How to Braid Sami Bracelets

If you like simple, yet interesting jewellery designs or you need gift ideas for men or women, try making Sami bracelets. Sami bracelets are traditionally made with reindeer leather and were made by the Sami people in Lapland, which covers Northern Sweden, Finland and Norway. These bracelets are hard to find in stores and are usually expensive -- between £19 and £61 (see Resources). The supplies you need to complete this project can be found wherever craft supplies are sold.

Measure around your wrist with a tape measure and add 1/2 inch to that length. Measure and cut a leather strip to this length. If the leather isn't already the width that you want your bracelet to be, measure the width and cut it.

Place the ends of the coiled pewter or copper wire 1/2-inch from the end of the leather strip, on the side you designate as the top of the bracelet. If you are creating a double-braid design, place six of the coiled wires, side by side along the length of the leather strap. Thread a needle and sew the ends of the coiled wire to the leather and retrace the same stitch, five or six times, to make it secure.

Braid the coiled wires keeping them flat against the leather as you work. After you've done about three weaves of the braid, stop and sew the coiled wire to the leather. Sew only the bottom of the coil so the thread isn't visible in the top of the bracelet. Repeat the stitch four times. Continue until you are about 1/4 inch from the end.

Snip the excess wire with a pair of wire cutters and stitch the ends to the leather with five or six stitches, like you did in step 2.

Sew a thick button to the end where you left 1/2 inch of room. Make a small loop with a piece of ribbon or strong leather cord, a few millimetres less than the width of the button and sew the ends of the loop to the other end of the leather strip. Now you have a closure for your bracelet and it is ready to wear.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Leather
  • Scissors
  • Coiled pewter wire
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Wire cutters
  • Button
  • Ribbon
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About the Author

Angela Neal is a writer for various websites, specializing in published articles ranging from the categories of art and design to beauty and DIY fashion. Neal received her Associate of Arts in administrative assisting from Bohecker College.