I was looking through some scraps of brightly coloured leather and came up with this easy DIY project. As only two small strips of leather are required, this is a good way to upcycle part of a damaged vintage leather article such as a glove or leather jacket.
- Two leather pieces long enough to reach around your wrist
- Two rectangular end caps/crimps with integral loops
- Diamontes/crystals (either individual or a strand)
- A jewellery clasp (I used a lobster clasp)
- Snips/wire cutters
- Flat-nosed pliers
- A leather punch
First cut two strips of leather the same width as the end caps. When deciding on the length you need to take into account the extra length added by the clasp, jump rings and end caps.
Two strips of leather are used to hold the diamontes securely, and to make sure that the bracelet is comfortable to wear. At this stage leave the bottom strip of leather a little wider than the top piece, it can be trimmed after the diamontes have been set into the leather.
(yes, I have to label my nice sharp fabric scissors so that I don’t absent mindedly blunt another pair by cutting paper, wire etc!)
On the back of the top piece of leather mark where you want the diamontes to sit (you can see the blue dots that I marked on the back of my piece of leather below). For my design I found it easier to start in the middle of the strip and work outwards.
Next, cut the holes using a leather punch. Piercing round holes for the square diamontes helps them to be held securely, but the outer edge of the holes must be no wider than the outer edges of the diamontes and their settings (slightly too small holes are better than too large).
For my bracelet I used individually set diamontes/crystals that came as a strip, and I cut off each one that I needed using wire cutters. To set the diamontes into the bracelet, push them through the holes from the back of the leather, and then glue the top strip of leather to the bottom strip.
For the design that I used it was easier to only set one or two diamontes at a time, glue that section of leather to the bottom strip, and then set the next diamonte, and so on from one end to the other.
Now trim the bottom piece of leather so that it is in line with the top strip.
Next place a small amount of glue on the short edge on one end of the bracelet, and using flat nosed pliers squeeze an end cap closed around the end of the leather. Repeat with the other end of the bracelet.
The final step is to attach one jump ring to one of the end caps, and use the other jump ring to attach the clasp to the other end cap.
Et voila, one finished leather and diamonte bracelet/cuff!