Bohemian Leather Button Cuff

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I have jars of buttons all over my studio and I'm always brainstorming different unique ways to use them. I recently ordered some leather cuffs from Dharma Trading and thought the buttons would be a great way to embellish them.

Finished project 1

Buttons galore!

These leather blank cuffs are a great base for a project since the hardware is already attached. The best part is they are really inexpensive and precut!

Start with a boring blank

I used Angelus Leather Dye and Dye Reducer to dye the leather:

I wanted a lighter shade so Reducer was handy

I mixed the leather dye and reducer in a small bowl:

I mixed the two..

Then I used a cloth to apply it to the the leather. Two coats worked perfectly:

..and applied with a cloth

I recommend using gloves when dyeing. I'm always too impatient, but I don't mind walking around town with discolored hands.

Remember, you're leather, too! Wear gloves.

Once the leather was dry I took a sanding block to distress it. If you want it smooth and supple you can add wax or softener and buff it. I left mine plain because I wanted it slightly dry and distressed:

I sanded out for a distressed look

I sorted out a selection of buttons in a tan, brown and muted palette:

Then.. the button-palooza

To apply the buttons I used an small 1/16" scrapbook hole punch, a sharp needle type tool, an embroidery needle and DMC thread:

What you'll need

I placed my first button on the cuff and used the sharp tool to mark where I needed to punch holes:

Mark holes to lace on buttons

Using a skinny scrapbook punch I punched the small holes using my marks:

There are punches for this but I had this scrapbook punch around

It's easiest to mark several buttons at once

Laying out buttons in advance helps a ton

and then move them off the cuff, but keeping them in the same order as you punch your holes:

Remove them but keep them in configuration

It only took me about an hour to sew all of these buttons on and I love how eclectic and earthy the cuff turned out!

Finished project 2

More leather cuff ideas to come soon!

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