Friday, October 16, 2015

Headpin Cuff Tutorial

A couple of months ago I designed a necklace for our component of the month challenge featuring Diana’s stoneware disc, and came up with a way of using leather and headpins as fasteners in the design. I really liked how this looked, so I decided to explore it a little further and design a cuff bracelet. 

Component of the month by Diana Ptaszynski
The leather used is 5mm x 1.5mm flat strips and is available in loads of colours. I had quite a few lengths of it in my stash as it was one of those things that I bought because I loved it, not because I had an idea to use it for anything. 


So now I have an idea, I’m going to run with it… If you want to follow along and make one of your own, as well as the leather, you need some headpins (mine are from Jen Cameron) an awl or as I’m using a bead reamer, large and small jump rings and a clasp.


Start by measuring your leather, you need enough to fit your wrist leaving a gap for a clasp + 40mm. Fold one end over with a 15mm overlap and pierce through both pieces of leather. Once each side is marked open it out and enlarge the holes.


Thread the headpin through both pieces of leather holding the head firmly against the leather.


Wrap the wire around one side...


Then pass the wire across underneath and wrap the other side, trim off any excess. How many times it wraps on each side will depend on the length of your headpin. Mine wrapped 3 times on each. 

Wrapping the other side.

Repeat this on the other end of the leather.

Ends completed

Fold the piece in half and mark the centre, pierce the leather and wrap the central headpin.

Adding the centre.

Fold one end to the middle pin and mark the centre, add another headpin. Then fold the other end to the centre and repeat.

Finished wrapping

You should now have 5 equally spaced headpins. If you’re not comfortable folding to find the centres, you can always measure with a ruler. 

Add a large jump ring at each end.

Jump rings for the clasp.

And finish with your clasp. 

The finished design

These look great finished with just the headpins, or add a charm or some other dangly bits for some more movement. This charm is also from Jen and was swapped in the Art Charm exchange.

Adding embellishments.

The finished bracelets.

I think they would also look great with flower head pins, maybe some wrapped wooly wire and plenty of copper charms. They're a great foundation to let your imagination take over!


  1. I love the design and the tutorial is terrific.

  2. This is very cool! Love how it looks, and your wraps even look great on the backside. I love techniques like this that turn a utilitarian, often humdrum element into a decorative feature.

  3. Brilliant idea! Not only are the headpins decorative, but they function rather like rivets. Great tutorial for those who don't know how to rivet. Will share on my blog so others can come visit!

  4. Hi Caroline, Pearl from the Beading Gem sent me.... I love the look of using those head pins. Thank you for sharing this awesome technique. I am now a subscriber to the Art Jewelry Elements blog. Patricia B

  5. Absolutely gorgeous way to finish the leather ends! Thanks for the great idea and tutorial!


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