Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys & Gals (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The photo above shows two Safari Leather Bracelets, stacked.

Below are the individual bracelets:

Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys & Gals

Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys & Gals

These rugged bracelets feel as though you’ve added trinkets and mementos to them while traveling around the world.

Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys & Gals

They’re great worn alone or stacked, and are perfect for both guys and gals.

Supplies:

  • Leather cord – 2mm width.
    Length: Your wrist measurement plus 1″ (25mm), then multiply that number x 2. Then if you’ll be using a lot of bulky beads, add another 1″ (25mm) to your bracelet.

    Cord Measurement Example:
    (7″ wrist + 1″) x 2 = 16″.
    Then add an extra 1″ if you’re using a lot of bulky beads.

    Leather cord for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys & Gals

  • An assortment of rustic / rugged / natural beads and other items to string onto both strands of your leather cord.
    These items will need to have a hole size of 4mm or larger to be strung on your doubled leather cord; for example:

    • beads with 4mm hole or larger (acrylic, wood, metal, ceramic, polymer clay)
    • small metal washers
    • small donut beads
    • stack of jump rings / soldered rings
    • cowrie shell beads
    • wire coil beads (I’ll show you how to make these, below)
    • small coins with holes
    • rubber O-rings
    • small rustic / safari-looking metal discs, beads or charms with jump ring

    Beads and trinkets for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys & Gals

  • Bead reamer or ice pick – to clear or enlarge the holes in beads that almost fit on your doubled cord.
  • 2 pieces of wire to bind the ends of your cord – 18 gauge round soft wire OR 18 gauge half-round soft wire.
    You’ll need a 3″ (76mm) piece of this wire for binding the folded end of your leather cord, plus a 4″ (102mm) piece for binding the other end of your cord.
  • Wire to make the hook clasp – 16 gauge round soft wire, 2.75″ (70mm) long.
  • Wire for coil beads – 20 gauge round soft craft wire / Artistic wire, a few inches long.
  • U.S. size 5 knitting needle (or other mandrel for making wire coils with a 5mm hole).
  • Wire cutter.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Round nose pliers.
  • Optional: Nylon, plastic, or rawhide hammer and jeweler’s steel block – for flattening and hardening your wire clasp.
    Jeweler's Hammer and Steel Block - Rena Klingenberg

How to Make a
Safari Leather Bracelet:

First let’s make some wire coil beads for your bracelet.

Since I don’t know exactly how much wire I’ll need, here’s how I avoid cutting off too long or too short of a piece:

Instead of starting out by cutting the wire, I just pull the wire directly from the wire spool as I wind it around my mandrel – and then I cut my wire off from the spool when I’m done.

The instructions for each step are below this photo:

How to Make Coiled Wire Beads - Rena Klingenberg

  • Photo 1:
    Lay the end of your wire across your knitting needle or mandrel, leaving a short tail of wire sticking down below. Use your thumb to hold the wire against the mandrel.
  • Photo 2:
    With the fingers of your other hand, hold the long end of your wire. Keeping the wire pulled tight, wind it around the mandrel several times.
  • Photo 3:
    When your coiled wire bead is the desired length, slide it off your mandrel and clip both ends of your wire as close as possible to your coil.
  • Photo 4:
    Your finished coil bead should look like this.

Now it’s time to make the folded loop end of your leather cord.

First, let’s straighten, soften, and distress your leather cord to make it look more rustic.

Use my method for Straightening and Softening Leather Cord – but don’t stop when your cord is straight. Keep running it through the bead until the surface looks wonderfully distressed and aged!

Pick up your leather cord and fold it in half.

Use your flat nose pliers to squeeze down on the folded part of the cord, to help the fold keep its shape:

Folding leather cord for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll add the wire binding to turn the folded cord into a loop.

Use your flat nose pliers to hold your folded cord as shown in the photo below.

Pick up your 3″ (76mm) piece of 18 gauge round or half-round wire.

Lay the wire across the cord, and use your thumb to hold one end of the wire firmly against the top of your pliers jaws:

Wire wrapping cord end for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

With the fingers of your other hand, hold the long end of your wire. Keeping the wire pulled tight, wind it around the leather cord several times:

Wire wrapping cord end for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your wire cutter to trim off both ends of excess wire:

Wire wrapping cord end for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your chain nose pliers to squeeze down each cut wire end, so they can’t catch or snag on anything:

Wire wrapping cord end for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now your cord should look like this:

Leather cord for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to start stringing your beads and other components onto your leather cord:

Stringing beads for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

On this rustic bracelet style, “less is more” – so instead of filling the entire cord with beads, I recommend using just a small selection of interesting beads and other elements.

If you want your beads to stay together in the middle of the cord instead of sliding around, put a wire coil bead or other tight-fitting bead at each end of your beading:

Stringing beads for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll turn the open ends of your leather cord into a loop.

Hold the two cord ends together side by side, and trim one end if necessary to make the ends the same length.

Keeping the cord ends side by side, fold about 1″ (25mm) of the ends over onto the rest of the cord.

Use your flat nose pliers to squeeze down on the fold you just made in the cord.

Then hold this folded cord end with your flat nose pliers like this:

Making loop in cord ends for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll add the wire binding to turn these folded-over cord ends into a loop.

Pick up your 4″ (102mm) piece of 18 gauge round or half-round wire.

Lay the wire across the cord, and use your thumb to hold one end of the wire firmly against the top of your pliers jaws:

Wire wrapping loop for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

With the fingers of your other hand, hold the long end of your wire. Keeping the wire pulled tight, wind it around the leather cord several times:

Wire wrapping loop for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your wire cutter to trim off both ends of excess wire:

Wire wrapping loop for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Use your chain nose pliers to squeeze down each cut wire end, so they can’t catch or snag on anything.

Now each end of your leather cord should have a loop that’s bound together by wire:

Wire-wrapped leather cord loops for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The last step is to attach the hook clasp.

You can make the simple clasp I’ve used on my Safari Leather Bracelets – see the tutorial here: Easy Wire Hook Clasp Tutorial.

The clasp looks like this:

Hook clasp for Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Twist open the loop on your hook clasp (using the same motion as when you twist open jump rings).

Thread the opened clasp loop through the end of your bracelet that has the double cord ends:

Attaching clasp to Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Twist the clasp loop shut again.

When you wear the bracelet, the hook end of the clasp goes through the leather loop at the opposite end of your cord:

Finished clasp on Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

You can enjoy wearing your Safari Leather Bracelets one at a time:

Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Or make a bolder statement by stacking them up your arm:

Safari Leather Bracelet for Guys and Gals - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Want to Learn the Basics of
Designing Your Own Wire Jewelry?

Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components Class In my Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components video class, you’ll learn how to get great ideas for wire jewelry designs – and then follow my easy system for turning those ideas into successful pieces of jewelry.

By the end of this online video class, you’ll be designing and making your own artistic earwires, clasps, connectors, and pendant bails.

You’ll also learn my tips for making wire jewelry more easily, with more professional looking results.

 

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  • Tracy says:

    Oh I Love this…

  • JC says:

    Very Nice! Such a Fun Bracelet !

  • Mary Wong says:

    Rena, as usual — wonderful step by step instructions. As I was looking at this tutorial, I wondered how you got some crisp closeups with white (no) background. Could you provide us with a tutorial on photography? I would really appreciate that. Thanks!

  • Tama says:

    Rena,
    Thanks for the tutorial! I was looking for a product to make for male customers! This is a great idea. I have ordered the products I need to make this wonderful creation.

  • leslie hirschberg says:

    This is the coolest thing I have seen lately! Wonderful!

  • Arscenia says:

    This is very cool…I love it and so easy to do.

  • Pam says:

    These bracelets are definitely my style!! Where did you purchase most of the beads used in this project?

  • Thanks for all the lovely feedback on this project!

    Mary, if you shoot against a white background you can enhance the whiteness in your photo editing program. We have a lot of jewelry photography tips here on JMJ – and two of the most important (my apologies if you already know these) are to use a tripod instead of holding your camera in your hands; and to turn off your camera flash, lighting your jewelry with natural sunlight or daylight lightbulbs, filtered against the glare.

    Pam, thanks for asking where these beads and components came from. The coil beads are ones I made (following the little mini-tutorial within this Safari Leather Bracelet tutorial). Most of the other components I’ve had for many years and now am not sure where they came from. But here’s what they are: Copper washers from Harbor Freight which I oxidized with boiled eggs; faux turquoise donuts I’ve had for years; green seaglass chip on a jump ring; conch shell beads; painted wooden beads with 4mm hole; a tumbled rock on a jump ring; 3 shiny brass soldered rings (you could also substitute jump rings); a cream-colored wooden bead with 4 mm hole; metal tag with jump ring; and an etched agate focal that I call a “tattooed dragon tooth”, with a square-ish brass jump ring.

  • Glass Beach says:

    Well now! Of course, I LOVE this and particularly the sea glass. I have been making my bracelet by tying knots at the end instead of using the wire. I love how you did the wire. Thanks so much for all you do!

  • Manena says:

    Thank you.. We should call you the Bible of Jewelry
    Love it.
    I am glue to your tutorial..
    What a clever idea for “boys” bracelets…
    Thanks again ,,Manena

  • T'onna says:

    Great tutorial! I love the beads you used! I would definitely wear this bracelet!

    Navy Wifey Peters

  • Virginia says:

    I love the bracelet. Great tutorial!

  • Linda B says:

    Rena, I love your tutorials and am just starting to make leather bracelets. Thanks so much, I’m a big fan.

  • Andrea says:

    These are beautiful. Thanks for the tutorial.

  • This is a great tutorial Rena. Love the bracelets. Thanks so much for sharing. Have a great week.
    Debi and Charly

  • Renee says:

    These are absolutely stunning! And I love the tutorial. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry myself, but I do appreciate the artistry in handmade, custom jewelry. I am hoping to do some jewelry making with my step-daughter this summer when she visits.

  • Kelley says:

    Very neat idea. I love the look of the items you chose to use on the bracelet.

  • Nancherrow says:

    These are such cool bracelets! Thank you for showing us the step by step process of creating them.

    Alison
    Nancherrow

  • diann says:

    Love it. i would so wear this!

  • Rena, you always create the most amazing pieces of jewelry – and the best tutorials to accompany them!

    Congratulations – you are one of our featured guests at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy this week!

  • Krysta says:

    Love these! You make it look so easy! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Very cool. You always have such great tutorials! It always looks deceptively easy.

  • Carol says:

    These are beyond fabulous! And you always provide such perfect instructions and pictures. I’m featuring these!

  • Maritza says:

    Your instructions and pictures are great. You make it seem easy to make the lovely pieces that you have created, simply by the encouraging steps made simple.
    Thank you for sharing with all of us.

  • Rumy says:

    Happy New 2017 Rena,
    Thank you for this fun tutorial. I see endless possibilities for using the numerous leftover supplies from other projects accumulated over the years. These bracelets will make quick and easy gifts to friends and family. Customizing them for a person/occasion will be the ‘icing in the cake’.
    You are a fountain of inspiration and know how. Thank you.

  • Rumy, thanks so much for your lovely message! I’m so glad to hear this project will work well with the supplies you have! I’d love to see what you create from this idea! 🙂

  • Christine Alexander says:

    This is so wonderful for using up those interesting chunky bits and bobs and beads, you make it look so stylish and so easy! Your instructions are clear and easy to follow as always. Thank you and Happy New Year!

  • Julie says:

    Having fun. I was looking for help as to how to attach a jump ring and a hook. This project lesson is very clear. Thank you!

  • Thanks for your lovely feedback, Julie! 🙂

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