I made this one for my friend Renee's birthday earlier this month - and it's also my favorite:
This is made from a thrifted Gap belt, and I love that orangey leather color. Here's the back:
Final beauty shot:
That cuff was actually my second attempt at making Renee a gift, because John claimed my first one:
The hardest part for this design is bending that key, which I managed through the time-honored tradition of brute force and colorful metaphors.
Once the key was bent to shape, I marked my holes, drilled them with the Dremel, and then stitched the key in place with hemp twine, which I knotted & pressed into the leather on the back:
I used the existing belt buckle post to fasten this one, so I just had to add an extra hole-with-a-small-slit:
That one's a little too tight on John's wrist, though, so next I set out to make him a better - and larger - version:
You can seal the cut ends of your leather with a little satin or semi-gloss black paint. The paint's sheen will help it match the existing finish on the belt edges, so your new edge won't be so obvious.
These old keys were a gift from a reader, and since making those cuffs I've managed to snap two more while trying to bend them. EEK. Now I'm getting paranoid! I guess that old metal just gets brittle over time, so if you decide to give this a whirl, have a couple of different keys on hand as backups - and preferably in different styles, since some metals are more brittle than others.
(I'll probably experiment with stitching on smashed pennies next. Fun fun!)
UPDATE: Oops, nearly forgot to announce April's randomly-selected art roundup winner! So congratulations to... Isles Island! Please e-mail me your mailing address, Isles, plus your choice of art from my Pinterest art give-away board!