstery tacks through the Stucco paper and into the foam panel, outlining the top, bottom and sides. Where the Stucco paper meets the Ancient Tablet Paper, add three, evenly spaced tacks.

6. Hang your wall art using hook and loop hangers.

how to make upholstery tack deco spheres

Deco Spheres by Kathleen George.

If you’d like to make the Silver Wire and Green Leaf Spheres, or the Tacky Sphere (in the middle), you’ll find the tutorials on (If you don’t see any green leaves in the Silver Wire & Green Leaf Spheres, you’re right. To make the spheres shown without the leaves, follow the tutorial and omit the leaves.)

When you first saw the photo of the Tooled Leather Wall Art, what did you think it was made with?

Happy crafting.


This entry was posted in Craft Tutorial, Deco Spheres, Great Decor in a Flash -- Without a Lot of Cash, Home Decor, Paper Crafts, Wall Art and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to DIY “Tooled Leather” Wall Art (psst – that’s not real leather!)

  1. Pingback: DIY wall art from origami papers for custom, Asian-inspired wall art | Crafts 'n Coffee

  2. Jeanee Tollefson says:

    I love the look of these! Sadly the stucco paper is hard to get right now, so searching for a substitute. How do you finish off the edges of the styrofoam board? It’s hard to see that part of the design. Is that where the black paint comes in from your materials list?

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Jeanee, How disappointing that the paper is not readily available! Drat! If you find an alternate source, please let me know. Also, check Step 1 to see instructions for painting the edges. You also paint a small border around the top of the foam sheets, to cover any area the paper might not cover. Please let me know how your art turns out. Thank you. Sharon

  3. That’s lovely! I’m continually amazed by what you come up with. 🙂

    • Sharon says:

      Thank you, Stephanie. I wish I could take credit for it, but Kathleen George is the mastermind behind these beautiful wall art panels. Thanks for stopping in. Sharon

  4. Hilda Lugo says:

    My first impression was” Wish I was brave enough to work tooled Leather” What a shock! This is actually” do-able” for me. Definiately on my immediately future..I have done quite alot of the wall art using scrapebook paper and Styroform but nothing like this . High five to the artist.

  5. Lisa M says:

    What neat ideas. Tooled faux leather gotta love it.

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