DIY Chain & Suede Bracelet

As an intern near the New York City fashion district, I walk past fabric and trimming stores all the time. I finally had the opportunity to stop at Toho Shoji, a store full of chains, beads, and everything you could possibly think of for making jewelry. I bought a few chains and other necessities and came up with this bracelet tutorial! I’ve seen bracelets like this before which use plastic lanyard, like the key chains you used to make at summer camp. That looks way too homemade to me, so I thought I’d class it up by using suede instead!

The materials I’m using are a length of chain (with links big enough to thread through with suede), a suede lace, 2 rings, and a clasp. First, attach a ring and a clasp to the end of your chain.

Wrap the chain around your wrist until it fits comfortably. Attach the second ring to the chain to mark off the length of your bracelet.

Take of the bracelet and match up the doubled chain. This part is annoying, but actually count the number of links instead of eyeballing it. If you end up with extras, it’ll show at either end of your bracelet.  When the chain is perfectly doubled, cut the chain with wire cutters and attach the loose end to the ring with the clasp. Now you’ll have a bracelet of doubled chain.

Now you can start weaving the suede through the links. Start on the second link and leave at least a centimeter or two left unwoven to finish later. Getting started with the suede is tricky because you need to develop a consistent weaving strategy. Make sure the suede doesn’t get twisted while you’re threading through links; that’ll create bumps and you want everything looking the same. I weaved over a chain and under the next. Just pick one pattern and stick to it!

When you finished weaving, cut the remaining suede off, leaving a centimeter left. To secure the ends, dab a bit of crazy glue (because that glue can adhere anything!) on the last stitch of the bracelet and fold the end over.

You’re done! You can use a variety of different chain or suede colors, or even use more than 2 chains at a time. Have fun!