For those just starting out in jewellery making, it can be pretty daunting to figure out what to start creating. This is why we have put together a few quick and easy makes, like this leather beaded bracelet, that takes only 15 minutes
Firstly, lay out the leather cord. It comes in long, 5 metre coils, so you can afford to be generous with your cutting. I cut off a length measuring 7.5 inches simply using a pair of scissors, but cut a length which suits your own requirements.
N.B. As a rough guide, an average sized bracelet can vary in length from 6.5 – 7.5 inches (16.5cm – 19cm). Making allowances for any larger diameter beads and findings you may want to add, it’s better to cut a longer length and adjust as necessary as you go along.
Next, take out one of the silver end caps and try positioning the end of the leather cord into the channel. The idea is to basically squeeze the two open sides over the leather cord to secure the end cap into place.
N.B. Make sure the cord is pushed all the way into the end cap to ensure maximum grip once closed.
Once you have the correct position, gently start to squeeze the sides of the end cap using the parallel pliers. The aim is to close the gap, encapsulating the leather cord making sure to leave no rough edges.
With one end now secure, you can start to thread on the beads. Play around with the configuration of the beads until you reach a design you are happy with. If you find the holes on the 6mm silver beads a little tight, simply take a round needle file and gently twist it through the hole to widen them a little.
Try it around your wrist to check the length before proceeding to the next stage. Now is the time to cut off a little more leather if the bracelet is looking too long. Remember you still have two 5mm jump rings and an 11mm clasp to add, along with another end cap, so try to take this into account.
Add the second end cap to the opposite end of the leather cord, thus securing the beads into place as they will no longer fall off. Try to position the end cap at 90° to the first one, so that the bracelet will lay flat once the other findings are attached. (Don’t worry if you don’t manage to do this, your bracelet will still work).
N.B. If you are finding it tricky to attach the end caps, try to remember that a series of gradual squeezes with the pliers are much more productive than one, big push. This way you can keep checking the position of the leather cord whilst monitoring the progress of the metal sides, as they are gently pushed over into position.
Once the end caps are on, take one of the 5mm jump rings and twist it open using the flat pliers, leaving a gap. Slide on the clasp, and then loop through the ring on one of the end caps, to attach it to the bracelet. Close tightly by twisting in the opposite direction. Add a second jump ring to the opposite end of the bracelet and ensure it is closed neatly and tightly leaving no rough edges.
Your bracelet is now complete, simply stand back and admire!
Joanna has worked in and around the jewellery industry for well over 20 years. She has designed and created her own pieces as a designer maker, as well as working in jewellery retail on a much larger scale, producing designs and NPD for some of the UK’s largest high street retailers