Friday, November 23, 2012

Neat Finishes for Leather Bracelet Ends

I've been making leather jewellery over the last couple of days. It's fun to work with but it requires a totally different approach when it comes to finishing your design. So today I have a couple of tips to share with you.

How to Clamp Multiple Strands of Suede Lace

The first one is for when you are working with multiple strands of suede lace. The easiest way to finish the ends of the lace is to use a ribbon clamp but it can sometimes be a bit difficult to keep multiple strands of lace together whilst you feed them into the clamp to close it.
5 pieces of suede lace with their ends aligned, ready to be inserted into a ribbon crimp.

The solution: Lay a piece of tape on your workspace and place each lace in position. Make sure to leave enough space to attach the clamp without securing the tape as well!
Keeping the aligned ends of the suede lace in place with adhesive tape

Slide on the clamp and press it closed with flat nose pliers to secure all the pieces of lace perfectly in position.
With the ends of the suede lace aligned, the ribbon crimp can be positioned over the ends.

Once you've clamped it, you can gently peel away the tape making sure you don't pull out the pieces of lace.Then just attach a jump ring and a clasp to the ribbon clamp and you have a neat and secure finish on your bracelet.

How to Set Press Studs and Snap Closures

Press studs are another really neat way to finish a design. They are strong and secure and give your bracelet a really professional finish. For this technique, I'm using Realeather's Snap Setter Kit which comes with a metal setter, metal anvil and 20 snaps. You'll also need a hole punch and a hammer.

The studs come in 4 pieces: two for the top stud and two for the base.

Work out where you want the stud to be and punch a hole at each end of the bracelet. For a wide bracelet, two press studs will help the bracelet sit better.
Placing the hole punch in the end of the leather strip and hammering it.

Place the cap of the stud on the base of the anvil, place the hole over the shank and then the stud over the top. Line the setter up in the stud and hammer it to flatten the shank.
Setting the press stud in the punched hole with the setting tool

At the other end of the bracelet, you need to do the same thing with the base components of the stud but make sure that you have the components facing the right way so that the bracelet will snap closed.
Setting the other half of the press stud snap closure into position at the other end of the leather bracelet

Simple, uncomplicated and secure. And the second press stud makes the closure sit nicely as well as making it really comfortable to wear.

A double press stud closure on the leather bracelet

I hope these two tips will encourage you to consider including leather and suede in your jewellery making. It adds a lovely organic touch to your designs and it feels wonderful against your skin.

'Til next time.....








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