Braid leather strips around metal cores to create braids with strength and stability. Metal wire, chains and rods can be used as the core for such braids. Leather braids with metal wire cores can be bent and twisted into different shapes that will hold once released. Leather braids with metal chains and rods as cores can be fashioned into dog leashes, lead ropes, canes and handles for tools. Use the four-strand round braid technique to join the leather over the metal.
Cut four leather strips, 1 1/2 times the length of the metal rod or wire that it is to cover using a knife. Cut the width of each strip so that it is equal to the circumference of the piece of metal.
Place the ends of the leather strips around the end of the metal rod or wire. The leather strips should be touching each other at the sides around the metal core. Pull the ends of the leather strips so they are 3 to 4 inches above the end of the metal. Wrap a rubber band around the leather strips over the end of the metal core to secure them in place. Tie the 3- to 4-inch ends in a simple overhand knot near the top of the metal core.
Set the metal core on a flat surface and bring the two leather strips at the back of the piece to either side. Cross the two top leather strips by bringing the left center strip over the right center strip.
Grasp the two left strands in your left hand and the two right strands in your right hand. Bring the left-most strand around the back of the metal core. Bring it around and upward, crossing it under the right-most strand and over the right-center strand. The left-most strip should now be the former left-center strip.
Bring the right-most leather strip around the back of the metal core. Move it up and around the front of the core, crossing it underneath the left-most strand and over the left-center strand. The right-most strand should now be the right-center strand. Pull on all four leather strands to tighten the braid around the core.
Continue to braid in this same manner alternating between the left and right outer-most strands. Pull the strands to tighten them after each plait. Braid down the entire length of the metal core.
Grasp the loose ends of the leather strips at the end of the metal core. Tie them in an overhand knot, positioning the knot at the end of the metal core, to finish off the braid.
Use different colors of leather to create a multi-color braid.