This is a quick little project, taking you through the process of making a simple leather bracelet with a cross (or any pendant). The options for customizing this simple bracelet are endless! You only need a few items in order to make this type of bracelet, and you can modify everything and use whatever you have available!
Step 1: Getting Started on Leather Bracelet - Materials
At the very least, you will need a piece of leather that is the length of your wrist. If you want to make this wider, feel free to do so as some people like leather cuffs. This leather I used was from some leather I purchased from Tandy Leather Co. months ago. I noticed Tandy Leather is now selling some of their merchandise on Amazon.
- Strip of Leather - Tandy Leather sells leather strips and scraps. If you have a store nearby, you can get scraps of leather pretty cheap. (Alternative Option: A belt strap might work if it's not too thick)
- Clamps for Ends of Leather - I bought them locally at JoAnn Fabrics for a couple of dollars. (Alternative Option: if you can punch a hole in the leather - you can use snap fasteners instead)
- Pliers - I use a multi-tool pliers for jewelry-making
- Clasps & Loops
- Scissors, Spray Water Bottle, Thread, Ruler or Measuring Tape
- Pendant or Cross or Piece of Jewelry to Place in Center (I bought a set of these cross pendants at Michael's Craft Store - they have a large variety of jewelry supplies)
- Extras: I also used some of my leather tools - a leather tooling awl, mallet & another tool to help punch holes in the leather(Please see steps for details as there are always alternatives)
Step 2: Cutting Leather & Prepping for Pendant
First, you will need to cut your leather so it is long enough for your wrist. I cut my piece with scissors but it would have had a nicer, smoother edge if cut with a razor or exacto knife.
After cutting it, I then folded the piece in half to find the center of it - and marked that with a little indent. I then placed the cross pendant on it to get a feel for where I would like it to be placed, before making any holes.
At this point, you need to attach the pendant to the piece of leather. I sprayed the leather with some water to make it more pliable. Then, I made holes near the ends of the cross where I wanted to secure it onto the leather. I used my awl, which has a sharp point at the end and a mallet to get it through the leather. I used sinew thread, which is what is normally used in sewing with leather. But, anything you have on hand would work fine. Wherever you end up tying it to the bracelet, it will be visible on the underside of the bracelet, but I didn't mind that. After securing it on, you will then finish up the bracelet with the end pieces & clasps.
Step 3: Clamps & Clasps for End of Bracelet
Now you should try the bracelet on again to get a better idea of the size and if you need to trim a little off the ends. You can leave a little space as you will need to attach the clamps & clasps too.
Now you will need to get out the clamps to cover the ends of the leather with. I used my mallet to hammer the clamp down and secure it onto the ends of the leather. It has two sides - one shiny and smooth and the other side has "teeth" that will clamp into the leather. I accidentally had the "teeth" on the top visible side, but either way works.
After that, try it on again to be sure you have the right size and space for the clasps. If there is an issue, you can cut off the end piece and clamp on another one. For the clasps, there are tons of different types you can use. To secure these types of clasps, you will want to add 2-3 little loops first. It just needs to be long enough so that you can easily put this on your wrist yourself - so that is why I suggest adding a few loops first. You just use your pliers to open up the end of the loop and attach it to the end clasps and that is it!
If you have any questions at all, please ask!