Faux Leather, Faux Snakeskin and Faux Gold

I created this project and tutorial in 2009 for Stampers Quest Magazine.  This is a folder made to hold note cards and envelopes.  It is one of my all-time favorites.


I wanted to demonstrate several different textures on this project by creating faux leather for the base and trim of the card, faux snakeskin to back the buckle and as trim and faux gold for the buckle. These techniques are wonderful to use to alter journals, boxes or portfolios.



Bronc Buster (Stampin’ Up!)

Sanded (Stampin’ Up!)


Kraft (Stampin’ Up!)


Vintage Photo Distress Ink (Ranger)


Versa (Tsukineko)

Mod Podge (Plaid)

Gold Embossing Powder (Ranger)

Copic Marker E37 Sepia (Copic)

Copic Marker 0 Colorless Blender (Copic)

Tabletop Paper Cutter (Stampin’ Up!)

Gold Brads (Stampin’ Up!)

Mesh Texture Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (Provo Craft)

Baby Wipes (Kirkland)

Deckle Scissors (Stampin’ Up!)

Sponge Brush (Michael’s)

Needle Nose Pliers (Unknown)

Scotch Tape (3M)

Mounting Tape (3M)

Oval Nestabilities Die (Spellbinders)

.125 hole punch (McGill)

ATG Adhesive (3M)

Glue Dots (Stampin’ Up!)


The Faux Leather Finish


Cut a piece of Kraft cardstock 8.5” X 5.5” and score in the center.

Rub Vintage Photo pad directly on the cardstock to apply ink on both sides of paper.

Wipe the cardstock with a wet baby wipe to smooth out the color.

Dry both sides of the cardstock with your heat gun or allow to dry naturally (I am always too impatient to wait).

Apply ink to the Sanded background stamp and stamp the cardstock to create faux leather lines of texture.

The Faux Leather Trim and Tassels



Rub Vintage Photo ink about 4” wide down the total length and directly on the long end of a piece of Kraft cardstock and repeat on back side.

Wipe the cardstock with a wet baby wipe to smooth out the color.

Dry both sides of the cardstock with your heat gun.

Cut several long strips of cardstock .125” wide.

Apply Mod Podge to one side of a strip and start applying around the outside of the card base. The strip will be pliable to work with since it is damp with the Mod Podge. Continue around the base by holding your index finger directly on the strip when you reach each corner and hold in place while you make a 90 degree turn. When you come to the end of a strip start a new strip directly at the end where you left off. It is barely noticeable.

Sponge brush card base and trim with Mod Podge to create a faux leather luster and allow drying.




Tape the end of three .125” wide strips together and tape to the base of your work area to secure for braiding.

Run your fingers lightly up and down over each strip to make more pliable.

Braid the three strips carefully until you have a long enough tassel for your embellishment.

Secure the end of your tassel with an additional strip covered with Mod Podge on the back side and taking it around the end two or three times. You should leave about 1” of the braided strips left loose and trim to the desired length when finished.

Remove tape and repeat this process for the other end.

Brush a light layer of Mod Podge over tassels for luster and allow drying.

The Faux Snakeskin Trim


Emboss a 5.5” X 1.0” strip of Kraft cardstock with the Mesh Texture Cuttlebug folder.

Emboss a 4.25” X 3.5” piece of Kraft cardstock with the Mesh Texture Cuttlebug Folder. After finishing the steps below set this piece aside to be attached to buckle.

Rub Vintage Photo Ink directly on the embossed pieces.

Wipe the cardstock with a wet baby wipe to smooth out the color making sure you get color down in the grooves.

While still wet rub the Vintage Photo directly over the pieces again to add darker tones of color to the raised mesh to create the color of snakeskin texture.

Cut the 1” strip in half and measure to fit perfectly inside the trimmed border and cut as necessary.

Apply Mod Podge on the back of each strip and apply to the base.

Sponge brush Mod Podge over the strips to create luster and allow drying.

The Faux Gold Buckle



Apply Versa to Genuine stamp and set aside. The Versa will protect your stamp from the hot embossing.

Cut a piece of cardstock 3.5” X 2.5”.

Rub Versa directly on the entire piece of cardstock.

Apply gold embossing powder and heat.

Rub Versa over the cooled gold embossed powder layer; apply more gold embossing powder and heat. Repeat this step four or five times to build up a thick enough layer of embossing powder to show the stamped image well.

Center and place the stamp directly into the final heated layer of gold embossing powder, being careful not to allow the stamp to slide around.

Hold the stamp in place for several seconds (slowly count to 10) to allow the embossed powder to cool.

Pull the stamp away from the cooled embossed powder.

Hint: if your image is not stamped the way you want it, all you have to do is heat the powder again and start over. I reheated and stamped mine three times before it turned out like I wanted it to.

Grip brad with needle nose pliers, apply Versa to brad head and dip into gold embossing powder and heat. Covering your brad with the embossing powder will make it perfectly match your gold buckle. Repeat until all your brads are embossed.

Place oval Nestabilities die over the embossed image and run through your machine to cut the oval buckle.

Punch holes in buckle with your hole punch and apply brads.

Heat the brads lightly to meld into the embossing powder. Do not heat too long or your image with start to melt away.

Use brown Copic Marker to color areas of the image, being careful not to apply too much color. The alcohol ink can damage the embossing. Use the colorless marker to blend or remove color as desired. It is not necessary to color the image but I think it gives an old, tarnished look to the buckle.

Attach buckle to the snakeskin cardstock layer.

Cut cardstock with deckle scissors around the buckle leaving a border .125” to .25” wide.

Attach mounting tape to the back of the buckle.

Attach the tassels securely to the back of the buckle with glue dots.

Mount buckle on the card front.

Step back and appreciate your hard work on this wonderfully textured card. Congratulations! Now that you have completed these steps you will be ready to apply what you have learned to creating any type of altered project. No one will be able to guess it is all cardstock and embossing powder instead of real leather, snakeskin and gold.

7 thoughts on “Faux Leather, Faux Snakeskin and Faux Gold”

  1. Wow! Love the card. Wondering
    how long it took you to complete it.
    Great tutorial but I guess I better
    stick to doing your flowers since I
    am always pressed for time. If I ever
    get time, I may get brave and attempt
    to do this technique. Thanks so much
    for sharing all your lovely creations.

  2. Thanks for bringing this back. I searched your archives trying to find this after you sold the card. Thank you Thank you Thank you. I have a Son that’s all western, so I try to make his cards accordingly.

  3. Mit havin so viel geschrieben Inhalten haben Sie jemals auf Probleme sto?en von plagorism oder Urheberrechtsverletzungen? Mein Blog hat eine Menge exklusiver Inhalte, die ich entweder selber oder ausgelagerten verfasst hast, aber es scheint eine Menge ist es knallen sie alle über das Internet ohne meine Genehmigung. Kennen Sie Methoden zur Verringerung der Inhalt vor Diebstahl? Ich würde wirklich zu sch?tzen.


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