|Hello and a Happy New Year to all! |
This past summer my company had a picnic at King's Island. While roaming around the park, I passed a gift store that was selling leather cuffs with names on them. The style of the bracelets got my creative wheels turning. I started seeing my curved bracelet focals fastened to one of these leather bands. (The focals are dried on glaze bottles turned on their sides or on light bulbs. Makes a nice curve that gracefully follows the wrist.)
I searched the internet and found the leather bands for sale on Rings n' Things for $5 each. I wondered if there was a less expensive way.
Tandy Leather has a store here in Columbus and they give a big discount to anyone with a resale license. I found bags of 25 cuffs in 2 different sizes for around $25 each with the discount. The strips were not dyed so I bought a few bottles of dye for around $3 each. The dye goes very far and I used about 1/4 bottle to dye 25 bands. This also gives the flexibility of dying the leather whatever color you like. I also bought a bag of the cotton dye applicators. It takes about a minute to dye the leather and it dries very quickly.
My next problem was how to rivet the bracelet focal to the cuff. I tried metal rivets and ended up breaking my ceramic pieces no matter what method of fastening the rivet I tried. Then one day while surfing the net, I came upon the phrase, "wire rivet".
That was the AHA! moment. What a simple solution. Here is how I make these ceramic bracelet cuffs, and attach the focals to the cuffs using a simple wire rivet. The leather can also be punched with additional holes and more wire added, or weave with fiber, add beads. The leather can be stamped with designs...wonderful creative possibilites for these cuffs.
What you will need:
Round Nose and Plastic Jaw Pliers; 22 ga wire
Use a ruler to measure the center of the band and place focal(s) there
Use a dowel or awl to mark the band for the placement of the holes
Use the leather punch to make small holes in the correct position
Cut about a 2" piece of wire. Use the round nose pliers to make a spiral.
Adjust the stem so that it is centered
Slip the spiral into the focal hole and bring through to the other side. Make another smaller,tighter spiral on this end
View of back side. Use the plastic jaw pliers to press the wire flat against the back of the cuff so the sharp end doesn't stick out. Careful! Don't press too hard and crack the ceramic. Repeat process for all holes.
Here I have punched additional holes that can be used for embellishment with fiber, etc. The wire can also be hammered on an anvil to flatten it if desired.
Here I have used spiral wire for a different look