Picture of Leather Bracelets from Recycled Belts
There are plenty of old leather belts that have been discarded because of changing tastes, or a part broke, or maybe the original owner just got too fat. This technique is a way to make bracelets from these belts. Cut them carefully and you should be able to get three from each belt.

I'm using a laser cutter here, but the original technique was taught to me by my friend Becca who used leather tools to create cool effects as well. The method of decoration is your own, but making the bracelet itself is very easy as you'll see.

Step 1: Decorate the belt

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I used a laser cutter to etch this Japanese design into the surface of the belt. You can also use a leather stamping technique.

Step 2: Measure and cut

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Wrap the belt around your wrist and let it overlap by 1.5 inches. Cut with your favorite cutting tool.

Step 3: Mark locations for holes

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Wrap the leather around your wrist so that it is fairly snug, but still comfortable to move with. Now loosen the belt by an 1/8 of an inch or so to give yourself some room for the snaps.

Step 4: Drill or punch holes in ends

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With the overlap of the bracelet where you want it, drill or punch out holes that are in the middle of the overlap.

Step 5: Attach the snaps

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With a hammer, bang in some heavy duty snaps so that the bracelet can snap around your wrist.

Step 6: Wear it!

Picture of Wear it!
Sweet, you're done! Now snap the bracelet around your wrist or give it to someone else.
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jer08911 year ago


saosport2 years ago
Good idea
cool man! :D where do you get the snaps from? i've looked at walmart, but couldn't find any.
it depends on where you are but around me there are some tandy's which are specifcly for leather
go to a hobby center or arts and craft store. Not sure what part of the world you are in, so my examples might be a bit off, but in my area we have Micheal's or Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores. Or, buy them online
coniosis113 years ago
...I Like that instructable.. !!!! . . ahahaha.... very cool....and amazing.... it's very simple but I dont know why I don't that instructable before,.. ! :))
TinyPenguin3 years ago
"or maybe the original owner just got too fat......" lol
St Jimmy4 years ago
You could have a stud on the inside end, facing outward, that goes through the hole on the outside like a button
Or poke some extra holes, preserve the buckle, and use that to close it
hey st jinny. just wondering but did you get your nem from the greenday songs. i love greenday. they are an awesome band.
Yep! They are pretty awesome
ilpug4 years ago
I'm going to make these, but not with belts, as i have a huge peice of black leather from an old biker jacket.
voltagedude4 years ago
where did u get the snaps????
alexcoollol4 years ago
can it wor k with a dremel
fungus amungus (author)  alexcoollol4 years ago
Which part?
TBJ54 years ago
2 snaps work better for me. But mine's about 3 inches wide, so it has to have two, so it doesn't rotate around the one snap. You can probably get away with one here if it's tight enough.
fungus amungus (author)  TBJ54 years ago
True, two snaps are better. That way you avoid pivoting. Personally, I don't mind he pivot and allowed it to move with my wrist.
Mad_Dog774 years ago
Hi. First time poster, so please be nice hehe. Very nice idea indeed, i got a belt that i could use in such a way. I was wondering, i have snapped on metal skulls on my presently ruined leather bracelet. I'm unable to find em anywhere. I was wondering if there was a way to remove the lock-pin that's pushes in the hold to keep it in place. If some one knows if and how it can be done it would be appreciated. Thanks
Hi Mad Dog, I hope someone has sent you a response, otherwise, had you tried a shoe/purse repair shop? They may have some ideas to give you. Good luck and welcome to the site! You'll find most people here are very generous with their information and knowledge.
Not yet unfortunately. Another thing i would like to know is, when you buy a biker-styled leather biker with pressure bolted-on decorations -- you know, when you look under and find out you can't unscrew it -- if, when the leather is really done and litteraly thinning, is there a way to rebolt em on somehow? I think those are put on with a pressure bolting machine. I got this old bracelet and the "designer of it put lil pieces of thin leather linked together with metal hooking rings, but no
hooking hole, so the metal used up all the leather. The decorations are cool though, I'd hate to throw em away.
Sehnsucht7 years ago
Nicely done! I made my own wristbands out of an old belt that had seen more of the country than a lot of people. I didn't just want to throw it away, so I did exactly what you did here. Although instead of punching in a design, I used a woodburner to score in some words.
Great idea. I was looking at this and wondering if a woodburner would work for decorating it. Now I may just have to try it!
TheRocket357 years ago
I get a rash from the snaps do you know of a nether way to close the band with out metal.
Sometimes nail polish over the part that contacts your skin helps.
try getting a cufflink that is flat and put the snap part on the outside of the bracelet
Try adding lining, you can either glue it or sew it.
You could always bore two or three holes in each end of the leather and lace it with a cord.
 put the leather in water. Next wrap it around a form the size of your wrist and hold it there with a plastic tack. Then microwave the whole thing for about 5-10 seconds. The leather will be hard and you can use it as one of those hard inflexible blanket
 Bracelet sorry
drill several holes and tie it off with leather lace, made several this way, look awesome and work great.
I get this too, my watch is attached to a cuff similar to this and the poppers do react with my skin. An easy way is to either glue a thin section of nylon or polyester on the inside of the cuff where the metal is or sew it in, but you'll have to either use a big needle or pre-punch some holes.
Very Keri chiok7 years ago
You can coat the metal with clear nail polish, which you may need to reapply once in a while. You could also use something called Jewelers Skin Guard, it's a cousin of clear nail polish and more expensive, but it allows me to wear non-gold earrings without skin irritation.
Nice Instructable. I haven't been able to find clasps like yours yet, so I'm going to try magnets, leather lace or even a small belt buckle. Thanks for posting this. 5 stars.
Cool one
I did this last weekend, and I'm very pleased with my results. To drill my holes with what I had at the time, I used a sharp screw, then widened the whole with a screwdriver light punch. The belt I had was very weathered so I only added a charm in the center of it I found in a craft store. The only thing that puzzles me, The corners on the belt are a bit sharp, even after I burned the edge, to make it match the color and smooth the rough area where I cut... What's a good way to smooth out the edges?
Have you tried sand paper? I haven't, but it's just a thought.
That was the first thing I tried, it roughed it out alot, maybe for the sharp corners to round it more out... Burning it seemed to smooth it out alot, but I still have the edges
Edit: The best thing that soothes it out, is time itself. Been wearing mine straight for about a year now. I scored the surface with straight knife cuts (out of boredom) and over time, it actually looks very nice now.
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