How To Make a Braided Leather Headbandcomments (5) July 15th, 2009
I've always been mesmerized by braided leather wristbands and belts, how they're braided and yet still connected at both ends. They remind me of the leather crafts we did at summer camp when I was young. Recently I was looking for a way to keep my hair off of my face on those hot summer days, and I came up with this braided leather and elastic headband, based on the same idea.
What you'll need:
A scrap of thin leather, soft vinyl, or ultrasuede
A tape measure
A bit of 1/4" to 1/2"-wide elastic (black or a dark color is best; I only had white on hand)
A sewing machine.
1. Measure your head. Wrap the tape measure around your head, as you would wear a headband. Subtract 4" (or as long as you want the elastic strip at the back to be). Add back 2" to account for shrinkage due to braiding. This measurement will be the length of the band. The width is up to you; I made mine about 1 1/2" wide, but anything from about 3/4" up to 3" or so should work. It is helpful if the number is easily divisible by 3. Experiment!
2. Cut the band. Cut a rectangle out of the leather that measures the length by the width you determined.
Then mark and cut two slits, dividing the band equally into thirds as shown. Leave about an inch at each end uncut.
3. Begin braiding. This is the cool part, and kids can join in for this step. Hold the band vertically and, starting at the top, pass the left-most strip over the center one, then the right-most over the center, then the left again (just like you would braid hair). Now stop and, holding the braided section securely, pass the lower end of the band through the right-slit hole, just below where you are holding the braid. Now continue, right over center, left over center, right over center, hold and pass the lower end through the left-slit hole just below the braid. At this point everything below the braid should be flat and untangled; if not, undo it and try again. Once you get the hang of it, it's simple and addictive! Repeat the steps until you have braided the entire band.
4. Sew the elastic. Cut the elastic 5" long if you want a 4" section, so you have 1/2" of seam allownance at each end. Wrap one end of the band around the elastic, with 1/2" of elastic inside, and stitch back and forth to secure. Repeat for the other side.
Isn't that sweet? Makes a great gift or even birthday party activity (an adult can sew the elastic on), and keeps those unruly wisps away!
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery