Obviously I’m reinventing the “DIY bracelet” wheel, but I like the way these turned out using different kinds of ball chain (it’s also a much more simplified version of the leather and bead ones from last February). Anyways, I mixed and matched a bunch of different chains, rhinestone strands and chunky clasps to get a funky, layered bohemian look. Make sure to check out the long-short ball chain towards the bottom….it results in a “twist” effect.
Father’s Day is coming up so Boo and I made Mr. Lil Blue Boo this hand carved bracelet:
It says “Daddy I Love You” in Boo’s handwriting:
First I started with a basic leather cuff (from Dharma Trading, pre-cut with hardware already attached) and used a razor blade to cut it in half:
A cuff becomes 2 bracelets!
I used small detail scissors to trim the edges to make them symmetrical:
Ready to embellish:
Boo wrote her message to Daddy on the bracelet:
Using a set of basic linoleum cutting tools…..
……I carefully carved out the letters:
Next I painted the bracelet with basic leather paint (in English Tan) making sure to get a lot of paint down into the carved letters:
Next I wiped off the paint using a damp cloth so only a thin layer was on the leather.
I painted and wiped it off several times to achieve a distressed look. Then let it dry completely:
Boo couldn’t keep this secret from Daddy and wanted to give him his bracelet immediately:
A perfect gift to Daddy from his little girl:
I made the “grateful” bracelet for myself:
What will you write on yours?
I have jars of buttons all over my studio and I’m always brainstorming different unique ways to use them. I recently ordered some leather cuffs from Dharma Trading and thought the buttons would be a great way to embellish them.
These leather blank cuffs are a great base for a project since the hardware is already attached. The best part is they are really inexpensive and precut!
I used Angelus Leather Dye and Dye Reducer to dye the leather:
I mixed the leather dye and reducer in a small bowl:
Then I used a cloth to apply it to the the leather. Two coats worked perfectly:
I recommend using gloves when dyeing…..I’m always too impatient, but I don’t mind walking around town with discolored hands.
Once the leather was dry I took a sanding block to distress it. If you want it smooth and supple you can add wax or softener and buff it. I left mine plain because I wanted it slightly dry and distressed:
I sorted out a selection of buttons in a tan, brown and muted palette:
To apply the buttons I used an small 1/16″ scrapbook hole punch, a sharp needle type tool, an embroidery needle and DMC thread:
I placed my first button on the cuff and used the sharp tool to mark where I needed to punch holes:
Using a skinny scrapbook punch I punched the small holes using my marks:
It’s easiest to mark several buttons at once……
……and then move them off the cuff, but keeping them in the same order as you punch your holes:
It only took me about an hour to sew all of these buttons on and I love how eclectic and earthy the cuff turned out!
More leather cuff ideas to come soon!