Riveting is a cold connection technique which is not only easy, but as the name implies, does not require a torch!  This tutorial shows you how to use rivets to attach clasps as well as focal findings.

My idea started when Sun Enterprises sent me some amazing leather samples for review (see this past post). They are a large European leather manufacturer and supplier based in The Netherlands.  The quality of their products as well as the variety should send the hearts of those who make leather jewelry racing!  (Update : smaller quantities may be found on Etsy  or consider sharing an order with friends).

 Why make straight edged leather bracelets when you've got wonderful wavy leather like this? This is Nappa leather which means it is very soft and supple.  Sun Enterprises has two widths in different colors available. I used the 20 mm wide ones for this tutorial.

There is a seam on one side so that is the backside. You can clearly see it in the white wide sample below.

I also used some wonderful findings, courtesy of TierraCast.  The hammertone and rivetable flowers come in different metal finishes.  The rivetable flowers have just the right sized holes for the 6.5 mm compression rivets I used - see example here.   The E hooks are great for leather - and for beaded work if you like this easy to wear style of clasp. 

Compression rivets come in pairs. There is the stem which is inserted from back to front and the rounded cap which is then placed over the stem.

There are also Tierracast rivet setters for the two different sizes of rivets they carry.  This is the 6 mm one.

The concave tip fits over the rivet cap so that the rounded shape of the cap is maintained when the rivet is hammered.

But you don't have to use the rivet if you haven't got one or as in my case, preferred a flat cap for my design. I've also see leather work tutorials using compression rivets where they just hammer away! The left rivet below was simply hammered flat :

I am not sure if this photo is clear enough but the right rivet is still roundish. But the left rivet is flat and "distressed" which was the look I was going for. Check my past riveted leather tutorial where I kept the round caps.

The next step is to size the Nappa leather to fit my wrist with extra length at both ends so they will fold over the clasp.  There should be enough length to accommodate the rivet.

I used a rotary leather hole punch to create the holes.  These usually have the most common leather working sizes.  I used the second smallest punch at 2.5 mm - the 2 mm would also work.

I fitted the compression rivet in and hammered it until the two parts were set - i.e. the cap sits on the leather without any gaps.

Here is a look at the back :

Notice that the very edge of the folded over part of the leather protruded? Not surprising since I am working with wavy leather. So I did have to trim those tips off :

The other end is also riveted to the E hook.  Putting the cuff on or taking it off just requires you maneuver the open part of the E out of the "slot".

The Tierracast hammered discs had holes which were too small for the rivets. So I tried enlarging it with my Euro power punch which makes hole punching metal very easy (great if you have weak hands).  But the punch dies were in Imperial measurements and didn't quite do the trick.

So I ended up using a round needle file to open up the holes.

I positioned the hammered disc where I wanted on the bracelet i.e. dead center. I used an awl to poke through the disc holes to poke tiny pinpricks in the leather. You can also use a light colored marker pen (for eg. metallic gold or silver) to do the same thing.

Then rivet away!

I stacked a rivetable flower over the disc for the white cuff.  An extra central hole had to be made in the hammered disc. Otherwise this bracelet was made in the same way as the black one.

Done and done!

Doesn't the wavy Nappa leather give the cuffs a distinctive look?  I love wearing them because they are so comfortable!  I am not fond of bracelets which get in the way when I am on my computer.

I used my iPhone 6S with the Camera+  app. I used  the Orangemonkie studio which comes equipped with LED lights - for artificial light photography in my windowless basement studio. The Foldio2 is particularly affordable. I use the Foldio3 with the extra light bar because I need the room for tutorial photography.  

My online class Easy Guide to Smartphone Jewelry Photography is now available. Read more about it here.  

Before You Go:

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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