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Thursday, September 13, 2012

LEATHER CUFF TUTORIAL

Almost everything get's better with age. Leather especially looks better with a few years or decades after use. 




I have managed to create a bit of a collection of old belts in my travels. Hard to find in thrift shops now days as leather has given way to pleather (hideous stuff that doesn't last) a good leather belt is always a good score. 

The belts used in this tutorial are from the Paris flea markets. Now I wish I had bought more!
I will now take you through the steps of making cuffs from old belts. 


Firstly cut the cuff to roughly your wrist measurement. A good quality craft knife/ box cutter and a steel ruler will do the job.
 I used a narrow belt that is a perfect colour match. Any other thin belt would do the same job. Contrasting colour belts? Cool! 


Punch holes in the smaller belt. Position the smaller belt on the larger, main cuff. 
The idea is for the smaller belt to wrap around the main cuff several times.


Mark holes in main cuff section.


Punch the holes out.


I do like to use these tiny eyelets from Susan Leonard Kazmer. But any kind of stud would be good.


Attach the smaller, longer belt to the 'main'cuff section.
I used a little washer so the eyelets bend over and not split open as they were a bit too long. Guess it's okay to split open as long as there is no sharp bits to rub the skin.


And that's it. 


This second cuff is from the buckle and first eight inches of this old belt.


Cut the belt to length- wrist measurement plus an inch or two.


Use the other end of the belt to mark the holes accurately.


 Punch holes. These rotating hole punches are the best.


Old leather always needs 'feeding'. Rub in some quality leather conditioner to make soft and bring it back to life.  


Bingo! Another cuff. 

Hope these inspire you a little to reuse some old leather belts. Have fun.

XXX

PS: Finishing edges...


Wet leather to soften and use a bevel-edger on the 'flesh' side.



Polish up the edge with a (this is my trick) a polishing tip on your Dremel or Flexi-shaft and give it a working over while wet.


You can also buy edge slickers from leather supply stores like Tandy Leather. The main point is to do it while all wet. Once dry you can stain the edge to match and seal it. (I use a waterproofing 'Dubin' which gives a nice slick look.