So a lot of you know, I’m pretty much always looking for an excuse to turn EVERYTHING into jewelry. (Fortunately? It’s an easy excuse to make. YAY JEWELRY.) Today’s project is no different – I combined a fun paper crafting die with leather to make an ocean-themed leather cuff bracelet. I couldn’t help it – I just adore this seahorse!
If you haven’t used your Sizzix machine to cut leather before, you’re in for a treat when you finally give it a try. I LOVE the Big Shot for leather (and you know I love leather for jewelry, so I’m just happy all the way around when a project like this comes together). I’ll leave a few affiliate links below in case you’re curious about trying any of these craft supplies out for yourself. Oh, and if you decide to make the leap and buy a Sizzix Big Shot (or if you have one and you decide you need a fabulous new die or two) be sure to enter SZB2015 when you checkout from the Sizzix site. I’m part of their design team, and I can pass a 15% discount along to all my readers with that code. :)
You will need:
- Sizzix Big Shot, extended platform, and cutting pads
- Sizzix Bigz Seashorse die
- Sizzix Bigz Cuff Bracelet die
- Upholstery leather
- Leather hole punch
- 4mm compression rivets, rivet setting tool, hammer, and steel bench block
- Crimp ribbon ends
- 6mm or larger chain and clasp
- Leather-suitable glue (I like Gutermann glue for leather)
- Jewelry pliers
- Sizzix Movers & Shapers Bracket-edge album die
- Sizzix Movers & Shapers Label & Starfish dies
- Papers and ink you love
Die cut your leather by placing in on top of the die, smooth side down. Create your “Sizzix sandwich” by placing the die between two cutting pads. Roll it through your Big Shot, and you’ve got an instant, clean cut seahorse. You will do just the same with the cuff die, so there will be no wonky edges that you sometimes get trying to cut leather with scissors. It’s seriously flawless, that’s why I love the Bigz dies for leather!
Next, punch holes around the seahorse in strategic places so that you can attach the die cut to your cuff blank. Then, add a thin but uniform layer of glue to the backside of the seahorse. Finally, snap the compression rivets together, and set them with the rivet setting tool and hammer.
The glue on its own isn’t quite enough to hold the leather, and the rivets alone won’t hold the edges as nicely as the glue. But by combining the two ways to adhere the seahorse to the cuff, you should get a nice strong hold. It’s a similar method as they use when making jeans – the stitching is reinforced with metal rivets. (And? It makes it look so nautical!) ;)
I opted for the quick-connectors for this project. I closed the holes in the cuff die designed for attaching chain or ribbon with rivets, and then I crimped on a pair of ribbon ends. Then, I attached chain to the ribbon ends to finish the bracelet.
The end result is kind of an ocean-punk piece of fashion (bet you NEVER imagined that would be a thing, right?) that is really unique! And, let me take this a step further.
If you’re giving it as a gift, then whip up a few of the bracket edge Movers & Shapers album die cuts. The nice big spine allows it to fold closed without squashing the cuff down flat, so you can use a bit of ribbon to tie it in. Maybe even die cut another seahorse or two for the cover. Of course you can ink it, emboss it, and add a special message, too. This is just meant to be a really quick idea of how you could give it. (I’m totally NOT parting with this piece. Ahem.)
Thanks for joining me today – I had a lot of fun creating this project idea. If you liked it too, then be sure to pin it, or share it on Facebook or Twitter to show your friends!