Leather Bracelet: A Tutorial

Here’s an interpretation of the ubiquitous friendship bracelets. The more you make, the more you wear, the better they look.

These are so easy to make. Use scraps of leather, threat, chains, fabric and a bit of time.

Here is what you need:

- leather strips: find leather binding, or cut them yourself from an old jacket, a thin bag to size ;  as an example, the finished bracelet/necklace below (second last image) is 3/4″ wide and 16.5″ long. Just make sure the leather is thin enough to stitch through.
- needle and thread
- scissors
- decorations: embroidery thread, buttons, silver chains, washers, or decoupage
- glue
- closure: Snaps or buttons

1. Cut a piece of leather. Make sure you include a ‘seam allowance’ to trim the bracelet later.
2. Decorate the leather strip. Embroider, draw with sharpie marker on light colored leather, glue or applique. My versions were simple and can be made in 30 minutes or less, depending on how extensive you embellish. Cut the strip roughly to your desired width. Again, leave some seam allowance.
3. Adjust the length of the strip to see how many times you want to wrap it around your wrist. Sew on a pretty button or use a snap closure. The buttons above are all vintage and beautiful. The prettier the button, the less you have to embellish.

4. Glue on a second leather strip to hide the “back” side of your work. Don’t worry if the strips don’t match perfectly, you can adjust them in the end.
5. Cut out the “buttonhole” and make sure the button fits through the hole.
6. Adjust the width of the bracelet.

Depending on the length, a bracelet can easily double as a necklace.


These are simple to make and lend themselves to infinite possibilities…

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Finishing Touch Done

It’s done! It’s done! Its done! I am ready to attach binding to everything that won’t complain or run away. Eventually all of my husband’s shirts will feature beautiful necklines, because I’ve a new found love for adding trim. And best of all, there is an easy way to do it.

But, if you have no intention of adding trim to anything anytime soon, jump to the last paragraph and have a great weekend.
Adding trim has always been my most dreaded task. I’m no master stitcher. My stitches often behave like toddlers when I don’t pay attention. They would rummage in the neighbor’s garden, if I take my eyes off them for even a second. See a nice example below right.

The image on the left shows my new back-side with less wandering stitches (but using the same amount of attention). So how did I do it?
Here is my easy addition to Chanin‘s marvelous instructions: In her book the binding strip is folded in the middle, then ironed and attached. Mine has an added 1/4″ of width on the back: Add it to the binding, fold and iron it like the image below.

Position the wider side to the back so that all the stitches will land properly.

It makes attaching trim so much easier and and more pleasurable. If you don’t have enough time to sew one of Chanin’s incredible dresses, it’s an easy way to add that little something special to an existing or thrifted t-shirt or blouse.

It’s almost like wearing a necklace.

On another note, I went to see “The Artist” yesterday and was very disappointed. I was prepared to like it; because, what’s not to like about a black and white silent film with great acting, artfully done. But I didn’t like it, not even a bit. That makes me one of the 3 people in the world who didn’t. Have you seen it? What do you think?

Any film you’ve seen recently, that is a must-see?

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