If you're after a cool new accessory for the new year, have a go at making this leather cuff with an embroidered zodiac constellation. Just choose the correct zodiac design from the 12 templates I've prepared for you and follow the step-by-step instructions to create your star-crossed leather cuff.
1. Select and Print the Zodiac Pattern
In this tutorial, I will guide you through the Capricorn constellation design here, as it is the current zodiac sign.
The same process and principles apply to all other designs. Select the pattern corresponding to the zodiac sign of your choice and print it out on a sheet of A4 paper.
First, measure the size of your wrist. Make sure the tape measure is close to your palm and is as tight as possible. This measurement corresponds to the upper edge of the trapezoid in the pattern. In the template it is 15cm (6 in).
Now, measure your wrist about 5cm (2 in) further up your arm. This measurement corresponds to the lower edge of the trapezoid in the pattern. In the template it's 17cm (7 in). If the measurements vary significantly, change the dimensions of the trapezoid in your pattern by adjusting the size of the upper and lower sides based on your measurements.
Using a pair of scissors (or a craft knife for more precise cuts), cut out the trapezoid shape from the printed template.
This forms the basic shape of your cuff.
2. Transfer the Design Onto Leather
Place your piece of leather on the working surface with the correct side facing upwards. Place the cut-out pattern over the leather. If your leather piece is nicely cut, align the lower edge of the template with the lower edge of your leather piece. Using a fine tip marker and keeping the paper steady, trace around it onto the leather.
So now you have the outline of your cuff on leather. Nice job.
Cut out the outline to get the trapezoid leather piece. Carefully cut inside of the marks for a clean end piece.
Place the printed pattern over the leather trapezoid and use some sticky tape in the corners to secure them both in place.
Using an awl or a thick needle, puncture the vertical dots on each side of the cuff. Keep your tool vertical to the working surface and make sure to puncture not only the paper but the leather behind it as well.
Now, mark all the stars-dots in the same way.
Go over all the points using a fine tip marker, in order to make the marks more visible on leather.
Remove the sticky tape and reveal the leather cuff with the visible pattern marks. Well done! These marks will serve as guides for both the embroidery and the closing of the bracelet.
3. Embroider the Zodiac Constellation
First, make sure that your beads can easily pass through your needle. Now, thread your needle with the yellow embroidery thread and make a knot at the end.
Your starting point for the embroidery is the lower left point of the zodiac pattern. Pass your needle from the back side of the leather and bring it back up at this point.
Now pass one bead through your needle. You can use similar beads in various sizes to represent different sizes of the stars, as depicted on the template.
Bring the bead down near the cuff and then pass your needle back into the leather, not in the exact same point but very close.
Now make two or three stitches in the same way to keep the bead in place.
Now bring your needle back up and move it to the next point of the design and then bring it down. You've created the first link between the beads. Stitch one more bead securely on the second point. Move on to points 3 and 4. From point 4, pass to point 5 from the back side of the leather, so that the stitch is not visible from the front. Move on to point 6 and and make a visible stitch going backwards from point 6 to point 3.
Keep on stitching and adding beads in the same way. For points 8 and 9, repeat an invisible stitch as in points 4 and 5. At point 10, add three beads to the marked positions and create a stitch joining point 10 with point 7. Then make an invisible stitch and bring your needle back up on point 6. Stitch forward to point 11 and attach a bigger bead at this point.
Finish the design by adding a bead to the last upper point and the two missing stitches. Good job! Your zodiac embroidery is finished!
Turn over the leather cuff and secure the embroidered design with a few knots. Trim the excess thread.
4. Create the Closing of the Cuff
Now it's time to use the punch leather tool. Adjust the wheel of the punch leather tool by turning it in the direction indicated on the tool. Select a medium size hole based on your eyelets.
Create the vertical holes on the left and right size of the cuff; they're the ones indicated with the big dots on the template. Place the punch leather tool on the exact mark of the holes you made with the awl. Keep it steady on the point and punch a hole through the leather by pressing it firmly.
Make five holes on each side. Perfect.
Now use the eyelet pliers to add an eyelet to each hole and make it more secure. First, place an eyelet into the first hole. Make sure that the right side of the eyelet (the flat one) is placed on the front side of the leather.
Place the cuff with the eyelet onto the eyelet pliers. Position the correct side of the leather facing downwards and place the right side of the eyelet on to the matching place on the pliers. The 'teeth' of the pliers should be on the opposite side. When it's in the correct position, press the pliers firmly.
Repeat for all 10 holes.
Your bracelet is almost ready. You just need to add the cord that will tie it together. Turn your bracelet over and pass a fairly long piece of cord through the top two holes. Pass it from the inside, going out and adjust the cord so that it is centered.
Pick the right end of the cord and pass it through the second left hole.
Repeat the same on the other side. Now pull the two ends of the cord.
Repeat the process for all the holes of the cuff.
At the end, pass a bead through both ends of the cord. Then, make a knot on each end and trim the excess cord.
You're done! It should look like this.
Now, all you need to do is slip the cuff on to your wrist and tie it on firmly.
When you're done, push the bead down to secure the cord in place.
Wear it or Gift it!
In this tutorial, you learned how to make a leather cuff with an embroidered zodiac design. You can now use the pattern and techniques to create cuffs of your own designs. The downloadable patterns can also be used to make all sorts of personalized gifts with zodiac constellations.