How to Make Leather Chokers

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A wide leather choker makes a stronger statement than the classic Victorian-inspired choker constructed from satin or velvet ribbon. Depending on the color of the leather stripping you use to make this simple and sexy neck adornment, the choker you construct can have a Wild West flair, a hard-core edge or a soft, Native American aesthetic. Perfect for day or evening, the women, children and men wearing leather chokers handmade from these instructions will stand apart from all the rest.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather strip, 1 to 2 inches wide, 1 1/2 feet long
  • Measuring tape
  • T square
  • X-acto knife
  • Silver textile marking pen
  • Leather punch or nail
  • Mallet or hammer
  • Silver lobster clasp
  • Silver chain
  • 2 jump rings, 1/4-inch diameter
  • 2 chain-nose pliers
  • Mink oil
  • Clean cotton rag
  • Determine the length of the leather strip you will need for the choker. Measure your neck's circumference with the measuring tape, and then subtract 3/4-inch from that measurement to find the correct length.

  • Cut the leather. Lay the leather strips flat on a cutting surface, such as cardboard or scrap vinyl, oriented horizontally. Align the T square close to one end with the cross part of the square lined up along a horizontal edge of the strip. Cut the leather along the vertical edge of the square with the X-acto knife. Measure the length for the choker from the cut edge of the strip, and make a slight nick with the blade to mark the place. Line up the vertical edge of the T square at that mark, and repeat the procedure to cut.

  • Punch holes in the strip to attach the lobster clasp and chain. Turn the strip so the soft backside faces up. Draw a straight line 3/16-inch in and parallel to one end of the strip with the silver pen. Measure to find the center of the vertical width of the strip, and make a horizontal mark to form crosshairs. Repeat on the other end. Place the point of the leather punch or nail directly on the crosshairs at one end, and hit with the mallet or hammer two or three times until the punch or nail pierces a hole in the leather.

    Repeat on the other side.

  • Attach the lobster clasp and chain. Open the jump rings slightly with the pliers. Thread one jump ring onto the lobster clasp and the other onto the chain. Thread the jump ring attached to the lobster clasp through the hole on one end of the leather strip. Clasp one side of the jump-ring opening with one set of chain-nose pliers and the other side with the second pair. Close the jump ring by moving the two ends together until the edges are flush. Thread the jump ring attached to the chain through the other hole and secure in the same way.

  • Condition and waterproof the leather choker with mink oil or leather conditioner. Clean the leather choker with a damp paper towel and allow to dry completely. Apply mink oil to a clean cotton rag, and massage it evenly into the leather. Add more as needed. Wipe off extra oil immediately using a separate clean rag . Allow the treated leather choker to dry in a warm location for several hours.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use embossed leather belt blanks instead of plain leather strips to create a fancy Western-style leather choker.
  • Punch holes in a pattern at the center of the leather strip for additional decoration.
  • Stand to one side of the blade when cutting the leather to prevent injury.

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References

  • "Leather Crafting in an Afternoon"; Mickey Basket; 2004
  • "The Complete Book of Jewelry Making: A Full Color Introduction to the Jeweler's Art"; Carles Codina; 2006
  • Mermac Mink Oil: FAQs
  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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