A few weeks ago I was doing a little shopping with my nieces, Emily and Abby. I think we were in American Eagle Outfitters. They were both looking at the jewelry, and I saw the leather cuffs and immediately thought of the cuffs my friend Carrie had made a few months earlier. I asked the girls if they liked the cuffs and might like one - of course, they did, and they would. And I knew I had a project for spring break.
So yesterday in the downpour, I went thrifting for just the right leather belt that I could remake into some leather cuffs for my girls. And I scored! I found three belts that were just perfect for what I had in mind. Of course, in my excitement to get the cuffs completed, I didn't take pre-remake pictures of the belts.
Using just regular scissors, I cut the belts into wrist size pieces. After some discussion from the work crew, it was decided that the corners needed to be rounded just a tad. Here's a picture of the design on two of the belts. On the middle piece, I had already painted the white stitching along the edges.
Lovey and Clay helped me to put the snaps on. I did put on the first few, but when the paint came out I left the snaps to the guys so that I could do the fun stuff. Notice how much better the rounded corners look? I worked on these snaps. Clay had a tool to punch holes in the leather before attempting the snaps.
While painting I would punch the holes and pass the leather to the guys to add the snaps, and then get right back to painting.
Add a little color and then wipe it off. The paint stains the leather and will stay in the crevices of the stamped design.
For this one a little turquoise and yellow and it's ready for snaps.
Sometimes we painted then added snaps, sometimes we snapped then added the paint. The design of the belt helps to determine the paint colors. This flower design was a one of those belts with the name on the back. The flower design gave us lots of crevices for lots of colors.
I had three belts and didn't realize until we were almost ready to begin the project that two of them had the same design stamped in the leather - one with stitches along the edges and one without. I love the rainbow of colors on this one.
I even saved the buckle of one and did some retooling to use it on a cuff. Here it is before any paint had been added.
And here it is after painting. Doesn't even look the same at all.
I've got enough cuffs for all of my nieces to choose their favorite.
And that belt with the name? Just happens the name was Laura, and my niece Leah (nephew's wife) has a sister with that very same name. So Laura, of Laura's Journey, will get a cuff too - if she's wants one.
I've got one more that needs snaps, but we ran out. And that long one on the outside is for me and it need another row of snaps.
Take another look at the before and after. Here's the three belts I started with.
And here's my finished product.
After snaps and painting, we waxed the leather and scruffed them up a bit. Even used a hammer and banged a few with the edge of pliers. The more distressed and worn they are; the better they look.
Can't wait for the girls to choose.
Have you done a crafting project with friends and husbands? It was fun. And the husbands had some great ideas.