Chan Luu Style Leather Wrap Bracelet with Tutorial
About six months ago Mr.B bought me a beautiful leather wrap bracelet after he saw one in a post I wrote about beautiful jewellery on Etsy. I loved it. Then my friend who owns The Beaderie in Cambridge started making them in the classes she runs, and when I saw her finished bracelets I knew I had to try making some too. My lovely friend Nicky had just had a birthday and was due to visit me later that week, so I decided to make her one as a birthday present. I used two shades of blue and some shimmering grey for Nicky’s bracelet, and just all shimmering grey for mine. They were really very straightforward to make, so definitely give it a try, I’ve written this tutorial to be as simple as possible.
This tutorial will make a 5 strand wrap bracelet for an average sized wrist. You can adjust the length of the leather to make it bigger or smaller.
- About 200 4mm beads (adjust this amount according to the size of the beads you want to use and how many wraps you want)
- 2 metres of leather cord (I used 1mm brown leather cord)
- Beading thread (I used a brand called KO) choose a colour that matches your leather cord
- A thin needle that fits through your beads
- A metal button
- A structure to hold your bracelet in place while you are making it, see Step 1 below.
First, you need to make a structure that will hold your bracelet in place while you make it. My friend uses two bulldog clips and a large piece of firm card. I didn’t have any clips or card, so rather than put off my jewellery making for another day I got resourceful and raided my scrap wood pile. I found a long thin piece of wood, hammered a nail into the top of it so half the nail was still sticking out, and then hammered two nails into the bottom, close together, again with some of the nail protruding. This worked really well for holding my bracelet in place while I worked on it.
Find the middle of your leather cord and tie a knot in it so you have a loop at the top. This can then be placed over the top nail or clipped onto your card with your bulldog clip, whichever you have chosen to use.
Secure the two lengths of cord at the bottom of your wood or card so that the leather cord is held in place and fairly taut.
Take about four metres of your beading thread (yes i know it seems a lot, but you’ll be doubling it over and it isn’t too much to manage, I promise!) and then thread your needle through it and double it over, securing the two ends with a knot. Now secure this thread to your top knot in your leather cord, attaching it to the back of the knot with a nice tight double knot. Snip off the end of the thread. Now you’re ready to start threading beads on.
Take your first bead, thread it through the needle, pull it to the top of the thread and then take the needle round the strand of leather cord and back through the bead, to the other strand of leather cord. Now go under this strand of leather with your needle, thread another bead on, pull the bead up, go round the second strand of cord and back through the bead, and keep repeating.
Keep on going until you run out of beading thread, then you need to tie the end of the thread to a leather strand securely with a few tight knots and re-thread your needle with more thread. To start a new length of thread I tie it to the leather strand above the last bead there, then thread it through that bead and tie it with another knot on the other leather strand and then start threading my beads onto it again. Some people glue the knots with a tiny blob of super glue or beading glue, you could do that if you are worried.
Once you have threaded on enough beads to wrap around your wrist five times (or the amount of times you want), secure the end of the thread by knotting it and going through the last bead a few extra times and knotting it again. Then tie a knot in both strands of leather cord close to the last bead, thread your metal button through the leather cord (my button had a big enough loop that I could get both strands of leather through it) and then tie another knot in the leather. Snip off any excess leather and you are done!
If you love the look of these bracelets but don’t want to attempts to make one yourself, you can always buy one!If you have lots of spare cash you can buy an original one from Chan Luu, or just browse her collection for inspiration with all her beautiful bracelets. If you’ve got a more normal average budget then there are lots to choose from on Etsy.
Here are some from Citrus Mangoes:
Aren’t they beautiful?