By Fashion & Jewelry Making Contributor, Alicia from the blog “Dismount Creative”.
Lately I’ve been really interested in leather. Like wearing black, it’s a fashion staple that never goes out of style. And it goes perfectly with my other favorite thing – hardware. I combined the two in this simple but stylish bracelet that makes a big statement.
If you’ve never worked with leather before it might seem intimidating due to all the different types and specialty tools. Don’t be afraid to start with a simple project like this and work your way up.
Leather – a piece of suede trim or tooling leather will work
Clasp – I purchased mine from Tandy Leather
Rivets & Setter – an assorted kit will have what you need
Punch – an XACTO knife will work in a pinch
Scissors or Utility Knife – must be sharp
Hammer or Mallet – for setting the rivets
Leather Cement – optional
Varnish – water-based, optional
1. Cut your leather strip. Measure your wrist and add 2 inches to determine the length. The width may depend on your clasp- I made mine a little over 2 inches wide. You can use a sharp pair of scissors or a utility knife to cut the leather.
2. Fold under 1 inch on each end of the strip. (My strip was longer so I folded more than an inch.) You can secure it with leather cement, but it’s not necessary.
3. Wrap the leather around your wrist and hold the clasp over where the ends meet. Use a pen to make a small mark where you need to punch holes for the rivets.
4. Use a leather punch set to make a hole where the rivets will go to secure the clasp. In a pinch you can make the holes with an XACTO knife, but a punch will do a better job.
5. Choose your rivets carefully – you want to choose a size that will pass through two layers leather and your clasp but not more than an 1/8” further. This will ensure a nice, secure fit. (I used the smallest size.) Insert the post of the rivet from the base and snap the cap on top. Use a mallet and the rivet setting tool to secure the setting by giving it a sharp strike. Tandy Leather has a great illustration of the process.
6. Repeat the process on the other half of the clasp. (I recommend double-checking the alignment of the clasp before punching the holes and riveting the second half.)
7. Depending on the leather you use the edges may look great as-is, or they might be a little rough. I used a tiny amount of water-based varnish along the very edges to seal them and give a cleaner look.
8. Show it off!