Make this Homemade Holiday Gift: Leather Wristlet

Make this Homemade Holiday Gift: Leather Wristlet

Tara Bellucci
Nov 16, 2013
(Image credit: Allison Joyner)
Maker: Allison Joyner
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Time Required: About an hour
Project Cost: $15
(Image credit: Allison Joyner)

With some basic sewing skills and a few leather-specific tools, you can make a chic wristlet that holds the essentials: phone, cash, ID. Allison made this one for her sister, and the social butterfly on your list will surely enjoy it, too.

Materials & tools:

  • 16" x 8" piece of leather (not too thick but sturdy, mine is ~1/16" thick)

  • A rivet

  • Polyester thread, matching or contrasting
  • Wash away wonder tape or double stick leather tape (optional, but recommended)
  • Small Sam Browne Button
  • 3/4" D-ring
  • Sewing machine
  • Leather sewing machine needle
  • Leather multi-size hole punch
  • Hammer
  • Edge/stitch-in-the-ditch foot (optional, but recommended)
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter, mat, and ruler (optional, but recommended)


  1. Lay out your leather face down and trace the pattern, making sure to mark the hole.
  2. Using a ruler, draw out two .5" x 15" rectangles and one .75" x 1.5" rectangle. Cut out the pieces.
  3. Punch out the marked hole. The size depends on your button and should be slightly smaller than the max diameter of your button.
  4. Fold up the bottom edge of the wristlet 3.75", wrong sides together and ,ark where the button should go.
  5. Punch out a small hole for the button and attach the hardware.
  6. Fold up the bottom edge of the wristlet 3.75”, wrong sides together again.
  7. Loop the small rectangle of leather around the D-ring and place in between the two pieces, about 3/8” from the top of the straight edge.
  8. If using wash away wonder tape or double stick leather tape, use this to secure the wrong sides together. I cut my leather tape in half lengthwise because it was wider than the edge seam I did, this makes it so there is no sticky residue within the seam. Depending on your tape/seam width you may want to do this as well.
  9. Outfit your sewing machine with your thread of choice, a leather needle, and the edge foot.
  10. Set the stitch length to 5mm (or max out your stitch length whatever setting that is) and set the needle position to all the way left (mine goes to -3.5mm). It’s a good idea to test out the settings on your machine and see what you think looks good before starting to sew your wristlet, it will act differently on leather than on regular fabrics.
  11. Line up the edge of your pouch with the left side of the edge guide, starting with the pouch fold towards the back of the machine.
  12. Stitch forward a few stitches and then stitch back to secure the stitch.
  13. Continue around the entire bag, once back at the fold, once again do a back stitch to secure the edge.
  14. Take the two long skinny rectangles and place them wrong sides together, securing with tape if you’re using it.
  15. Do an edge stitch on both the long sides of the rectangle.
  16. Fold the strap around the D-ring so that at one point it is three layers thick, adjust the length of the loop as you see necessary. Mine has about 1” of overlap.
  17. Mark on one layer where you want the rivet to go then punch out an appropriate sized hole. Mark on the next layer where this whole lines up, then punch. Repeat for the last layer.
  18. Loop strap around D-ring, insert rivet into punched hole and then hammer. When hammering, use a surface you don’t care about that is nice and sturdy, such as concrete.
(Image credit: Allison Joyner)

Thanks to Allison for sharing the Leather Wristlet gift idea.

All this month, Apartment Therapy is featuring homemade gift ideas made and submitted by you, the readers. Check back every day for a new project, or head over here to see all the DIY gift ideas.

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