How to Make Leather Jewelry

By Contributor ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Leather strips or cord
  • Leather shears
  • Leather punch or very sharp awl
  • Snap
  • Beads, charms, shells or other decoration
  • Leather conditioner

How to Make Leather Jewelry. Leather is an extremely durable and attractive material for jewelry. Making leather jewelry requires some strength as well as specific leather-working tools, but the end result can be creative, fun and personalized jewelry for yourself or friends.

Create a Leather Necklace, Bracelet or Anklet

Purchase your materials online or at a local crafts or leather supply store.

Use leather shears to cut a length of leather strip according to your neck, wrist or ankle size.

Use your leather punch or awl to punch holes in the leather strip for metal accessories, or use a leather tooler or paint to make designs on the leather strip.

Use your leather punch or awl to make 2 holes in the ends of your leather jewelry. Be sure that the holes line up evenly.

Insert a snap in the holes at the ends of your leather, one on each side.

Craft Your Own Braided Leather Jewelry

Lay out 4, 6 or 8 pieces of leather cord of the same length. The cord should be 1 to 2 inches longer than your intended finished jewelry length.

Fold over one end of the leather cords to make a loop. Secure the loop by tying the loose ends of the cords into the braid or knotting them at the end.

Attach the looped end to a peg or tuck it under a heavy object, like a sofa leg or bookcase, to keep the cords from moving around. You can also use a safety pin to attach the looped end to your pants leg.

Braid the leather strips or cord together, and periodically slide beads or other ornamentation onto the cords. You can find variations on the common three-piece braid online at crafts or hairstyle websites.

Knot the end of the braid and cut off the remaining edges with leather shears.

Try using different widths or colors of cord to create a more dramatic look for your braided jewelry.

Tip

Condition your leather with mink oil or another conditioner before beginning to make it more pliable. Reuse old leather belts, bags or jackets as a source of good, worked leather for jewelry making.

Warning

Keep leather away from heat and moisture to avoid stretching or mold. Spot-test conditioner on leather before conditioning, especially if you will be using dyed leather. Never punch leather or use an awl on your lap or the floor. Choose a hard, flat surface that will not be damaged by your tools.

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