studio waterstone: recycled leather cuff tutorial


Today it's all about those cute leather cuffs. We're going to play with a small strip of recycled leather and within an hour it will be transformed into a stylish, eco-friendly leather cuff. The best part? It can be made for a few dollars or less. Let's get started.


What You'll Need:
recycled piece of leather (think old handbag, belt, etc.)
raised button
scrap fabric
strong twine or thread (I used waxed linen)
colorful thread
Fray Check

hammer and awl or nail
small drill

sewing machine with a heavy duty needle (denim or leather weight)


What You'll Do:

I used leather from an old handbag I got from Goodwill.
Be sure to check your own closet first!

Measure: a comfy size to go around your wrist plus about 2" (for overlap)

Using a straight edge and rotary cutter, I cut out my strip: 8 1/4" x 1 1/2"



Find your button. It should be raised a bit on the underside.

On the left: my leather and raised button.
On the right: an example of another cuff I've put together (note...this is addictive)

Flip your leather over and measure in about 3/4" and then center. Draw a skinny water droplet a little larger than your button.

You can begin the hole with your hammer and nail or awl OR
use a drill, as I did.

Now take your scissors and cut out the opening.


Time to pull out a few pieces of scrap fabric.

As you can see, my cut-outs are basic - no fancy shapes here.

Make sure that your heavy needle is on your machine and pull out a couple (or a few) fun colors to work with. I decided to use green and turquoise. This will be the stem.

Set your stitch length to the longest possible setting and adjust your tension accordingly.
Slow and steady wins the race here. You'll want to sew very slowly.

Be whimsical with your stitches! Not only is it prettier, it's easier.

This is the back. Trim your thread.

Use Fray Check around your fabric.

Time to punch a couple of holes through the leather for your button.

Sew the button using your linen or twine leaving about 3-4" on the end.



Tie off your linen or twine. Use a drop of glue on the knot for extra strength.




Even on my man hand wrist. Now how easy was that?

The Lettered Cottage

Suzan  – (January 24, 2011 at 4:21 PM)  

I swear, you make me want to cut up every old leather bag I own!

debi  – (January 24, 2011 at 5:41 PM)  

LOL, Suzan! That's really cute, Lori!

Carol  – (January 24, 2011 at 7:50 PM)  

Very cute! But that's no man hand! Skin and shape is much too nice!

Lori @ Studio Waterstone  – (January 24, 2011 at 7:52 PM)  

Aw thanks Carol. I'll take that compliment and run with it because I'm pretty sure that God didn't intend for me to be a hand model. :)

kelleysbeads  – (January 24, 2011 at 10:35 PM)  

I think it was easier than it would be for me to take pics with my left hand ;)

Nicely done!

Sabine  – (January 25, 2011 at 12:16 AM)  

Excellent tutorial! I have some leather scraps that I will have to try and trick out. Thank you for your creativity.


Debbie  – (January 25, 2011 at 1:53 AM)  

You make it look so easy. I love the cuff.

Gardanne  – (January 25, 2011 at 9:15 AM)  

I love this, is it available?

Holly  – (January 26, 2011 at 9:31 AM)  

Oh Lori....I really need to learn how to use a sewing machine... LOL! Awesome "how to"!

Tammy  – (January 26, 2011 at 10:09 AM)  

You are so clever and this is so pretty! Love it!

Charlene  – (January 26, 2011 at 9:01 PM)  

This is such a great idea and this one turned out beautifully!

Tiffany  – (February 6, 2011 at 9:02 AM)  

This is so pretty!
Found you through a link-up on FTLOB.

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I love reading each one of your comments. Thanks for your visit and have a wonderful day.

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