One of the things I love the most about jewelry making is that it can be as easy–or as involved–as you want.
Inspired by the many different versions of DIY wrap bracelets that are making the rounds, I set out to make my own with leftover chain and natural leather for an interesting contrast. How easy was this project? My DIY wrap bracelet took me about 10 minutes to make from start to finish!
Supplies needed: (See note at the end for easy customization tips that might alter your supply list)
- 2 yards Natural Leather Cord
- 11 inches of large-link chain (I used a length of leftover Silver Plated Steel Twist Chain Necklace from the blue suede bracelet)
First, fold the leather cording in half to find its midpoint. Pull the midpoint up through the back of the first link on your chain to give you a leather loop to use as half of your bracelet closure.
Now you’re ready to start “braiding” your leather cord through the chain links. (While not technically a braid, the weaving pattern results in a braided look.) Make sure that you use the thumb of your other hand to hold the leather loop against the top of the first link, so it doesn’t get pulled tight. You should only have to do this for the first link or two, then you can release it. The braiding happens in 2 easy steps:
Step 1: The cord on on the right comes around and is threaded down through the front of the next link, then pulled tight.
Step 2: The cord on the left comes around and is threaded down through the front of the next link. Make sure it goes to the right of the cord that you just threaded.
Continue to weave the leather in this way until you reach the end of the chain. If you notice some loose or tight areas, you should be able to easily work the leather cord along its length to adjust–just like you would a shoelace.
After you finish through the last link, tie a simple double knot. The nice thing about using natural leather or suede is that knots tend to hold fairly well as long as they are initially pulled very tight.
Now wrap the bracelet around your wrist at least twice–I did a third wrap, because I liked the combination of braided bracelet and straight cord that gave me–and use the loop to tie the bracelet on so that it’s comfortable. A simple double knot (unlike the ending double knot, this one shouldn’t be too tight) works perfectly here.
Once you’re sure that your bracelet is sized to fit your taste, cut off the extra cording, leaving at least an inch past the knot to make sure that you have enough to retie it later. I actually left almost two inches so I have the option to wear it loose and slouchy if I want to. When I wear it fitted, the longer ends also tuck under the rest of the bracelet nicely.
And… that’s it! A quick, stylish, unique bracelet, finished in mere minutes!
Note: This wrap bracelet is very simple, and very easy to customize. Need some ideas to make this bracelet better fit your taste? Here are just a few.
- Switch out the natural leather with colored leather or suede. You could even use thick yarn, felt strips or ribbon. (Note: You might want to add a drop of adhesive to the final knot, depending on your material choice.)
- Dangle a few beads from the chain for a chic, feminine look. Pearls or turquoise would look fantastic with the natural leather and bright silver chain.
- Weave the leather cording through every other link, instead of all of them, for a looser braid.
- Separate the chain into multiple sections, and knot the leather cording in between braided sections.
- Don’t like knotted clasps? Use a longer length of chain so that it wraps exactly twice around your wrist. Eliminate the loop at the beginning by pulling the midpoint snug against the top of the second link as you begin, and cut the leather cording after the final knot. Add a lobster clasp to the last link on the knotted end, and use the first link of the bracelet as the hook–or add a split ring to the first link, if you prefer.
More Project Ideas
Content Manager for ConsumerCrafts by day, enthusiastic trash picker, gardener and DIY crafter by night! Most of my projects are inspired by my love of vintage jewelry – or the challenge of finding creative new uses for materials.
When I grow up, I want to be MacGuyver.