Saturday, October 29, 2011

diy: leather bracelets

My apologies for the unplanned and extended blogging break.  It's amazing how much energy it takes to adjust to an entirely new environment - new home, new language, new job.  I've begun teaching in law firms and various fun!  And now, with a fair amount of control over my work schedule, I have plenty of time to pursue my own projects.  Without getting too cornball on you guys, I must say that the big changes of late have given me an entirely new perspective on how to use my time (my most precious commodity).  This exercise in living - not just thinking - a little bit outside the box has been tremendous so far, and I'm just so thrilled and grateful for the opportunity.

Enough!  Onto the DIY!  This is another one from before I left the U.S.: a truly simple and easily customizable bracelet recipe.  I made two, one with a single braid, and the other with beaded thread:

Here's how I put together the bracelet with the woven braid.

You'll need:

- Some leather - recycled/repurposed, please!  Lots of recycled leather on eBay/Etsy.  Or hack up a thrifted leather jacket.
- String/twine - here, I used kitchen twine, otherwise used in my household only on Thanksgiving
- A utility knife
- A button
- Leather needle and some thread

1. Cut the leather as wide as you like, and long enough to wrap around your wrist with a little over an inch to spare.  Cut 3 lengths of twine a couple of inches longer than the leather strap.  Braid the twine.

2. Cut some slits into the leather strap.  I marked my pattern with the blue lines above.  I started about an inch from one end.  The larger gaps between the slits are about an inch apart, and the smaller gaps about 1/4 inch apart.

3. Starting from the underside of the leather strap, thread the braid through the slits as in the first pic above.  The second shows the underside of the bracelet when you're done.

4. With the needle and thread, stitch down each end of the braid to secure.  (Dab a little glue on the ends of the braid first if you like.  It helps.)  At one end of the bracelet, sew on the button as a closure.  At the other end, make a slit to accommodate the button - be conservative and start with a small slit, and make it bigger until it just fits over the button.  Make a couple of stitches at each end of the buttonhole to reinforce.

For the beaded bracelet, I attacked an old, never-worn necklace, harvested the beads, strung them on some thread, and integrated them into their new leather home, where they are much happier. 

Wear and stack!   xoxo


  1. Really love your blog!!:)
    Now we follow you!!

  2. what a fabulous DIY! you're such a neat crafter!! :)


  3. Well done!


  4. How adorable! It looks lovely :) x

  5. WOW, love this. Looks awesome and great color selection.


  6. you matches it perfectly!

  7. You did a beautiful job! I was just looking to purchase something like this on Etsy...well I think I'll be saving my $28!

  8. Another fun share! Looks adorable and easy enough to throw on my ever-growing DIY 2-do list.

    --Also excited to hear of your adventures in adjusting :) I am graduating from law school this year & recently got the itch to run off to France either to teach American law or do a masters (can't beat the price v. U.S. degrees).

  9. Omigosh! So clever and cute! Plus, it looks simple to do, which is a bonus! :) Glad to hear you're settling into your new surroundings and it sounds like you are getting so much from your experience! Props to you! :D

  10. Can a girl ever really have enough bracelets? Love this...

  11. such a simple, lovely idea! something to try for sure!

    jo from

  12. I love how you have been bracelets! Many thanks for your comment!

  13. wooooooooow

    You are so talented
    I cannot do anything like that at all :(

  14. This is so cool! I love making DIY, Love xx