Today’s project is a fun woven leather bracelet that has a little bling! If you’ve ever done any weaving, you will find this to be a much more simple design than what it looks like – making it look impressive without a lot of effort! At under $10 each, this DIY rhinestone and leather bracelet makes a fabulous gift for the jewelry lover in your life!
- 2mm Black Leather Cord ($1.27)
- 2.5mm Rhinestone Chain ($4.97)
- Ribbon Ends and Clasp Set ($2.37)
- Bead Thread ($1.97)
- Jewelry Glue ($3.97 or on hand)
- Wire Cutters ($3.97 or on hand)
Total: $18.52 or less for 2 leather bracelets = $9.26 each
I made two versions of this leather bracelet – you can create a whole different look just by changing the colors! Try using natural leather bracelet cord, an offsetting color thread like this silver lame, and even other colors of rhinestone chain, like this champagne color! The tutorial will show the champagne color, because the first one I made was a bit of an experiment. 🙂 But I love both colors!
First – cut your cord and chain a few inches longer than you need. The average size for a bracelet is 7 inches, but you can vary this if your wrist is larger or smaller. Your clasp will add about 1/2 inch, so plan on a woven length of approximately 6-1/2 inches. This means you will need to cut your cords and chain to approximately 9 inches because once you get close to the end, you will need a little extra length to hold onto, so you can continue to work. You will need 3 lengths of leather bracelet cord, and 2 lengths of chain. Now, unwind a bunch of thread for this. You can add more later if you come up short, but it will be harder to weave in the ends. I try to work with one continuous piece when I am able to. You will need a length that is 3-4 times the length of your bracelet, and you will be doubling it up to work with. So you can be like me and just unravel a couple arm’s lengths, or you can measure off about 8 feet of thread. Find the center of your thread, and tie it around either the left or right leather cord. You want to make sure the end of your thread gets crimped into your ribbon end.
Add some glue to your ribbon end, and clamp your cords and chain into it. This seems like a simple step, but I found this to be the most difficult step in the entire project, so if you have trouble lining it all up, you are not alone… just hang in there, because everything else is easy after this! I found it easiest to crimp it slowly starting at one end, and secure each piece one at a time.
Pass the thread over the leather cords and under the chain between two rhinestones until you get to the right side. Then, wrap it over the right cord so that it’s coming up from the bottom, and pass it over the chains in between the rhinestones in the same place, and under the cords. This completes one row. At the end of each row, pull it so that is an even tension. You will repeat this throughout your leather bracelet – over the cords and under the chains, then under the cords and over the chains coming back. I find it helpful to secure my bracelet with a clipboard, or even a makeshift version like this… (yes, that is just a chip clip on a canvas board, because my clipboard had become a temporary toddler art station). 😉 Check the length against your wrist periodically – and don’t forget that your clasp will add a little length as well. When you get to the end, knot your thread securely on one of the cords. Use your wire cutters to cut it off evenly at the links immediately after your knot. Add some glue to your other ribbon end and crimp it on. This will be significantly easier than the first end because your cords will be woven neatly together this time. Then, just add your clasp, and your leather bracelet is finished!
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Adrianne is a writer, artist, designer, wife, and mom of 2 kids. She blogs at happyhourprojects.com where the theme is tutorials and recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Her favorite projects are jewelry-making, paper crafts, and recycled crafts. She participates annually in ArtPrize, an international art competition, and she’s the author of the book DIY T-Shirt Crafts: 50 Ways to Recycle a T-Shirt (August 2015).