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Steampunk Leather Bracelet with Silver Charms
By Marcy Kentz
Use silver charms to create a unique steampunk leather bracelet. Leather bracelets are hot this season and steampunk style is on the rise. The leather cord is buttery soft, supple, and comes in beautiful colors. This design is edgy and contemporary. This bracelet is a great introduction to sewing on leather.
Here's what you'll need:
- See the Steampunk Jewelry Design Ideas to pick up all the parts you need.
- A good pair of scissors
- An awl or a tack and a hammer
- An embroidery ring is also helpful. It keeps the leather tight so it is easier to sew on and the needle will bend less. They don’t cost very much and you can buy them at most fabric or craft stores.
TIP: Most leather cord will stretch just a little while your working with it, so make sure to pre-stretch your leather as much as possible. This will also prevent your finished bracelet from stretching. To stretch leather cord simply run it though your hands tightly for a few minutes. Or wrap it once around a secure cylindrical object and pull the ends back and forth.
Cut a 10” strip of leather. Most bracelets are 7”-8”. You want to have at least an extra 1-2” to work with.
Sew the spacers on the leather.
- Cut an arm’s length piece of Fireline and thread your needle.
- Tie a few knots on top of each other at the end of the thread.
- In this step you will secure the position of the spacer by sewing the gemstone down on top of the spacer. Position your spacer about 2” from the end and centered along the midline. Starting from the back side, push the needle through the leather. Thread the spacer and your labrodorite bead. (If the gemstone doesn’t fit on the needle take the needle off, thread the gemstone, and re-thread the needle.)
SEWING TIP: Once the tip of the needle pierces the leather, put your finger tip close to that point to help ease the rest of the needle through the leather. Once it’s about 1/2” through, instead of pushing from the bottom, pull the needle from the top. This way the leather and needle will wiggle and warp less. Sewing leather is all about finding the right pressure to use. You don’t want to use too much or you will bend the needle, but you need to use enough to pierce the leather. Once you get used to using the right amount of pressure sewing on the leather will become easier.
Sew back through the inside of the spacer. Once you pull tight, the gemstone will anchor the spacer into position.
Repeat for the other spacers.
Sew on the gear charms. The notched edges of the gear charms are perfect for securing them to the leather because the thread blends right in. Sew around three notches on the left and three on the right.
Sew down the next gear. I recommend sewing on either side of the spokes so the thread blends in with the design of the gear.
After you finish sewing around the spokes of that last gear, you want to position your thread at the center of the leather again. Working on the back side, tuck your thread under your stitches to get your thread in position for the next gear.
- Sew on the next gear. Use each of the holes at the perimeter of the gear as anchor points.
- Repeat Step 7.
SEWING TIP: Finding the right spot to pierce the leather from the back can be tricky, but is important for the placement of the gear. To find the right spot, poke the bottom of the leather until you feel where the hole is on the gear. Once you find the right spot pierce the needle through the leather.
Sew on the next gear. Sew on either side of each spoke as your anchor points. By now you’re getting the hang of it, and it’s so easy!
Repeat Step 5 to sew on the last gear.
Repeat Steps 2-4 to sew on the other three spacers.
Finishing your thread! This is a special knot my brother, who is a taxidermist, taught me. It is really strong and effective.
- On the back side of your leather find a nearby stitch and slip the tip of your needle through it. Pull the thread tightly under the needle at a 90 degree angle.
Wrap the thread around the tip of the needle three times.
Use your thumb to hold down the coils while you pull the needle through. Pull it tight.
Attach your button. Thread your thin silk cord through two holes on your button
Tie a knot on both sides of the silk cord as close to the bottom of the button as possible.
Repeat Steps 13 & 14 for the other two holes in your button
Measure your wrist to gauge where you want to attach your button. Remember the button hole you cut into the leather will need to overlap the position of the button. Allow for enough length for the overlap.
Poke four holes in your leather, where you want your button to be. You can use an awl, or a tack and a hammer.
Pull your silk cords into their corresponding holes.
You can use a scrap piece of wire to help thread the silk cord through the holes. Poke one end of the wire through the tip of the silk, fold in half and you have a home made needle. If it is still difficult to pull through you can use a pair of pliers to pull the wire and silk through the hole.
Tie knots on each cord as close to the leather as possible. Make sure they are tight.
Cut off your silk ends and leather ends. Round off the edges of your leather for a finished look. Remember the button hole will overlap where the button is positioned. Leave enough room for the button hole on the other end of the bracelet.
Cut a parallel slit for you button hole.
Finish the Back Side. Cut a piece of leather that is the length of your bracelet minus the button hole part. Trim the sides so it is a little smaller in width.
Glue the strip of leather to the back. This is going to secure your button knots, hide your stitches, and prevent them from wearing out. Start with the button knots. Make sure to spread the glue all over them, but try not to be too messy.
Glue down the rest of the strip. Use your finger to evenly spread out the glue to cover to entire surface area.
Put pressure on it for a couple of minutes. Wipe off any glue that seeps out.
It's time to marvel at your creation!
If you have questions or feedback we would love to hear it. Send us an e-mail at Nina@ninadesigns.com