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Bead embroidered stamped leather cuff

When you think of creating stamped leather, you probably don’t think of rubber stamps and bead embroidery!

Supplies

both cuffs

  • 8 x 2-in. (20 x 5 cm) piece of leather or pre-cut soft leather strip, semi-polished on one side (JoAnn fabric and craft stores)*
  • 2 5⁄8-in. (1.6 cm) brass snaps with included mini anvil and setter (JoAnn fabric and craft stores)
  • Fireline 6 lb. test
  • S-Lon beading cord to match edging beads
  • beading needles, #10
  • glover’s needle or Big-Eye needle
  • Bead Stopper
  • cutting mat
  • leather hole punch
  • permanent marker
  • rawhide or rubber hammer
  • razor blade tool
  • sewing pin or quilter’s pin
  • solvent ink, such as StazOn brand  (JoAnn fabric and craft stores)
  • steel ruler
  • superglue
  • thread burner or lighter
cuff with bird design 7 1⁄2 in. (19.1 cm) 
  • 13 15 x 5 mm dagger beads (Czech, blood red with peacock finish)
  • 73 4 mm round beads (blue howlite)
  • assorted bugle beads, drop beads, and 11/0, 13/0, and 15/0 seed beads
  • rubber stamps (Stampin’ up “Always” collection; www.stampinup.com)
cuff with shell design 8 in. (20 cm)
  • 38 x 13 mm brass seahorse (www.thecraftstar.com/shopdetails/2180/calliopesattic)
  • 5 mm round beads
    47 blue (dyed howlite)
    24 white (shell beads)
  • assorted seed beads and pearls
  • rubber stamps (Michaels stores)

    * You can also purchase a blank leather cuff with the closure already attached at www.oldschoolleather.com or www.etsy.com/shop/tafuristudios.

Instructions

Purchase a leather cuff complete with closure, or create your own following these easy steps.

Preparing the band

1. Measure your wrist. Using a razor blade tool, a steel ruler, and a cutting mat, cut a 2-in. (5 cm) wide band of leather that is equal to the length of your wrist plus 2 in. (5 cm). 

2. Determine which side of the band is the front, and place the band on your wrist so that the ends overlap. Mark the location for the snaps with a permanent marker.

3. Using a leather punch, make holes large enough to fit the snap shaft.

4. Using a rawhide or rubber hammer and the mini anvil and setter that came with the snaps, assemble the snaps following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Bead embroidered stamped leather cuff a
Photo a

Band embellishment

1. Stamp the desired design(s) on the front of the band (photo a). Allow the ink to dry.

Bead embroidered stamped leather cuff b
Photo b
Bead embroidered stamped leather cuff c
Photo c

2. Determine where you want the beaded embellishments to go, and use a sewing pin to pierce small holes in the band along the desired path (photo b). Space the holes to match the bead size.

3. Tie an overhand knot at one end of a comfortable length of thread. Tie a second overhand knot, and slide it down over the first. Sew up through the band from back to front at the desired location of the first bead embellishment. Use a variety of seed beads, drops, and charms to embellish the band as desired using beaded backstitch (photo c) and/or stop stitch. Retrace the thread path through each bead for a secure connection. 

4. End the thread on the back of the band by tying two overhand knots, one on top of the other, as you did in step 3. Apply a small dab of superglue to both the starting and ending knots, and trim the threads.

Edging

1. With the sewing pin, pierce a line of holes along each edge of the band approximately 2 mm from the edge. The beads will sit between the holes, so space the holes accordingly. Also, make sure to leave a little extra space to accommodate the thickness of the cord on each side of the beads.

2. Cut a 16-in. (41 cm) piece of S-Lon cord, and tie two overhand knots at one end as before. With a thread burner or lighter, trim the tail close to the knot. String enough 4 mm round beads (or a pattern of 4 mms and accent beads, such as daggers) to create a strand the same length as the band, and attach a Bead Stopper to the end without the knot. 

3. Cut a 16-in. (41 cm) piece of cord, tie an overhand knot at one end, and thread a glover’s needle or a Big-Eye needle at the other. Stitch from back to front through the first hole along one edge of the band. Align the strand of 4 mm beads along this edge.

Bead embroidered stamped leather cuff d
Photo d
Bead embroidered stamped leather cuff e
Photo e

4. Using a couching stitch, loop the thread over the 4 mm strand between the first two beads, and sew from back to front through the next hole in the band (photo d). Continue using couching stitches to secure the 4 mm strand to this edge of the band. Use a consistent tension so the couching stitches drop down slightly between the beads. The 4 mm strand will tighten up as you work, so loosen the Bead Stopper a little bit at a time to allow more slack. This will also prevent the edge from puckering and allow the finished cuff to lie flat.

5. When you reach the last stitch, end the thread by looping back between the last two beads, and sewing under the thread bridge on the back of the band (photo e). Tie a couple of half-hitch knots, and then trim the cord close to the last knot with a thread burner. Dab the knot with superglue if desired.

6. Remove the Bead Stopper from the 4 mm strand, and tie two overhand knots on this end. Trim the cord close to the knot with a thread burner, and dab the knot with superglue if desired.

7. Work as in steps 2–6 to embellish the other edge of the band.

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