When we were packing for our move to Oregon in December of last year I found a graveyard of my boyfriend’s old, leather belts in his closet. I asked him if he wanted me to try to patch them up for him to reuse, but he wasn’t interested and I just couldn’t bring myself to throw them out, so I decided I would try my hand at making them into bracelets. Cut to three months later and I am finally getting around to them. Better late than never, right?
My first step was to make a quick trip to the fabric store. I picked up some large all-purpose needles, some heavy-duty snaps and snap tools, a rotary leather punch and some heavy-duty thread. I picked thread that you could used on jeans because I like the color to go with the belt I chose for my first set of bracelets, but I also picked up a darker leather-thread as well. I did use a strand of the darker thread in my boyfriend’s bracelet to add some depth.
I took the belt and measured enough to fit my wrist and cut it off with about two inches of room to spare on the end to place my snap. I then did the same to my boyfriend’s wrist and left room, at his request for a double snap on the inside so he could loosen it if he wanted more space.
Instead of trying to push a needle through the leather, which would have been a serious workout, I first punched a series of holes along the end of the leather using my leather punch on the smallest setting.
Once I had my holes punched I used my thread, which I doubled over and tied off at the end, to decorate the freshly cut edges of the leather. To secure the thread I left a half-inch of length at the end of the first hole and, as I went through the next hole, pulled that over the hanging end-thread to secure it to the bracelet. I did this with the first three holes. My pattern was to go from left to right through each hole, then reversed direction. I did this twice in both directions then finished by tying off my thread on the inside of the bracelet. You can do this however you like. Now is the time to show your creative side.
If you want to do a pattern on the face of the leather you can do this as well. I used my punch to create a pattern on each bracelet then followed through with my thread.
In order to set the snaps into the leather you are going to want to used your heavy-duty snap tools and a hammer. I punched a large hole in the place where I wanted my snaps because the leather is very thick and I wanted to make sure the snaps would reach completely through the leather. You will want to do this on a very solid surface, no carpeted floors or anything that you will dent. I went outside to use the concrete on the patio, which worked perfectly.
Once your snaps are set in give them a try to make sure that they are secure. You don’t one of the pieces falling off while you are wearing it.
Here is a view of my finished bracelet on.
You can choose to do one set of snaps or two. I like to do at least two for men because they seem to be harder on their jewelry than us ladies. You can also do multiple rows on the inside or out if you aren’t sure of the width of someones wrist, so that they can adjust them to fit perfectly.
I can’t wait to get started on a few more of these later this week, but first I will need to make another trip to the fabric store for more snaps.
I hope you like this idea for recycling your old leather belts. My motto is, why toss it when you can turn it into something fabulous. Does that make me a pack rat?
As always feel free to hit me up with questions if you have any. Happy recycling!