Handmade Holidays: Upcycled Wrist Cuffs

The weather is getting colder, and we have a handmade holiday on our minds! Handmade gifts have heart, are better for the environment, and, if you opt to buy, it supports independent artists! Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be posting about recycled gifts you can make yourself and great handmade finds for sale.

I don’t know about you guys, but I have the hardest time coming up with boy gifts. Why do handmade items tend to skew toward the girlie? Never fear! This upcycled cuff is simple enough to make and works for men and women. Here’s what you need:

  • two pieces of fabric scraps, cut or pinked to 9″ long by 2″ wide (you’ll want one piece to be a bit on the heavy side, like denim or corduroy)
  • sewing machine
  • a large, vintage button
  • fabric scissors and pinking shears (optional)
  • contrasting piece of fabric or an outer strip (optional)

Take your two 9″x2″ rectangular pieces of fabric, and cut the edges like in the dotted lines here:

If you’re adding the fancy, pinked stripe to the outside, use your pinking shears to cut a strip of contrasting fabric 9″ long and about 3/4″ wide. Now, layer and pin your fabrics right sides out, with the pinked strip of contrasting fabric right side out on the fabric that’s going to be the outside of your cuff. Sew along the outside using a zig-zag stitch. You want to start at the corner of the pinked strip, so that when you have sewn along the outer edges, you can then sew down that strip without having to take the project off the needle. This method will allow the edges to fray a bit with wear, which I think gives the finished product a more manly feel.

OK, this is my favorite part of the project: scribble scrabble sewing! Change your needle to the straight stitch, and place the cuff in the machine so you’re starting near one of the edges. Do a few backwards stitches, and then go to town! Stitch up and down, changing direction as often as you like. You can even change stitches while you’re working to give it a really random feel. The scribbly stitching gives the cuff a little more strength while adding a bit of interest.

You’re almost done! Sew your button hole vertically about 1/2″ from one edge of the fabric. Grab your vintage button and sew it on the opposite end of the cuff’s outside.

[All images by Becky Striepe]

Written by Becky Striepe

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .


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  1. great tutorial! I’ve never made wrist cuffs before but it might be a good way to use up all the offcuts I have left over from making our bags, I hate to throw any fabric away 🙂

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