Introduction: Ruler and Leather Cuff Bracelet

This Instructable will take you through the process of creating a handsome cuff bracelet from leather and a metal ruler that looks great on both men and women.  The total cost for the Ruler and Leather Cuff Bracelet should be right around 10 dollars for all the materials and you'll end up with enough materials left over to make a several more bracelets provided you buy a few extra metal rulers.  This is a quick project that can be finished in less than an hours and doesn't require many tools.  Enjoy!

  • Leather Belt -  Can be found for only a few dollars at your local thrift store.  Try to find a belt that is 100% leather as opposed to one that only looks like leather and is actually composed of several layers of various materials.
  • Small Metal Ruler - Check out your local tool store or craft store.  You'll want to find a thin ruler that will be easy to bend.
  • Rapid Rivets - Available from Michael's Crafts.  They sell two different packs, one pack includes just the rivets and one pack includes the rivets and the set tool.  If you don't have the set tool make sure to buy the pack that has it.
  • Button Snaps - Same deal as the Rapid Rivets, you can buy them at Michael's Crafts and they sell a pack that includes just snaps and a pack that includes the set tools.  Again get the pack that has the set tools if you don't already have them.

  • Drill and Drill Bits
  • Hammer
  • Ruler
  • Utility Knife
  • Saw for Cutting Metal
  • Rapid Rivet Set Tool
  • Button Snap Set Tool
  • Large Pipe Clamp
  • Flat Screw Driver
  • Wooden Template of your Wrist

Step 1: Measuring Your Wrist

The first step to making a great bracelet is measuring your wrist and there are several ways to do it.
  • Flexible Tape - the simplest and most accurate way to measure your wrist, simply wrap the flexible tape around your wrist and where it meets is the diameter of your wrist. This is the method that is pictured and you can see that my wrist measures roughly 7 3/4" in circumference.
  • String and Ruler - Wrap string around your wrist and mark where the string meets.  Next hold the string against a ruler and measure from the end of the string to the mark you made, this will give you the a measurement of the diameter of your wrist.
  • Old Bracelet or Watch - If you have an old bracelet or watch that fits particularly well you can lay it out and use it as a relative dimension for the bracelet you are making.

Tip - No matter what size your wrist ends up being it is always a good idea to add a little bit to your measurement so that your bracelet fits comfortably.  if you make your bracelet exactly the size of your wrist it will feel really tight when you put it on.  A good rule of thumb is to add about 1/4" for girls and about 1/2" for boys.  Also it's important to consider the width of your bracelet, wider bracelets feel tighter than thinner bracelets, so if you're using a belt that is particularly thick to make your cuff bracelet you may want to add some extra length to ensure a comfortable fit.

Step 2: Cutting the Leather

Now that you have your wrist measurement it's time to cut the leather cuff part of your bracelet.  Pick a section of the belt that is in good condition and use your utility knife to cut a section of the belt that is equal to the measure of your wrist plus an additional 1" (note that the extra inch is needed so that you can overlap the bracelet for the button snaps). 

Once you have the leather belt cut, test fit it to your wrist to ensure a good fit with enough overlap to install button snaps.

Step 3: Installing Snaps

In this step you'll be installing button snaps onto the leather cuff.  Note that the number of snaps is up to you, one snap will work as well as two, I'm only installing two because I think it looks nice.  Each snap is composed of four parts, 2 for the top part of the snap and two for the bottom.

Start by drilling holes in each end of the leather belt large enough to pass the shank of the snap through and then use a hammer and the snap set tool to rivet everything together. do this for the top and bottom of each snap you install until you have the desired number of snaps.  

Again test fit as you go to ensure a comfortable fit.

Step 4: Making the Ruler Bracelet

Making the ruler part of the bracelet isn't hard but there are a few steps that you need to do for the bracelet to look it's best and fit well.  

Lucky for me the ruler I used was just about the right size for my wrist, so it didn't need to be cut to length.  If you have a smaller wrist, cut the ruler so that it is 3/4 to 1 inches shorter than the measure of your wrist (this is so there will be a gap large enough to put the bracelet on and take it off once the ruler is bent).  For example my wrist measurement is 7  3/4 inches so the length of the ruler would need to be at most 7 inches to leave a big enough gap. 

Once your ruler is the correct length the next step is to bend the ruler into a bracelet shape. The best way to do this is to create a template that is a little bigger than your wrist out of wood and then bend the ruler around the wooden template, (the reason the template needs to be slightly bigger than your wrist is because the ruler bracelet has to fit around your wrist and the thickness of the leather cuff.

Tip - getting the ruler to bend perfectly around the template can be hard because the metal ruler will be springy and will not want to take the shape of the template.  To combat this, bend the ruler as close as possible to the shape of the template and then use a large pipe clamp to force the ruler tightly against the template to perfect the shape.

Lastly drill a hole at each end of the ruler using a drill bit that is slightly larger in diameter than the shank of your rapid rivets. These holes will be used to rivet the ruler to the leather cuff in the following step.

Step 5: Attaching the Ruler Bracelet to the Leather Cuff

To rivet the ruler bracelet to the leather cuff start by putting the leather cuff inside the ruler bracelet so that the snap opening of the leather cuff is in line with the gap in the ruler bracelet. Next use the holes you drilled in the ruler bracelet as templates and drill holes through the leather cuff so that the cuff and bracelet can be riveted together.  Note that because you are trying to rivet on the inside of the bracelet you will need something to fit the bracelet over when riveting, (for example an open vice jaw which is what I used for my riveting surface).  

Step 6: Finished

Thanks for taking the time to check out my Instructable.  I hope you found the information presented here to be useful and interesting and I hope you enjoyed learning how to make the Ruler and Leather Cuff Bracelet. If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Bracelet Contest

Grand Prize in the
Bracelet Contest

Workshop Contest

Participated in the
Workshop Contest

Manly Crafts Contest

Participated in the
Manly Crafts Contest