The first time I saw these sami bracelets was in northern Sweden during my exchange year.
The first thought was " Oh that looks nice".
The second was "How did they manage to keep the wire on the leather?"
The third one "Where can I get this?"
And the fourth "Where do I get the supplies to make my own?"
Lucky me, I found a small shop in Luleå where I could buy all the supplies I needed for my first tin wired bracelet (and the second and the third...)
Nowadays I thought its time for a fourth one, and this time I recorded the making step by step. I decided to make a 4-strings-braid with some pearls, but you can braid whatever you like. If you put sami bracelet into your search image machine you will find a lot of ideas.
I hope you enjoy reading the making and want to make your own beaded tin wired sami bracelet.
Step 1: The Material
I thought, I remembered all the things I needed for the bracelet from the beginning, but my memory failed.
So the picture on top isn't fully completed. But the list is, have a look what you need:
- spun tin /pewter wire 0,35mm (I used 1 m of this one)
- piece of black leather skin (I used 160x30mm reindeer leather but you could also use artificial leather if you want to make it vegan)
- 1 reindeer horn button in 10mm (or any other button in this size)
- twisted leather strap (length is depending of your button, but approx. 5cm, I used this)
- rocailles beads in your preferred color (with a hole big enough to fit on the wire)
- invisible thread
- black thread
- 1 leather needle
- 1 normal sewing needle
- measuring tape
- x-acto knive/ carpet cutter
- glue or wood glue (at least solvent-free)
- wire cutter (or stronger scissors)
- tesa film or washi tape
- optional: foxglove, tweezers
I added some links to the shop where I bought the supplies. I know there are probably also other shops online, but this one I know and I can recommend it, at least from buying things offline. Until now I never bought the stuff online, but the shop is available in swedish, (and has a try in translation to english and german) and they offer international shipping.
Step 2: Measuring and Wire Preparation
1. Measure your wrist (or the wrist of your presentee), in my case it was 16cm.
2. Cut the reindeer skin to the same length (if you want to have it more loose, add 1 or 1,5 cm)
3. Decide how many strings you need for your braid(s). I used four strings in this case.
4. Cut the wire to the lenght of your leather +5-9cm. I cut the strings to 25cm, but that was to long, so I had left overs.
5. Bead the pearls on your wire. In this case all pearls are on the same string. Don't forget to make a loose knot at the end of the string, otherwise all your tendious beaded pearls might slip down your wire. (don't ask me where this knowledge comes from :-) )
Step 3: Braid the Strings...
I did the braiding free handed, but it might be easier for you to tape the strings on the table or to use a safety pin and pin it to your jeans over the knee.
1. Put all strings in parallel. Start to weave with the left string up-down-up the other strings. Place the first pearl.
2. Take the most left string and weave up-down-up the other strings. Gently move the pearl to the wanted position.
3. Take the most left string and weave up-down-up the other strings. (Can you see the scheme here? :-) )
4. Take the most left string and weave up-down-up.
5. Now the string with the beads is on the left again. Place the next pearl. And continue weaving, or braiding, or whatever you like to call it, until the strings are totally braided.
You can see that I bead on to many pearls, but that was not an issue, just remove them or add more if you need them.
Step 4: Prepare the Leather
1. Make to marks on every end of your leather at 1,5cm
2. Take your cutter and slit the about 5mm (or more if your making a thicker tin braid)
3. Braid your tin braid through the slits.
4. Now you are ready for the sewing...
Step 5: Sewing the Braid on the Leather
1. Hold the braid with your non-dominant hand in place and sew with the other. (Until now I didn't find a proper way to keep the braid perfectly in the middle of the leather, there for it's a little bit tricky; but you will manage it too. Just take your time and don't hurry)
2. Try to stitch the hole from the bottom slightly more in the middle then on the side of the braid. We don't want to see the hole later on the leather. Aim for the space between the outer right string and the second from the right.
3. Lift the needle and stitch beyond the outer right string back to the leather - remember: we don't want to see the punch of the needle in the leather.
4. Repeat on the left side.
5. Gently pull the thread to fix your sewing. But don't be to strong otherwise the wires will get a new form to your stitching. Just fix them.
6. When you arrive a part with a bead make sure you either sew before the bead or beyond the bead. Otherwise you will see the thread on top.
7. Continue until the end and then sew up your invisible thread on the backside of your leather. Since it's (almost) impossible to stitch it up there, I just made a lot of half hitches around the previous stitches. Don't worry if this side looks a bit messy, it won't bee seen later...
8. Since the tin braid tends to slip out of the slit, we will also fix it there. For this use the normal black thread and just fix it to the leather with some stitches (3-4).
1. Now that your braid is fixed on the leather, cut it to the preferred length which is about 5mm shorter than the leather.
2. Prepare the twisted leather strap for the button hole. Cut it to 5cm (or your needed length)
3. Seal the cutting area with some tesa or washi tape to avoid untwisting the leather strings. Don't worry about the color of the tape, you will remove it in the next step.
4. Carefully peel of the tape from one end of your short string and wrap some black thread around to fix it again. Start and end with some half hitches. Continue on the other end of the string.
5. Half hitch both ends together.
6. Sew the loop to your bracelet by first stitching around the two strings and then stitch twice in the middle. The holes of your needle should leave the marks as seen on the picture, a little bit T-shaped.
Step 7: Closing the Bracelet
1. Take a longer black thread, the glue and some more time.
2. In this step you need to work in steps, otherwise your glue will dry before it could work on your leather.
Start with some first stitches at one side of your bracelet, which one isn't important. Always stitch from the bottom to the top so you will get a nice braided look like seam.
3. Add some glue on about 4 cm of your leather. Don't put to much on it otherwise it might come out the needle holes beyond your wire braid.
4. Close the seam by gently pull the thread stitch by stitch from the beginning to the open end. I used my normal needle for this, but you could also do it with some tweezers.
5. Press the closed part down with your finger. Always check if your wire is in the middle of the leather.
6. Continue with step 3-5 until the end of your bracelet. DON'T cut the thread you will continue with it.
(7. If you cut it, or if it was to short, don't worry, just sew it up and take a new one.)
Step 8: Mount the Button
1. Take the bracelet and wrap it around your wrist. The loop of the leather strap shows you where to put the button.
2. Take the remaining thread from the closing and start sewing the button to the bracelet with one stitch.
3. Stick a match between the button an the leather to avoid sewing the button to tight to the bracelet.
4. After 4 stitches remove the match and wrap the thread.
5. Finish the wrapping with 3 to 4 half hitches.
You are done. Congratulations. Now just put it on...
Step 9: Finished
The bracelet is finished.
And it fits - everything worked out fine. :-)
I like it and will wear it alone or together with my others.
Here you can also see some of them. But there are a lot more possibilities to braid the wire. Just get inspired...
I hope you enjoyed my instructable.
If you have any questions, just let me know. I will do my best to answer them :-)