Introduction: Laser Cut Leather Fitbit Band #1- Charge 1&2
Have a fit bit Charge?
Did the band break?
Did you just threw the bits and pieces into a catch-all drawer somewhere...alongside of the other lost and forgotten things that will 'definitely get fixed one day'....Not judging you but secretly I am.
Do you have access to a laser?
If you said yes then go get that fitbit mess and hop on a laser, we are about to put that expensive gadget back to good use.
You will need
Step 1: Start Measureing
I took the calipers and started measuring everything. I took measurements of the gadget with the silicone band pieces on and naked with no other pieces on the hard plastic center....I had never made one of these before so I did make a few edits before landing on the design I have. Might be a good idea to get some extra leather for edits.
I started to slowly draft a wrap around design in Adobe Illustrator using the measurements I took. The file type I have for you is AI. You can use this file and edit as you need.
Step 2: Cut It Out! (o_0)
I am not sure what laser you are using but I used a ULS. The preset suggested powers worked great. Just make sure that you enter the median thickness for the leather so you don't over cook the leather. You may need to really watch the material is it cuts out. Some processed leathers will curl and char. You may need to adjust power or speed to combat this.
I threw some funky gothic art on the band just so there was something more interesting about it..
My leather did curl a bit so I put the piece in l.w. water after cutting to help relax it for about 3 mins. You can see my pictures of my raw leather...which I later had to fix because I forgot holes on each side of the band to keep the piece from slipping out...I will explain this more later.
My buckle fit and I took a single rivet and fixed it in place...you can also stitch the end tab down to ensure the buckle stays.
Step 3: Add Some Color - Optional
There was some gold acrylic paint laying around so I took a quarter size dab and smeared it all over my piece. My leather was still wet, so making sure it got into the little nooks and cuts was easy. Then I took a paper towel and wiped away all of the remaining on the top skin. This leaves the paint only in the indentations, and looks pretty cool. Make sure you do this quickly so the paint doesn't have a chance to dry at all.
Step 4: Press and Stitch
I took some office clips and forced my piece in place by clipping the folds and allowing the leather to dry for about 30 mins. I then took a leather needle and waxed leather ribbon (flat) and began stitching up my band with the hard plastic fitbit inside. I noticed after the fact that I never put any holes on the file to enclose each end of the band to really keep the fitbit in place....FACEPALM. I now have exposed stitched on each end of my band...I have updated my file for you though.
I sucked at the stitching part but lucky for me you couldn't see it. Here is a video on how to hand stitch correctly.
Step 5: Finish Up
Last piece is the little belt that you put above the buckle to keep the adjustable side of the band down. 4 little laces will keep that piece on, then you are pretty much good to go. If you did all of these steps in a row then your leather may be a bit wet still. You can use a blow dry or...harness the power of the sun and just put your piece outside in a safe area. Once the leather is dry it will harden up and keep the shape pretty well.
Attached is my AI file as well as a SVG to get you started...you can draft and edit pretty easily from there. I hope this helps and go get those steps!!