Saturday, April 7

Make This: Breastplate Necklace

Like I shared in my last post, I’ve been drooling over leather necklaces recently. So after zooming in a million times and studying the necklace pictures carefully I decided to try to make a few of them myself. I bought some leather and beads and have been working on them nonstop every since. It’s been so much fun! I have even been loosing sleep over it while I lay awake planning my next project. I love loosing myself in stuff like this. I have been trying to plan a DIY post but am not horrible at both giving directions and taking pictures. So I found a this DIY post on tumblr and wanted to share:

 First a little inspiration:

Heyoka Leather’s Turquoise warrior necklace available at free people, here.

  Heyoka Leather’s Spotted Eagle Necklace, also available at  free people here.

Both necklaces are essentially the same in construction (deerskin leather braid with an adjustable knot-tie closure, rows of beads in a leather frame, fringe bottom) but differing in color theme, row spacing and degree of structure (spotted eagle rows remain horizontal rather than drooping because of the one large bead). I opted for a hybrid baby of the two that we might call…. the spotted warrior? Fierce.

Materials: leather (I bought a bag of oddly shaped scraps of leather discarded from an industrial leather company. It’s cheap and good quality! Got it at a Michaels store), sturdy thread, heavy duty needle (has to be able to handle leather), beading string (the type with the built in wire threader is easiest), an array of beads

Tools: fabric (or sturdy) scissors, small sewing scissors, x-acto knife, very thin paint brush or chopstick or other similarly sized utensil, super glue (not pictured here! whoops!)

The Procedure:

Part A: The Braided Necklace

Part B: The Beaded Piece

Part C: The Fringe

Part D: Connecting the Whole Thing


 Total cost: $23.75 for beads + $5 for bag of scrap leather + $2 for beading string = $28.75
Total time: About 6 hours

… This project is pricey and time-consuming compared to the majority of jewelry I’ve made, but I think it is a fun piece well worth it. The quality of the leather and beads do matter here though. Don’t buy plastic beads and don’t buy fake leather, or your necklace might look like something from a costume store. Also, have fun with it and try layering it! 
Isn't this awesome ^^^ This was taken word for word from her blog. Here is the link if you want to check it out : Pleats n’ eats

My project was a bit more pricey than her’s because I bought opted to buy two full deer hides and an excess of beads. I also punch holes in the leather with a leather hole punching tool so no thread and a smother connection where the braid goes through the top. I will post pictures of the necklace I made in a few weeks :)  I hope you guys enjoy the project as much as I have. Here are a few websites I found helpful:
Distant Drums Leather: They have a great selection of deer skins. I purchased mine directly off their website and the owners are fantastic! I’ve called them quite a few times before to get help when I was stuck on a project and they are always so nice and helpful. Click here for their website.
Crazy Crow: They have a huge selection of  cheaply priced hair bone beads. I could not find these anywhere in my area so I ended up ordering them online. The rest of the beads I picked up at a local bead shop. I like to be able to handle them to get an idea of the quality and the size. (Sorry, tangent) Crazy Cow website, here.


  1. Awesome post thanks for sharing xxx

  2. these are gorgeous! really. I wonder if I can make one in a more delicate design...will contemplate it. thanks for posting!

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  5. im so glad i found this post! i wanted a breastplate but they go for at least a $100! ouch. i decided to give this a go and could not be any happier with my results!

    check out my finish product ^_^

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