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How To Make Wrapped Leather Bracelets

posted in Fashion
07/09/2015
  • The supply list is pretty short:

    ~4-6mm round beads
    ~Leather cord
    ~Thread
    ~Button or bead
    ~Required tools: needle (size 12 is a good general choice), scissors, work surface with clips or clothespins.
    ~Optional tools: needle threader, thread conditioner, glue (adhesive for extra security on your knots).

  • The technique:

    1. Choose your bracelet length and cut your leather. The formula is double your finished bracelet length plus extra for making the knots. For single-wrap bracelet, measure your wrist and then triple that number to get the length of leather needed (7″ wrist = 21″ of leather). For a triple-wrap, multiply your wrist by seven (7″ wrist = 49″ leather).

    2. Cut a long piece of thread (10-12 feet) and thread your needle. Knot the end of the threads.

  • 3. Holding the thread by the knot, let the needle fall to the ground so it is centered on the thread. Fold your piece of leather in half, leaving a loop large enough for your button to fit through. Holding the knot-end of the thread with the leather, tie an overhand knot so that your thread and leather are now connected.

  • 4. Using binder clips or clothespins, attach your loop to the top of a piece of cardboard. Use a second clip to attach the leather ends to the bottom of your board (leave the thread loose).

    5. Starting with your thread in the middle of the two strands of leather, wrap the thread OVER the right strand to the outside, then UNDER the right, OVER the left to the outside, then UNDER the left and OVER the right. It is a simple figure-8 stitch.

  • Do this 5-6 times, pulling the thread tight around the leather to form a binding. (The pattern could go either way, but since I’m right-handed I’m going to describe it this way. Reverse it if needed!) Here is a close-up of the lashing:

  • 6. Now you are ready to start adding beads. After your thread has passed UNDER the left leather, add a bead. Hold the bead between the two strands of leather, and stitch the thread OVER the right, back UNDER the right, THROUGH the bead hole again and OVER the left. Bring the thread UNDER the left and add another bead in the middle. Repeat many many times! Keep the beads pulled in snugly against the leather. Pay attention so that your stitches all face the same way. If your thread seems to snag a lot, use a bit of thread conditioner or beeswax on it.

  • 7. To finish the bracelet, form several stitches without beads, just like you did in step 5. Now you are ready to attach your button or bead. Ideally, you’ll have enough leather left to tie on a button with a nice knot on the back and trim the ends.

  • Long tails makes it easy to tie on a button closure.
    Long tails makes it easy to tie on a button closure.
  • If your button has a small loop, you might need to miter (angle) the leather end and pull it through with pliers.
    If your button has a small loop, you might need to miter (angle) the leather end and pull it through with pliers.

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