by Rena Klingenberg.
A small to medium size belt buckle can make a fantastic focal element on a bracelet.
Here I used a vintage buckle that had been in my grandmother’s stash of fashion-craft parts.
I didn’t want the fabric part of the bracelet to cover up any of the buckle’s edges when the bracelet was worn – and I also didn’t want to remove the prong latch from the buckle.
So I developed this design with the fabric running under the belt buckle instead of covering any of the buckle’s frame, and an eyelet to accommodate the prong.
This project is simple, and makes quite a statement on your wrist!
- A small to medium size belt buckle with a bar down the center that holds the buckle’s prong latch.
My buckle is 2.5″ x 2″ (6.4 x 5.1 cm).
That’s the maximum size I recommend using – and if your wrist is small, use a much smaller buckle.
Also, some buckles may be too heavy to be comfortable on a bracelet – so do consider weight when choosing your buckle.
My buckle is a vintage brass piece:
- A strip of sturdy, flexible fabric; or soft, flexible leather / faux leather – something sturdy that you can still scrunch up nicely around your jump rings.
I used a soft snakeskin-print fabric that should have been just a bit sturdier for supporting my belt buckle on the finished bracelet:
- One metal eyelet, in a size that will accommodate your belt buckle’s prong.
(Many eyelet packages come with a handy little tool for attaching the eyelet to your fabric.)
I used a brass eyelet in 5/32″ size:
- 2 large jump rings to attach to your fabric ends.
I used antiqued brass jump rings in 15mm size:
- Sturdy clasp for your bracelet.
I used a handmade brass hook clasp:
- 2 pieces of 20 gauge round soft wire, each 10″ (25.4cm) long:
- Optional: a short length of chain or a few small jump rings to use as an extender chain on the opposite end from the bracelet’s clasp.
- Flat nose pliers.
- Chain nose pliers.
- Wire cutter.
How to Make a
Belt Buckle Bracelet:
First, we’ll measure the length of our jump rings and clasp when they’re attached to each other (so we’ll know how long our fabric strip needs to be).
When my jump rings and clasp are attached to each other, their total length is 1.75″ (4.5cm):
Now let’s figure how long your fabric strip should be.
Bracelet Measurement Example:
For a 7″ wrist, your total finished bracelet size = 7″ (this bracelet looks better with snug fit).
Now add 2″ for folding the ends of your fabric strip around the jump rings:
7″ + 2″ = 9″
Then subtract your jump ring & clasp total length (mine is 1.75″):
9 – 1.75 = 7.25″.
So for a 7″ wrist and a 1.75″ jump ring & clasp length, your fabric strip should be 7.25″ long.
The width of your fabric strip should be a size that fits nicely through the center bar on the buckle.
(My buckle’s center bar is 1.5″, so my fabric strip is also 1.5″.)
So I cut my fabric to 7.25″ x 1.5″:
Now let’s mark where to place the eyelet.
I used a pencil to make a mark in the center of the fabric:
If you’re new to using eyelets, practice with a couple of eyelets on a scrap of fabric before attaching an eyelet to your bracelet fabric.
Use your eyelet tool to attach the eyelet, right on the mark you made with your pencil:
Now turn your belt buckle over so its underside is facing up:
Turn your fabric strip face-down, so its underside is facing up.
Thread it under the center bar of your buckle:
Now turn your buckle and fabric strip over, so their front sides are facing up:
Thread the buckle’s prong through the eyelet in your fabric strip:
Then thread the fabric strip underneath the buckle’s frame:
Now the underside of your buckle should look like this:
The front of your bracelet should look like this:
Now it’s time to attach the jump rings and clasp to the ends of the fabric.
We’ll start by attaching the clasp and one jump ring to one end of the bracelet:
Thread the fabric end through the jump ring, folding about 1″ (2.5cm) of the fabric under:
Now we’ll use wire to fasten the fabric to the jump ring.
Scrunch the fabric artistically on the jump ring.
Place the end of one of your 10″ wires across the top side of your fabric end, just below the jump ring.
Use your flat nose pliers to hold the folded fabric onto the jump ring, and the wire end in place on top of the fabric:
Now with the fingers of your other hand, grasp the long end of your wire and wrap the wire tightly around the folded fabric several times.
(You can make a neat wrap or an artistically messy wrap):
When you’ve wrapped the wire several times around the folded fabric, finish with both wire ends on the underside of the bracelet.
Use your wire cutter to snip off the excess wire ends.
Use your chain nose pliers to squeeze down tightly on the wire ends so they won’t come loose and won’t poke the wearer’s wrist:
Now this end of your bracelet should look like this:
Now attach the remaining large jump ring to the other end of your bracelet:
Thread the fabric end around the jump ring, fold the fabric end under, and wrap your remaining 10″ wire tightly around the folded fabric several times.
Finish off these wire ends the same way you did on the other bracelet end:
Optional: If you’re adding an extender chain (or additional small jump rings as an extender), you can attach it to this end of the bracelet now.
Your finished belt buckle bracelet should look like this: