How to make a Secret Plait Leather Bracelet

I make these bracelets for our Geocaching and thought I would show you how to make the 3 and 5 plait. When we are out Geocaching I feel it is nice to put something that other geocachers will recognise as your signature. I decided that the bracelet would be our signature. I don’t leave them in all the cache’s as some are to small or are already full of bits and bobs.

Anyway back to the Bracelet’s themselves. The diagrams are from a book I use called Bush Leatherwork by Ron Edwards published in 1984    ISBN 0 909901 47 3 .      He has published a lot of good Leathercraft Books in the 1980’s .

3 PLAIT Bracelet….

the layman the secret plait is an impossibility. There


seems to be no logical method by which a belt can be plaited in the centre without either end being cut.
In this chapter I have laid out the method for producing three, five, seven, nine and thirteen plaits.

When a belt is plaited a certain amount of length is

lost, but not nearly as much as many writers claim. As an

experiment I prepared a belt exactly one metre long x 25mm wide

and worked it into a three plait. The loss was only 40mm, or

The leather was 2.5mm thick.
As a check on this I then chose a 3mm leather and

plaited a five strand, beginning one metre long and 30mm wide.

Again the loss was only 40mm.

As a matter of interest a 25 plait shortened by 9%.


The following three pages show the full sequence for

working the three plait. This is the simplest of all secret plaits and

so is the one most often used.

It is best to practise this one before attempting the

five or seven plait.



I like the five plait as it is the most attractive of all, and is just as easy to work as the three plait. In this case you count out the sequence as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, through the top, through the bottom, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. This is the complete sequence.


Repeat the sequence until there is no room to do another one. The Bracelet/Belt will then look like the left-hand sketch. Now work the plait down until it looks like the right-hand plait. Everyone works out their own method of working the plaiting down, some simply tug at the strands to spread the plait while others turn the job upside down and work the strands out to an even spacing.


The seven plait looks so like the five plait that people will often not notice the difference. It is useful for wider bracelets and belts when a close plaited look is desired. The sequence is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, through the top, through the bottom, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. The sequence is repeated as often as necessary.


The plaits are all worked out in the same sequence as shown for the seven plait, except that the count is increased according to the number of strands being used. For instance the sequence for nine plaits is 1 – 9, through the top, through the bottom, 10 – 18. The sequence for eleven is 1 – 11, through the top, through the bottom, 12 – 22. The thirteen has a count of 26 and so on.


Gang cutters are tools designed to cut a number of strands at once.

How to make a homemade gang cutter….

Razor blades can now be pushed in between the washers at whatever spacing is desired. Another scrap of tin is also pushed in to mark the width of the bracelet/belt being cut. This helps prevent the bracelet/belt from wandering off line as it is being pulled through.


Begin the cuts with a knife and then put the gang cutter in a vice. Slip the bracelet/belt over the blades and pull. Stanley knife blades can also be used in the cutter, and in that case the bracelet/belt can simply be pushed down over the pointed ends of the blades to begin the cuts.

My 3 and 5 Plait Secret Leather Bracelet.

I hope you enjoy making the bracelets.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jen
    Aug 10, 2012 @ 04:37:11

    Wow; thanks so much. Great info!


  2. Elise
    Aug 20, 2012 @ 11:11:33

    How do you tie them together so they stay on the wrist?


  3. gratis seks
    May 13, 2013 @ 02:21:21

    U have a great blog over here. I just wanna say thanks for all the interesting info on it. I’ll follow your site if you keep up the good work!


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