How to Mystery Braid Leather and Make Bracelets

In this video I will demonstrate how the mystery braiding technique for leather works. For the demonstration I am going to make bracelets out of brown dyed veg tan leather and black nubuck. The video will clearly show how to braid leather in the so called mystery braid. Since I am very proud that my channel has reached 250 subscribers, I will also do a giveaway. Please watch the video until the end to see what the comprehensive set of leatherworking stuff that I will be giving away, consists out of. Participate in the giveaway by leaving me some constructive feedback or a positive comment in the comment section. But most importantly, have fun watching this video and learn how to mystery braid leather and make some beautiful and rugged leather bracelets in the process!

Click here to watch the video in which I make the leather strap cutter.

Video transcript:

Hello ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Tony Needs Hobbies. My name is Tony and a couple of months ago, when I did a 100 subscribers giveaway, I promised to do another giveaway at 250. I’m very proud to tell you that that goal has been reached recently. So in addition to explaining a leatherworking technique I will also do a giveaway in this video. All you need to do to participate is drop me a positive comment or write me some constructive feedback in the comment section down below. Please stick around to the end of this video to see what I will be giving away and have fun watching!

What I will show you is a technique called “Mystery braid”. It’s a braiding technique in which both ends of the strands are fixed, so it looks impossible to make, but it is actually really easy. Let’s first cut some bracelet length straps of leather and then I will demonstrate how to do this.

To cut the straps I will use this leather strap cutter that I made in one of my previous videos. Check that out as well by clicking the video suggestion in the top right corner or in the description below. It’s a very handy tool and cuts straps out of thicker pieces of leather real easy. The straps that I cut are 21mm or 7/8 of an inch wide.

To decide on the length I will measure my wrist and add 25% to it. This extra length will be used for the snap button and because the strap shrinks a bit as a result of braiding. For this little project I will be using brown dyed veg tan leather and black nubuck as well. The nubuck is more flexible so I cannot use the strap cutter and hence it takes more effort to cut a nice and straight strap using a Stanley knife.

Once the straps are cut I cut off the sharp edges to give the bracelets a better look. You can also go for an English point or a nicely rounded corner. Then I mark one third of the width at 25mm or one inch from the ends on both sides to cut the straps in three strands leaving the ends untouched. I cut the strands using a sharp blade and a steel ruler for guidance. Another mark is made with an awl to point out where the snaps will be placed. I put them at the center of both ends and cut the holes using my almost brand new pliers.

I got a nice little snap button set with many colours and punches needed to attach these buttons to leather. This set and a wooden mallet are used to install the buttons. Keep in mind that the cap as well as the stud should be on the upper side of the leather if you are making a bracelet, like I am in this video. You can use this braiding method not only for bracelets, but for instance also for straps for bags and purses as well as for beautiful belts.

The brown one is ready to be braided. I’ll prepare another strap from the previously shown black nubuck by repeating all the steps: cutting of the edges, cutting the strands and installing the snap button. Three straps are prepared, so let’s start mystery braiding.

If you have never braided before, here is how to do it: start with the right strand and go under the middle strand, then take the left one and go under the middle, do the right one again and finally the left one.  You can see the end gets tangled. It is now time to untangle by pulling everything apart. It will partially untangle almost automatically. Then take the right strand, go under the middle and take the left strand to go under the middle. When you pull apart the strands now, it will untangle magically. Repeat this process to fill the strap. When you’re done, all the braiding is on one side. It is now time to relax the braiding again, but start at the other side. Repeat this until the braid looks nice and regular. Then fixate it by running it past the edge of a table for a couple of times and it is done.

In the first one I did it 12 times. Now let’s see if I can braid really tight and fit another 6 times in one of these straps. Follow me along: start at the right and 1, 2, 3, 4, partially untangle, 5, 6 and fully untangle. Repeat again: 1, 2, 3, 4, partially untangle, 5, 6 and fully untangle. And try to squeeze in one more set. Then relax by braiding from the other end, fixate by running it past the edge of a table and another beauty is done.

The black nubuck one is much more easy because this type of leather is more flexible. The braiding process is exactly the same. Watch carefully.

That’s it for the technique demonstration. I hope it was a bit clear. Now let me show you what you will get if you win the giveaway raffle.

What I will give away is a comprehensive set of leather straps in all the steps of the process of making a mystery braid bracelet. So if you win the raffle, you will get a large enough piece of leather to cut some straps, one that has already been cut to size, one with the snap holes, one with the strands cut, a piece with the strands cut and snaps installed, a finished example and enough snap buttons. You can choose between this brown veg tan leather or black nubuck. Please participate now by entering your name in the raffle by leaving me some constructive feedback down below. You have seven days or until I upload another video, whichever takes the longest amount of time.

And that’s it for this video. I hope you learned something and will start experimenting with leather yourself. Did you watching like this video? Please let me know by hitting the like button and definitely consider subscribing to this channel for more videos like this in the future. Only thing left for me to say is:

Thank you for watching. Bye, bye.

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