Introduction: Leather Bracelet With Braided Insert
I had this idea of combining leather bracelet with so called "friendship bracelet" a few years ago, and this model is the second, updated version of this design. This instructable is not very detailed but it contans everything you need to make your own bracelet like this.
I'm not going to show here how to braid a "friendship bracelet" because there's already enough tutorials on this on the interenet. I'm making a simplest pattern because this is what I'm capable of, and I'm using yarn scraps as a material. The lenght of the braided strip is has to be greater than the "window" in the bracelet body approx by a couple of centimetres.
Because I'm occasionally making bracelets like this I have a couple of templates. You can see them on the photo. The upper one is for cutting details and the lower one is for marking holes. My tempaltes were made considering the size of the buckles I had, so you'll have to make your adjustments. It's not hard to see the logic behind the geometry of the template. One thing you, have to considere is that there's a little correction on upper template: the littla arrows show where the opening for the buckle pin is have to be moved (~5mm closer to the edge)
On the other photo you can see cutted parts of the bracelet. The leather I'm using is cut-off pieces purchased from lokal furniture manufacturer. It has nice color, not wery stratchy and has aprox 1-1,5mm of thickness. I believe it's not hard to find suitable leather in form of some old leather goods.
To cut the window on the front of the bracelet I used round hole punch to create two openings. I used then knife to cut a strip between the openings. We'll use it later to make the loop later.
Secure the braiding at the window by gluing its ends to the back of the main bracelet detail. I use glue stick for operations like this. The piece will be secured later with stitches.
Insert the buckle and glue the flap to the back making sure it's long enough to be sewn later from the front, but in the same time it's not wisible at the window opening.
Mark and make holes along the edges of the main detail at the area where the braiding is. The spacing between the holes is about 1 cm, and make sure you have the same number of them on both sides.
Fold and glue the edges of the main detail to the back of the bracelet. Do not glue the braiding, and remember that this is just for temporary fixation before sewing, so don't get too fanatic about it. The glue stick works just fine. You can apply some additional pressure as I did, or tap the detail lightly with a hammer to ensure the adhesion.
When the gluing is done cut the corners at the loose end of the bracelet for nicer look and more convenient usage.
Now we need to make holes along the sides of the bracelet for further sewing. In some cases I find it convenient to use a sewing machine for this. I'm just using no thread and turning the wheel with hand, allowing the neadle to poke idle holes (I'm not using the machine itself because the thread is too thick for it, and thinner thread would look bad on the workpiece).
When the holes are ready, it's time for sewing. Also now on the photo youu can see where the seam goes. At the buckle side it secures the flap that holds the buckle. I'm using saddle stitch.
Now we need to do the stitching that enframes the window opening with the braiding, and secures its edges. Marking, poking, sewing... nothing new.
And a last bit of sewing is behind the braiding, to hold the eges together. We've already made holes at this part. Do not sew the braiding utself though. It may seem that it sits floppy if not secured but when the bracelet is on the hand everything is ok. And even more the stitching can make braided piece to be uneven.
Mark holes for the fastening and and use a hole punch to make openings.
Fold the bracelet in half and wrap the cut out piece we've produced earlier around it. Mark the size of the loop. Two staples will do the job on holding the edges together. Or sew them. This is the las detail of the bracelet.
I must admit, this is not the most acuurate my work, and the braiding is a bit too thick, but it still better than some of my other attempts.
And here's a bunch of other bracelets of this design I produced. Some color combinations make them really nice.
So, this is it for now. Thank you for your attention, and brush your teeth (because it's too damn expencive to repair them).