This bracelet is a combination of leather, metal leaf, and flat-back crystals all connected together to wrap a few times around my wrist. The supplies used offer an almost unlimited array of color and texture combinations.
– leather lacing (sometimes called latigo lacing; suede lacing won’t work as well)
– metal leaf, I’ve used copper
– metal leaf size
– metal leaf sealer
– flat back crystals at about the same width as the lacing (I used 4mm crystals on 1/8 inch leather)
– crystal glue
– fold over end clamps for the leather (ideally in the same color as the leaf)
– jump rings
– jewelry pliers
– flexible tape measure
– utility knife
Make sure the glue you use on the crystals is designed for it, or test it first on a crystal. Some glues will remove the foil backing from crystals. The metal leaf size and sealer will probably say they aren’t for porous things like leather, but they worked in this case.
Measure your wrist as many times around as you want the bracelet to go. Measure your clasp and subtract it from that length, remove a bit more for the jump rings and cut the leather.
Trim the ends of the leather down so they’ll fit in the fold over clamps more easily.
Note: If your lacing was wrapped around a card it might have folds in it. I wrapped my leather tightly around an empty, clean food can and sprayed it with water until fairly saturated. When it was dry the folds were almost completely gone.
Fit the end of the leather into a fold over clamp. I added a drop of glue for bonus security.
Use the pliers to fold the clamp shut, trying to do a nicer job than I did.
Brush the entire length of the shiny leather side with leaf size. I used a piece of paper towel for this because it requires a solvent remover to clean it from a brush. Some size jars come with built in brushes. Leave the leather until the size goes from milky to clear, probably 5-15 minutes. (Double check your package, your drying directions might be a little different.)
Carefully press the sized side onto the leaf.
Trim the extra leaf away with the scissors, then repeat until the entire length of leather is covered.
Very gently brush away extra leaf with your fingers. Touch in more pieces anywhere that there are gaps in the leaf finish.
Brush the entire length of leaf with leaf sealer, and let it dry completely. Overnight completely. Before the sealer was dry I could easily scrape the leaf off with my fingernail, after it dried that leaf was stuck down completely.
Plan where you want crystals. I placed mine 1 inch apart over the length of the leather. Everywhere you’ll be placing a crystal cut a little asterisk into the leather as shown. This will help the crystals stay in place.
Dot on a drop of glue then place a crystal. My crystal glue came with a little silicone pad on the end for easily picking up and placing the crystals. If you don’t have something like that you’ll probably want some tweezers for this.
Glue all the crystals and again let it dry completely.
Add the clasp and wrap it around your wrist!