Introduction: How to Make a Custom Leather Stained Bracelet.
I see a lot of leather cuffs where i Live in San Francisco and I wanted to make my own custom cuff that has my own feel and something that no one else has. The following steps will show you how I constructed my own personal cuff.
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I have chosen a basic vegatable tanned leather for my cuff. Any leather store will carry this and hundreds of more selections.
The first step in making a custom bracelet is determining how long of a bracelet you need to wrap around your wrist comfortably. To do this just take a tape measure and wrap it around your wrist to determine how big your wrist is. My wrist is around 7 inches.
The general rule when making a bracelet is adding a 1 inch to 2 based on your personal preference of wanting it to be tight or loose on your wrist. I have choose to add an inch to make it more of a tight fit.
Now that I have chosen to have an 8 inch strap its time to cut it off the roll. The best way to cut leather is to use a metal straight edge with a sharp razor blade.
Now that I have the leather cut down to the size of my wrist its time to laser graphics on to it.
Since Im a fan of guns and what not, I have decided to illustrate AK47 bullets in illustrator. Once my illustration of a single bullet was complete, I then copied them into one big line of bullets so that they would stretch from one side of the leather to the other.
In order to get my AK47 bullets on to my leather strap, I used a laser to burn the bullets onto my strap. There are several ways of getting images on to leather such a screen printing, stamping or stenciling. Any one of these will add a custom look.
And after about 7 mins, like magic I now have bullets on my strap.
Because the leather was burned with the laser, it has created a char like dust. So in order to prevent this char from spreading to the un-touched leather you must clean it with either Hydrogen peroxide or Alcohol.
The best way I have found to clean the leather is to dab my fingers in the Hydrogen and pad it onto the leather which makes the char lift. I repeat this about 2-3 times in each area to make sure all the char lifts and then I take a paper town and soak up the Hydrogen and the char.
Based on how much I burned the leather really determines how much cleaning of the leather one must do. You can tell by the paper towels that It was definitely dirty. Now that the leather is clean, its time add some holes for our snaps.
Once the leather is cleaned its time to add holes in which the snaps will be placed onto the leather. Because we have already measured the leather to our wrist. We just need to have a hole at each end of the leather for the snaps. The tool that assists you in making holes is called a leather puncher. Now that the holes are complete its time to add some color to the leather.
Now its time to add some color. I have chosen to add a red stain to the leather. Its best to use a damp sponge and then add the stain to the sponge. The stain sort of acts like a watercolor, so the more stain you add the more pronounced red color the leather will become.
Its best to first spread the stain so that it covers all the leather and then use a clock ward motion to really get it into the leather. After about a couple of min's of rubbing the stain into the leather, you can either add more stain if you want more of a pronounced color. Once satisfied with your color, just let dry. The stain I am using dries in about 30 mins.
Once the stain is completely dry a nice finisher will seal in the stain and protect the leather. You add this just like the stain.
Now that our leather is stained and finished and completely dried, its time to place the snaps into place
In order to succesfully install a snap one must have a snap setter specifc to the size of the snap and a small anvil for your snaps to rest on along with a rubber mallet to press the components together. For our snap, we need to place the cap underneath the leather having the stem come threw the hole and place the socket onto the stem and then place the snap setter on the stem and then strike with the mallet.
Once our cap is installed repeat the same step for the eyelet and stud. After this step, you now are ready to snap this jewel to your wrist!!!!
And complete!!!!!! And now you can make your own custom cuff with the aid of this instructable.