Have you seen the leather wrapping technique of Natalia Brilli? Too much horrible flash makes it impossible to link to photos on her site, so try this one to see what I’m talking about. Her leather-bound work inspired this project, though I in no way claim to have been able to achieve the same look. This leather-studded bracelet is a variation on my previous bangle, but I thought it deserved a tutorial of its own. The plastic is actually from the same bottle as the other bangle, and the leather is recycled from a thrift store leather jacket. To look at the finished product you’d never guess that it began life as a disposable piece of plastic, would you?
Leather scrap (about 2.5″ by 10″)
Metal studs (9)
Glue (E6000 or leather glue)
Small binder clips
1. Make yourself a bangle bracelet base according to the instructions in my previous tutorial.
2. Measure the circumference of your bracelet and divide that number so that you have a stud about every inch. Mine was about 9 inches, so I made a mark every inch around the bracelet (in black). Next determine how far apart your prongs are and mark where you’ll need to cut holes for the prongs (in red).
3. With the X-acto knife, make small slits on the marks you made for the stud prongs. Be careful!
4. Place your studs and bend down the prongs in the back with the pliers.
5. Cut your piece of leather so that it’s twice the width of your bracelet plus 0.5″ and just long enough to go around with the studs. So for mine I cut it 2.5 inches wide by 10 inches long. With the right sides together, sew the short ends together to make a tube with a very small seam allowance. Try sliding your bracelet inside the tube and make sure it’s tight.
6. Cut or tear fabric scraps about 1 inch wide and 36 inches long. You can also use several shorter lengths; it doesn’t really matter.
7. Coat the outside of your bracelet with a generous layer of glue. (I’ve used both E6000 and non-toxic leather glue, and they both work. The leather glue smelled better, though.) Carefully slide your bracelet into the leather tube until it’s centered. This should be difficult, because your leather tube should be really snug. Be careful not to get glue on the part of the leather that will show on the exterior.
8. Coat the interior of the bangle with glue, and fold your leather to the inside.
9. Take one end of the fabric scrap that you cut and clip it to the edge of the bangle. Now wrap it tightly around your bangle, concentrating on the area between the studs, and clip again. Continue until you’ve tightly wrapped and clipped the whole bangle.
10. Now leave it to dry at least overnight, or, if you’re like me, 5 or 6 hours.
Sorry about the flash-heavy photos. My pretty light was all gone by this point.
Now with better photos!
The purple leather one is actually the first one I made, and I think the leather was tighter, plus the studs were closer together.