I love leather for jewelry making, but it’s not often I attempt to cut it myself. It’s just SO hard to get a clean cut with a straight edge, and if it’s not straight, my critical eye can’t stand it, haha. So I’ve been playing around with die-cutting some bracelet blanks, and I whipped up this riveted leather cuff from scrap upholstery leather, a bit of chain, and crystal rivets!
I’m beginning to think that there’s nothing my Sizzix Big Shot can’t do… I used it with the Magic Bracelet die to create today’s piece. I know riveting may seem a little intimidating if it’s a technique that’s new to you, but if you are comfortable with a hammer, you can do it! You just need the right tools, and today’s DIY riveted leather bracelet tutorial, and you can make a great piece of your own.
Here’s what you will need:
- Sizzix Big Shot and standard cutting pads
- Sizzix Magic Bracelet Originals die
- Leather upholstery scrap (at least 6 inches long, and 1.5 inches wide)
- 1 lb. hammer
- Leather punch with 1/8 inch attachment
- Steel bench block
- Rubber bench block
- Assorted size snap-set crystal rivets
- Rivet setting tool
- 2 inches of chunky oval chain, two 10 mm jump rings, and lobster clasp
- Flat nosed jewelry pliers
First things first: sandwich your die, with your leather scrap on top of the bracelet blank, between your cutting pads. Roll it through your Big Shot to die-cut a clean leather blank that’s sliced neatly into three connected strands.
This die is called the magic bracelet because you can also make the magic braid with it! But for today’s project, we’re just going for a flat, multi-strand look. There are pre-punched holes on each side for you to attach your chain in a later step.
Now, decide on the placement of your crystal rivets, and punch holes where you want to place them. I added 13 crystals, staggered over all 3 strands. To punch the holes, lay the bracelet blank flat on your steel bench block, and place the punch where you want the hole to go. Tap the top of the punch with your hammer a few times until it cuts fully through the leather, leaving a hole. Repeat until you have the right number of holes.
Now, snap the rivets onto the bracelet through the holes. The crystal side pokes through the leather, and the backs snap onto the rivets. Now, the snap is just a temporary placement – next, you will need to use the rivet-setting tool with your bracelet on a rubber bench block. The rubber helps absorb some of the impact so that the crystals don’t crack. Tap the end of the rivet setter a few times with your hammer until the rivets are compacted, and permanently secure.
When you’ve attached all your rivets, you’ll need to finish off your bracelet with a bit of chain. You will need to add a large jump ring on one side, and the chain on the other side. For most chain, you can twist the links open and use them. If your chain won’t open, you can simply use additional jump rings. Twist the open with your jewelry pliers and close them securely through the hole in your leather blank.
And with that, you’ve got an edgy new accessory! Changing the color of the leather and they style and placement if the rivets will give you a totally different result, so you can use this Sizzix die to make many different looks.
Do you make a lot of your own accessories already, or are you just getting into DIY jewelry?