Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category

Easy to Make Rubber Stamped Leather Bracelets

Monday, September 30th, 2013
rubber stamped leather bracelets

Easy to Make Bracelets

With the holidays fast approaching, why not make some simple handmade gifts for friends and family?

Using rubber stamps and permanent ink pads,  you can easily embellish ready-made leather bracelets to create fun and whimsical gifts in just a few minutes.

This DIY tutorial shows you how.

Supplies for DIY stamped leather bracelets

Gather your supplies

Gather your Supplies

You will need the following products and supplies:

 

Rubber Stamp Angel Policy

If you plan on selling your finished pieces, remember to check out the “angel policy” for the rubber stamps you choose. The manufacturer or stamp artist may have restrictions on using the stamped images on items created for sale.

 

Center the stamp on the leather bracelet

Plan your Layout

Plan your Design Layout

If you want a certain stamped image to appear in a certain location, like the center of the bracelet, you should plan your design layout.

Depending on the length of leather bracelet you choose, you can plan the layout directly on the bracelet.

Or use the bracelet as a template to trace its shape on paper.  Trace several, so you can practice. This is helpful when determining the spacing needed between individual letter stamps when stamping words or names.

 

Stamp several times so the stamp picks up the ink.

Ink the Stamp

Stamp your Design

Place the rubber stamp on the ink pad and press down so the stamp picks up the ink. Repeat several times. Use plenty of ink for a dark image.

 

Place inked stamp over the leather bracelet

Center inked stamp over bracelet

Press the stamp down on the leather bracelet

Press the stamp firmly

Press the stamp firmly on the leather bracelet and hold for a few seconds. Then gently lift off the stamp.

 

Let the StazOn ink dry for several minutes

Allow the ink to dry

To prevent smudging, allow the ink to dry before stamping the next image. It takes about 3-5 minutes for permanent ink to thoroughly dry, if you can wait that long.

 

Stamp another image onto the leather bracelet

Ink another rubber stamp and press it down on the leather

Use more StazOn ink for a darker image.

Different amounts of ink create a nice contrast

Use plenty of ink for a dark image.  Less ink makes for a nice contrast. Or use several different colors of the StazOn ink for your design.

 

Leather bracelets and StazOn ink make fast and scarey projects.

An easy to make spooky gift

 

Fixing Mistakes

StazOn ink is permanent. If you make a mistake, you can remove the image with StazOn All Purpose Cleaner.  But be cautious, as this cleaner is a solvent and will also remove the dye on the leather bracelet.

When you are finished, use the cleaner to remove the dried ink on the rubber stamps.

Since the StazOn ink is permanent, there is no need to apply a sealer to the bracelet.

 

 

Draw your own design on leather bracelets with Sharpies

Draw freehand designs with Sharpie permanent markers

Another fast way to make a bracelet is to draw your own design on the leather using Sharpie permanent marking pens.

 

DIY rubber stamped leather bracelets

These bracelets are great for all occasions from Halloween and Christmas to Queen for a Day.

With ready-made leather braceletsStazOn ink pads, and your favorite rubber stamps, you can start making your handmade holiday gifts now.

Amy

 

 

How to Make Leather Bracelets – Two Finishing Methods

Monday, August 12th, 2013
Learn to make leather bracelets with these easy finishing methods,

Create two styles of leather bracelets using these do-it-yourself jewelry-making techniques.

 

In this do-it-yourself jewelry-making tutorial,  the bracelet blanks from last weeks blog post, “Customizing Tim Holtz idea-ology® Word Bands for a Handmade Look”, combine with Rings & Things’ new leather strips to make two styles of leather cuffs.

 

How to make a leather bracelet with metal stamped word band blanks.

Combine a customized bracelet blank with one of the many colors of Rings & Things’ leather strips to create a handmade leather bracelet.

 

Leather Bracelet Style One – A Single-Wrap Bracelet with Drawstring Clasp:

“In the Moment Leather Cuff Bracelet”

 

Tutorial: how to make a leather bracelet with drawstring clasp; a step-by-step DIY jewelry project.

Step 1: Gather together the supplies you will need to make a drawstring clasp leather bracelet.

You will need the following tools and supplies:

ruler

cutting mat 

Sharpie®, Extra Fine Point

hobby knife

rotary leather hole punch

1/2″ wide leather strip

3mm suede lace

5-ply waxed linen cord

large-hole bead (hole size 4mm)

customized Tim Holtz idea-ology® word bands

 

Make a DIY leather bracelet: Cut the leather strip with a hobby knife.

Step 2: Cut the leather strip to length. Size the leather so it fits comfortably on the wrist, ends butted together; mark the leather at the cut length. Use a ruler and hobby knife to make a straight cut at the mark.

 

Tutorial Leather Strip Bracelet D

Step 3: Measure and mark the position of the holes to be punched (it is easiest to do this before you curve the word band). Mark two “stitching” holes on either side of the two word-band loops. Also mark a “lacing” hole set 1/4th inch from each leather end.

 

How to make holes in leather with a rotary leather hole punch.

Step 4: Use a rotary leather hole punch to cut holes in the leather strip at the marked positions. Use the smallest punch (2mm) to punch the stitching holes for the bracelet blank; use the largest punch (4.5mm) to punch the lacing holes for the drawstring closure.

 

How to attach a metal-stamped bracelet blank to a leather cuff using waxed linen cord.

Step 5: Align the bracelet blank with the punched stitching holes and stitch each side in place. The waxed linen cording is stiff enough to go through the 2mm holes without a needle. After making two or three stitches, pull the cord tight and secure with a knot on the backside of the bracelet.

 

How to make an adjustable drawstring closure for a leather cuff bracelet.

Step 6: To create the drawstring closure, lace the suede cord through one hole and then back out, so the cord tails are on the outside of the cuff. String both cord ends through the large hole bead. Combine both cord ends and make an overhand knot approximately 2″ from the cuff. Slide the bead to tighten or loosen the cuff.

 

How to use a drawstring closure on a handmade leather cuff.

“Live in the Moment” leather-cuff bracelet with drawstring clasp is ready to wear.

 ~♥  ♥  ♥~

 

Leather Bracelet Style Two – A Double-Wrap Bracelet with Hitch Clasp:

“The Journey Leather Wrap Bracelet”

 

How to make a double-wrap leather cuff bracelet--you will need these  supplies.

Step 1: Gather together the supplies you will need to make a double-wrap leather cuff bracelet with hitch fastener.

You will need the following tools and supplies:

ruler

cutting mat 

Sharpie®, Extra Fine Point

hobby knife

rotary leather hole punch

screwdriver

1/2″ wide leather strip

idea-ology®, Hitch Fasteners

5-ply waxed linen cord

customized Tim Holtz idea-ology® word bands

 

How to make a double-wrap bracelet cuff--size and cut the leather strip.

Step 2: Cut the leather strip to length. Size the leather so it fits comfortably wrapped twice around the wrist; add one inch for the closure overlap. Mark the leather at the cut length. Use a ruler and hobby knife to make a straight cut at the mark.

 

How to make a leather cuff bracelet--measuring and marking for hole punching.

Step 3: Measure and mark the position of the holes to be punched (it is easiest to do this before you curve the word band). Place the leather on your wrist and determine approximate placement for the metal blank. Mark two “stitching” holes on either side of the two word-band loops. Also mark a “hitch” hole set 1/4th inch from the first leather end and 1/2 inch from the second end.

 

How to make a leather cuff bracelet--punching holes for a hitch fastener closure.

Step 4: Use a rotary leather hole punch to create holes in the leather strip at the marked positions. Use the smallest punch (2mm) to punch the stitching holes for the bracelet blank; use the largest punch (4.5mm) to punch the fastener holes for the hitch closure.

 

How to attach a metal-stamped bracelet blank to a leather cuff using waxed linen cord.

Step 5: Align the bracelet blank with the punched stitching holes and use waxed linen cord to attach the word band blank to the bracelet. Stitch the blank in place and knot the cord on the back side. For ease, a large sewing needle can be used.

 

How to make a hitch style clasp for a DIY leather cuff bracelet.

Step 6 a: On one end hole insert the screw side of the hitch fastener.

 

How to make a hitch style clasp for a DIY leather cuff bracelet.

Step 6 b: Attach and screw the hitch in place. From the backside, use a flat-head screw driver to tighten the hitch.

 

How to make a hitch style clasp for a DIY leather cuff bracelet.

Step 7 a: On the other end hole, use the hobby knife to cut 1/8″ slits on opposite sides of the hole, running parallel to the strip length. This will allow the hitch to slip into the hole, but stay securely in place.

 

How to make a hitch style clasp for a DIY leather cuff bracelet.

Step 7 b: Insert the hitch through the hole to close the fastener.

 

How to make a leather wrap bracelet with metal stamped blank --ready to wear.

“The Journey Leather Wrap Bracelet” is ready to wear!

~♥  ♥  ♥~

 

Layer bracelets for a trendy look.

Bracelets can be worn together for a layered look.

 

Make things,

Mollie

 

Customizing Tim Holtz idea-ology® Word Bands for a Handmade Look

Monday, August 5th, 2013
Use Tim Holtz idea-ology® word blanks to create "handmade" stamped bracelet blanks.

With just a few metalworking tools, you can easily turn Tim Holtz idea-ology® word bands into stamped bracelet blanks with a handmade appearance.

 

I love hand-stamped metal jewelry and given the popularity of this jewelry trend, chances are you do too.  Metal stamping takes a few tools, basic stamping instruction, and practice; and sometimes more practice.  But even though metal stamping is fairly easy, turning Tim Holtz idea-ology® word bands into bracelet blanks is even easier.  Plus who can resist the 12 inspirational quotes?

The following is a DIY tutorial for turning Tim Holtz idea-ology® word blanks into curved bracelet blanks for use in your mixed-media jewelry projects.

 

You will need these tools and supplies to make a Tim Holtz idea-ology bracelet blank.

Step 1: Gather the tools and supplies necessary to customize your “stamped” metal bracelet blank.

 

You will need these tools and supplies:

 

Use the pein side of a chasing hammer and a steel block to add texture to Tim Holtz idea-ology word bands.

Step 2: For a handmade look, add a “hammered” texture to the word band.

Tape the word band, script side up, to the steel block with masking tape.  Repeatedly strike the word band with the pein side of the chasing hammer to add a hammered texture.  Remove the word band from the steel block.

 

 Use bracelet-bending pliers to turn the Tim Holtz idea-ology word band into a curved bracelet blank.

Step 3: Shape the word band with nylon-jaw, bracelet-bending pliers.

Use nylon-jaw, bracelet-bending pliers to turn the idea-ology word band into a curved bracelet blank.  Place the flat blank lengthwise in the pliers’ jaw with the script side facing the concave half of the jaw.  Gently squeeze the pliers.  Reposition the blank and repeat until the word band is fully curved.

.

For a splash of color, paint the idea-ology word band's script with Vintaj patina.

Step 4: Add color to the word band script by applying Vintaj patina.

For a splash of color, paint the idea-ology word band’s script with Vintaj patina.  Use a paint brush to liberally apply the patina to the word band, making sure patina is applied into all the letter indentations.  You can use a mix of patina colors, or a single color.  Allow to air dry for  a few minutes.

.

 eWipe the surface of the word band with a damp paper towel or baby wipe to remove the excess patina.  Be careful not to remove the color in the letter indentations.

Use a baby wipe or damp paper towel to remove the excess patina.

Wipe the word band with a damp paper towel or baby wipe to remove the excess patina.  As you wipe, be careful not to remove the color in the letter indentations.  Allow the patina to fully dry.

 

To finish a bracelet, just stitch or rivet the idea-ology word band bracelet blank to a leather cuff.

The finished “handmade” bracelet blank is ready to adorn the bracelet of your choice.

Now your “stamped” bracelet blank is ready to adorn your choice of bracelet (or maybe you turned all 12 word bands into bracelet blanks).  In the next Rings & Things Blog post, I will share two ways to finish leather cuff bracelets using the customized word bands and our new colorful leather strips.  oh, and “word” from Tim Holtz is we can look forward to new styles of word bands coming soon, “Word Bands Observation” and “Word Bands Christmas”.

Make things!

Mollie

 

Create a Hinged Metal Memory Journal

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Use a hinge to turn shrine-shaped metal blanks into a journal!

Hinged Pendant Memory Journal created by Sondra Barrington of Rings & Things. This free DIY jewelry project features metal etching, metal stamping, dapping and riveting.  Antique brass, nickel silver, copper and natural agate were used in creating this design.  The one-step looping plier was used for the handmade chain.

Hinged Book Necklace made with shrine-shaped metal blanks

Decide on the layout, location of the hinge and other decorative elements. Using a checkered hammer, apply texture to the top and bottom panels of the journal. Patina, file rough edges and clean.
Hinged Pendant Memory Journal created by Sondra Barrington of Rings & Things.  This free DIY jewelry project features metal etching, metal stamping, dapping and riveting.  Antique brass, nickel silver, copper and natural agate were used in creating this design.  The one-step looping plier was used for the handmade chain.

Layout

Cut the hinges, which can be as wide or as narrow as you choose. For 3/32 tubing, make hinges that are one-half inch deep. You need an odd number of hinge tabs. Measure, mark and saw tabs into the top panel. Use plenty of cut lube to prevent the saw blade from sticking when cornering.  
Hinged Pendant Memory Journal created by Sondra Barrington of Rings & Things.  This free DIY jewelry project features metal etching, metal stamping, dapping and riveting.  Antique brass, nickel silver, copper and natural agate were used in creating this design.  The one-step looping plier was used for the handmade chain.

Create Hinge Tabs

Using wide, flat nose pliers, crease and fold each tabs up to a 90 degree angle. The position of the fold determines whether the hinge will be visible from the front of the pendant, or only from the back side. Keep the textured sides face up, so the design is consistent.
Carefully roll tabs into cylinders using chain nose pliers or medium bail making pliers. Leave hinges a bit loose until after you have inserted the tubing, then you can tighten for best fit. 
Hinged Pendant Memory Journal created by Sondra Barrington of Rings & Things.  This free DIY jewelry project features metal etching, metal stamping, dapping and riveting.  Antique brass, nickel silver, copper and natural agate were used in creating this design.  The one-step looping plier was used for the handmade chain.

Roll Into Cylinders

Use a tube cutting jig to cut a length of tube 1mm longer than the width of your piece (for 1/2mm on each side).  
Hinged Pendant Memory Journal created by Sondra Barrington of Rings & Things.  This free DIY jewelry project features metal etching, metal stamping, dapping and riveting.  Antique brass, nickel silver, copper and natural agate were used in creating this design.  The one-step looping plier was used for the handmade chain.

Cut Tubing

Slide tubing down the channel and finesse hinges as needed. Rivet tubing into place to finish the hinge. Open and close hinge to ensure a proper fit.

This free DIY jewelry design by Sondra Barrington features antique brass, nickel silver, metal etching, dapping and creating hinges.

Assemble Hinge and Insert Tubing

Working with the bottom panel, lay out etched metal pieces for the cover and inside page. Cut, file and patina as necessary. Leave sufficient room for the hinge to lay flat against the bottom panel.  
Hinged Pendant Memory Journal created by Sondra Barrington of Rings & Things.  This free DIY jewelry project features metal etching, metal stamping, dapping and riveting.  Antique brass, nickel silver, copper and natural agate were used in creating this design.  The one-step looping plier was used for the handmade chain.

Lay out Etched Metal Page

Measure, mark and punch holes for decorative rivets, accents and center piece (using the small side of the hole punch).
Hinged Pendant Memory Journal created by Sondra Barrington of Rings & Things.  This free DIY jewelry project features metal etching, metal stamping, dapping and riveting.  Antique brass, nickel silver, copper and natural agate were used in creating this design.  The one-step looping plier was used for the handmade chain.

Prepare Embellishments

Using two-part epoxy, carefully glue the etched metal panels into place.
Hinged Pendant Memory Journal created by Sondra Barrington of Rings & Things. This free DIY jewelry project features metal etching, metal stamping, dapping and riveting. Antique brass, nickel silver, copper and natural agate were used in creating this design. The one-step looping plier was used for the handmade chain.

Lay out Etched Metal Page

Using a dapping set, dome two small round shapes that can nest one inside the other. Patina, file away any rough edges and clean the domed metal. Layer, and rivet domed metal nests onto the top panel. Connect top and bottom panel with rivets. Use a tube rivet at the top so that you can thread a jump ring through it (if you choose).
Hinged Pendant Memory Journal created by Sondra Barrington of Rings & Things.  This free DIY jewelry project features metal etching, metal stamping, dapping and riveting.  Antique brass, nickel silver, copper and natural agate were used in creating this design.  The one-step looping plier was used for the handmade chain.

Rivet Domes Into Place

Carefully clean and polish the pendant before attaching the necklace chain.

Hinged Pendant Memory Journal created by Sondra Barrington of Rings & Things.  This free DIY jewelry project features metal etching, metal stamping, dapping and riveting.  Antique brass, nickel silver, copper and natural agate were used in creating this design.  The one-step looping plier was used for the handmade chain.

Clean Finished Pendant

Handmade jewelry looks great on a custom beaded necklace, on leather cordingsilk ribbon or chain. I created a necklace by making individual links using the one-step looping plier, eye pins, metal beads and natural agates. The links were connected using jump rings.

Hinged Pendant Memory Journal created by Sondra Barrington of Rings & Things.  This free DIY jewelry project features metal etching, metal stamping, dapping and riveting.  Antique brass, nickel silver, copper and natural agate were used in creating this design.  The one-step looping plier was used for the handmade chain.

Memory Journal Necklace

This free DIY Memory Journal pendant was created by designer Sondra Barrington of Rings & Things. This necklace features riveting, metal etching, antique brass shrine stamping blanks, dapping, and metal stamping. The chain was created in an ombre pattern using natural agate gemstone beads, TierraCast antique brass bead caps, metal heishi trade beads and the one-step looping plier with antique copper head pins.

Easy to Make Lashed Rhinestone and Leather Bracelet

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
Learn to make a rhinestone and leather bracelet in just minutes.

Create wrapped bracelets with this simple lashing technique.

Making wrapped bracelets just got easier because this simple lashing technique takes just minutes to learn.  You can combine leather cord with rhinestone chain for a sophisticated style or use ball chain and leather for an industrial look.

Follow these steps:

 

Parts to make a lashed rhinestone and leather bracelet.

Step 1: Gather the tools and supplies to make a lashed rhinestone and leather bracelet.

 

Here are the supplies and tools you will need to make this DIY jewelry project:

24 inches Greek leather cord

6-1/2 inches glass rhinestone chain

48 inches 5-ply waxed linen cord

1 each  button

side flush cutter

scissors

ruler

needle

 

Step two of how to make a Rhinestone and Leather wrap Bracelet

Step 2: Create a loop to match the button.

Fold the length of  Greek leather cord in half to form the button loop.  Size the loop so it will slip over the button.  Use waxed linen cord and a simple overhand knot to secure the button loop.

Lashing the button loop securely to make a Rhinestone and Leather wrap Bracelet

Step 3: Secure the button loop.

Align the waxed linen cord tail with the leather cord and tightly wrap approximately 10 lashes (this should measure about 3/8 inch).

 

Tutorial Rhinestone and Leather Bracelet step 4: lashing on the rhinestone chain.

Step 4: Begin lashing the rhinestone chain to the leather cord.

Align the rhinestone chain with the leather cord and begin lashing.  Use the waxed linen cord to tightly lash around the leather cord and between each rhinestone setting.

 

DIY Jewelry Tutorial Rhinestone and Leather Bracelet step 5 finish lashing the rhinestone to the leather cord.

Step 5: Finish lashing the rhinestone chain to the leather cord.

Continue lashing the rhinestone chain to the leather cord.  Check the length for fit; the rhinestone portion of the bracelet should be one inch shorter than bracelet size.  Clip off any unneeded rhinestone and secure by adding 10 additional tightly-wrapped lashes (about 3/8 inch).

Easy Rhinestone and Leather Bracelet add a button to finish your bracelet.

Easy Rhinestone and Leather Bracelet tightly lash the button in place/

Tutorial Rhinestone and Leather Bracelet adding and securing the button

Step 6: Add and secure the button.

Slide the button loop onto the waxed linen cord and one leather strand.  Secure the button in place by adding 10 tightly-wrapped lashes (about 3/8 inch).  Use a sewing needle to stitch the linen cord tail back through the final lashing and cut off the excess.

 

Tutorial Rhinestone and Leather Bracelet adding the final knot to finish the bracelet.

Step 7: Finish the bracelet with an overhand knot.

Finish the bracelet with a single overhand knot and clip off any excess leather.  Slip the loop over the button and the bracelet is complete.

 

Tutorial Rhinestone and Leather Bracelet Conclusion Image

You can combine leather cord with rhinestone chain for a sophisticated style or use ball chain and leather for an industrial look.

This pattern is easily adaptable; create single, double, or triple-wrapped bracelets using either rhinestone chain or ball chain.  You can vary the color of the leather, rhinestones, and waxed linen cord or follow our Design Gallery instructions to make the featured bracelet “Wrapped in Rhinestone”.  You may even want to make several; after all this handmade jewelry project is fast, easy, and fun!

Make things!

Mollie

How to Make a Lashed Chain & Leather Bracelet

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
Lashed wrapped leather and chain bracelets.

Single-wrap & double-wrap lashed chain & leather bracelets.

Lashed wrapped leather bracelets aren’t just popular because they look great — they’re also a hit because once you know a couple tricks to get started, they are an easy and fun DIY jewelry project to make!

The main difference between lashing chain to leather and lashing beads to leather is that chain doesn’t have “hidden” holes to allow you to work down both sides of the leather at the same time. So, when lashing chain, you’ll lash one side of the chain and leather first, then lash the second side.

Lashed chain and leather bracelet

“Tree of Life” Lashed Chain & Leather Bracelet

Supplies:

***Tips for picking your chain:

  • Choose a style that will lay flat!
  • Choose a style with links that are large enough to easily thread the needle through.

Cut your chain:
Wear safety glasses or goggles! It’s not unusual for a cut chain link to fly up or out.

Cut the chain 2 inches shorter than your final bracelet length:

  • For a 7.5” bracelet, cut 5.5” of chain.
  • For a 15” (double-wrap) bracelet, cut 13” of chain.
  • For a 22.5” (triple-wrap) bracelet, cut 20.5” of chain.
Choose from several colors of leather cord.

For both bracelets pictured, I used
2mm wide Greek leather cord.

Cut your leather cord:
Cut the cord 2x the length of your finished bracelet, plus about 12 additional inches:

  • For a 7.5” bracelet, cut 27” of leather.
  • For a 15” (double-wrap) bracelet, cut 42” of leather.
  • For a 22.5” (triple-wrap) bracelet, cut 60” of leather.

 

Size D Super-Lon.

Size D Super-Lon comes in several pretty colors.

Cut your threads:
You will use two separate pieces of thread to lash your chain to your leather, one for each side. A good general rule for each side is to calculate 3x the length of the bracelet, add 5-10 more inches for good measure, and double that:

  • For a 7.5” bracelet, cut two 54” threads.
  • For a 15” (double-wrap) bracelet, cut two 100” threads.
  • For a 22.5” (triple-wrap) bracelet, cut two 155” threads.

To get started:
Thread your button onto the center of your cut piece of leather.

Thread one needle onto the middle of your first length of thread, and knot the ends. Repeat with your second length of thread and your second needle.

Secure the thread:
This method will keep the ends of your threads from loosening up and/or sliding down the leather cord once the bracelet is done.

  1. Loop your first thread around the LEFT side of the leather cord, and back through itself, creating a lark’s head knot. Tighten right under the button.
  2. How to make a lark's head knot.

    Lark’s Head Knot

  3. Create a second lark’s head knot with your second thread around the RIGHT side of the leather cord. Tighten.
  4. Attaching your thread to your leather using lark's head knots.

    Tie both threads to your leather using lark’s head knots.

  5. Create a single overhand knot with both sides of the leather AND both threads together. Pull taut under the button.
Creating an overhead knot.

Then, combine both sides of leather and both threads into a single overhand knot.

Attach your button to a sturdy work surface (a clip board works great). Now, wrap the left-hand thread several times around both leather cords in a figure-8 (infinity) pattern.

Figure-8 or infinity wrap.

How to wrap your thread in a figure-8 (infinity) pattern around both sides of your leather cord.

Infinity or figure-8 wrap.

Now, the first thread is wrapped.

Repeat with the right-hand thread. Use the needle to intersperse the right-hand thread with the wraps already made by the left-hand thread.

Creating the second half of your infinity wrap.

You can use your needle to intersperse the second thread with the first thread.

Tightly knot both threads together on what will be the BACK (underside) of the bracelet. Now your threads are secured for lashing.

Lashing:
Move the right-hand piece of leather and right-hand thread out of the way. NOTE: If it feels more natural for you to start on the right side, then move the left-hand leather and thread out of the way instead. The important thing is to lash only one side of the bracelet at a time.

Lay your cut chain in the middle between the two sides of leather cord. If you find that your chain likes to roll to one side, use masking tape to secure the bottom of the chain and leather in place while you lash.

Use masking tape to secure your chain.

Secure the bottom of your chain and leather to keep the chain laying flat while you lash.

Begin to lash by bringing your needle UP through the first chain link, and then OVER the left side of the chain link. Continue OVER and around the leather cord, then UP through the next link. Pull tight.

I like to lash the first link twice, to give it extra hold, and then commence with one lash for subsequent links. (If you want to double lash every link, you will need to cut more thread than described above!)

Starting to lash.

Double lash the first 1 or 2 links, then single lash each link after that.

Stay on one side, and continue lashing each chain link to your leather. It’s normal for the thread to go slack and the top of the chain to slip a bit as you get started. Adjust it as needed, and keep going. Every once in awhile, check the tension of the lashes and keep them consistent. … Once you get a rhythm going, lashing is fun and easy!

Lashing pattern.

Continue the same pattern you started with: UP through the chain link, then OVER the leather.

TIP: When you’re making a double or triple wrapped bracelet, the threads will seem really long to start with. To help prevent them from getting knotted or otherwise caught up, use your thumb and fingers to keep the thread taut as you pull it through.

When you get to the end of the chain, double lash the final link, then wrap the thread around the leather a few times.

Finishing the first side of lashing.

At the end of the first side, double lash the final link, then wrap your thread around the leather a few times.

If the chain has slid down from it’s starting place, adjust as necessary.

Add a Bead Stopper or binder clip to the bottom of your first side, to hold the thread in place. Do NOT trim the thread or remove the needle. You will finish the ends of both sides at the same time.

Using a Bead Stopper.

A Bead Stopper works great to temporarily hold your first side of lashing. Notice how the chain has moved down from the figure-8 wraps? I will adjust that before starting to lash the second side.

Binder Clip

A binder clip also works great.

The second side:
Lash the second side the same way. Double lash the first chain link, then single lash subsequent links. Double lash the final link and secure the second thread with another Bead Stopper or binder clip.

Lashing the second side.

Lashing the second side.

Finishing the End:
At this, point, make any adjustments needed in the tension of the overall design. Has the chain pulled away from the button end? Is the chain by the binder clips scrunched up?

After making any necessary adjustments, remove both binder clips, and create the same figure-8 (infinity) wraps that you made at the other end. Then, tie the opposing threads together, again on the back / underside.

Finishing with more figure 8's.

After you’ve completed lashing both sides, make more figure 8′s with both threads, then tie the threads together, as you did at the beginning.

Grab both thread ends and both leather ends. Tie a single overhand knot with all 4 ends together. As you tighten the knot, be careful to not let the chain get bunched up.

Finishing a lashed bracelet.

Make another overhand knot with both leather ends AND both ends of your thread.

Oops - scruched chain.

Oops! When I first tied my overhand knot, I tied it too tight, and the chain got scrunched up. If this happens, untie your knot and try again.

Trim the ends of the thread, and (optional) add a dab of glue for extra security.

Completing the clasp:
Use your button to determine where to make a second knot. This knot will create the loop part of your clasp.

Creating the clasp's loop.

Use your button to measure where to make a second overhand knot. This knot will create the loop end of your clasp.

Option: If there’s enough leather left, you can create a third knot to make an adjustable bracelet.

Option: once you’re done, add a dab of glue to all your knots for extra security.

Variation:
To add more color and create a slightly different look, thread an appropriate width of suede cord or ribbon through the chain once your bracelet is done. For the bracelet pictured below, I threaded 1.5mm imitation suede lace (#61-790) through 6mm hammered curb chain (#40-099-04).

Burgundy Bliss Bracelet

“Burgundy Bliss” single-wrap lashed chain & leather bracelet.

Happy lashing! Let us know what new variations you come up with. ~ Melissa

Create a Healing Shrine

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Making handmade jewelry for someone is a unique and inspiring way to show you care.  This “Healing Shrine” was created for a friend suffering from cancer.  It was inspired by our new brass blank shapes and a recent trip to Santa Fe, NM.

An antique brass "Healing Shrine" created for a friend suffering from cancer. The glass vial is filled with 'holy dirt' from a sacred site purported to have healing powers.

Healing Shrine

Each year, thousands of people pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo seeking blessings.  Many visitors take a small amount of “holy dirt” from the site, in hopes of a miraculous cure for themselves or someone who could not make the trip.  I chose to encase my “holy dirt” in a glass portal, that I nested inside a brass reliquary.  Following are instructions for how-to create this DIY jewelry design using stacked brass layers and cold connections.

First, envision your shrine and decide how you want it to look and feel.  Decide on contents for your glass bottle.  Unscrew the top loop from the cork in the glass vial.  Measure, mark and punch holes for rivets (using the small side of the hole punch).

Stamp word “heal” on the metal band designed to hold the glass vial.  Measure the band to ensure that it is going to fit.

Measure metal band to fit glass vial

Measure and bend metal band to fit glass vial

Using bail making pliers, bend the center of the band into a curved shape, leaving each end flat.  Cut to shorten as needed.  File the ends.

Arrange pieces and punch metal

Arrange pieces and punch metal

Rivet the stamped metal band into place after double-checking that it will snugly hold the glass once it is assembled.

Punch holes and rivet band to hold bottle

Rivet the band into place (to hold the vial)

Insert tube rivets in holes between the front and back of shrine, stacking copper heishi trade beads between the layers (to fill the space and strengthen the connection between the top and bottom layers).

Use metal heishi beads as spacers between the layers of metal.

Heishi beads as spacers between layers

  Rivet them into place.  Note: Be careful, it is very difficult to reinstall the heishi spacer beads if they fall off the tubes!

Place all metal heishis before riveting back panel into place

Place all  heishi beads before riveting together

Patina and clean.  Using two-part epoxy, attach a magnet to the back side of the shrine.  Carefully fill vial with contents.

Fill the bottle and install it into reliquary

Fill the vial and pop it into place

Once the glue has cured, pop the glass vial inside the band.  This DIY jewelry project can be a pendant, magnet or pin.

Easy Elegant Earrings

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

 Easy Elegant Earrings

Using one-step looping pliers and a few supplies, you can have a set of fantastic earrings in under 30 minutes!

Free simple DIY earring project! All supplies available at www.rings-things.com.

Step One:

Gather supplies

Free simple DIY earring project!  All supplies available at www.rings-things.com.

Step Two:

Lay out pattern and mark paddles

Free simple DIY earring project!  All supplies available at www.rings-things.com.

Step Three:

Loop paddle-end head pins

Free simple DIY earring project! All supplies available at www.rings-things.com.

Free simple DIY earring project! All supplies available at www.rings-things.com.

Free simple DIY earring project! All supplies available at www.rings-things.com.

Step Four:

Adjust and tighten loops

Free simple DIY earring project! All supplies available at www.rings-things.com.

 Step Five:

Assemble

Free simple DIY earring project! All supplies available at www.rings-things.com.

Free simple DIY earring project! All supplies available at www.rings-things.com.

Free simple DIY earring project! All supplies available at www.rings-things.com.

 Step Six:

Repeat for other earring & enjoy!

Free simple DIY earring project! All supplies available at www.rings-things.com.

 

For more information, scroll down to see the video tutorial and review tips on this one-step looping pliers page.