Italian leather is synonymous with luxury and quality. Most of the leather produced in Italy today still comes from small, family owned businesses. Leather and leather goods play an important role in Italy’s economy. Clothing and jewelry, shoes and furniture made from Italian leather are shipped throughout the world. A braided leather bracelet is one way leather can be used to make jewelry.
Braided Leather Bracelet Materials
- 3mm Suede leather cord
- piece of cardboard from shipping box
- packing tape (optional, but suggested)
4 Strand Braided Leather Bracelet Directions
Making the loom:
Print pattern. Cut off a section of a shipping box slightly larger than the pattern. Cut out the pattern, including the center hole, then place it on your piece of cardboard and trace.
Cover the traced design on your cardboard with wide packing tape, then turn over the cardboard and tape the corresponding back section with tape. This is optional, but highly recommended to extend the life of the loom.
Cut out the loom including the center circle.
Place the pattern over your cut out loom and cut along the short lines on the five sides. This will hold your leather cording.
How to Braid the Bracelet:
Pick two colors for your bracelet.
Cut 2 lengths of cord. To determine the length of each piece, measure wrist size, add an inch, then multiple by 6. Example, a child’s wrist is 6 inches:
6 + 1 = 7
7 x 6 = 42 inches
Holding the two pieces of cord together, fold the pieces in half.
Treating the two pieces as one, make a slip knot.
Tighten the knot. You can use a pencil as a guide for how big the make the loop. You want the loop to be slightly larger than the pencil.
Pull on the knot to make it tight and small, being careful not to make your opening get smaller.
Slide the knot into the loom’s center hole. Put it through from the front to the back so the knot is under the loom.
On the front, slip the four pieces of cord into the loom. One space will be left empty. The knot should just be visible in the hole. It really doesn’t matter if you separate the colors or put them next to one another. Both ways make for a pleasant pattern.
When you place your cords in the slits, do not pull them too tight. There should be a small bit of space under them.
View from the back.
To start weaving, place the open slit towards your body. Count 2 slits to the right of the open slit.
Remove the piece of cording from the slit.
Bring it towards you and put the cord in the open slit.
Again, turn the loom so it is facing you. Once again, remove the second cord to your right from its slit and place in the open slit.
This process is repeated until you achieve your desired length. Every time you have transferred two cords, gently give a little tug to the braid that is coming through the back.
Keep going until your braid measures your wrist size plus one inch. Measure the braid from where it comes out of the loom on the back to just under the knot of the loop. (In the example above, it should measure 7 inches.)
To take the braid off the loom, hold the braid in place with one hand and release the four pieces of cording.
Pull the loose cords through the hole of the loom holding your braided piece together so it does not begin to unwind.
Make another slip knot just where at the end of the braiding. Pull the knot tight. At this point you may want to try the the bracelet on to make sure it fits. To do this, place the bracelet around your wrist, then thread the loose cords through the loop. Pull it through so the end knot goes through the loop. Do not make the bracelet tight. You should be able to slip a finger or two between the bracelet and the wrist. If it is too small, thread it back on the loom and make it a bit longer. If you is too loose, untie the knot and move it down you braided cord.
When you are satisfied with the fit, clip off the extra cord, leaving the ends about 1/2 inch.
Your braided leather bracelet is now ready to wear!
6 Strand Leather Bracelet Variation
As the name implies, this is to make a thicker bracelet using 6 strands of cord.
Make it exactly like the 4 Strand version, except pick three colors of cord and use the 7 sides loom.
When it comes time to braid, always pick the cord that is 3 slits to the left of the open slit then continue as described above.
GALLERY OF BRAIDED LEATHER BRACELETS