Ideas for material - Doll Bracelet

So my SIL is nuts about American Girl dolls, and got that lightning strike idea to have name/DOB bracelets for each doll. My first thought was PG leather, although leather makes me eh.

Specs: It has to bend around and tuck into itself, be engraved, not look like paper… hmm, be available?

So far I’ve found mention of JPP Saddle Collection, Kraft-tex (which looks like colored tyvec?), Grungepaper, Worbla, Wonderflex…

I’m not excited to buy leather, PG or not, and I’d rather find a different material, but haven’t been able to come up with anything that will look as good. Also, the possibility of coloring them like @geek2nurse’s feather bracelets would be nice.

Any material thoughts from the collective GF community?

Edited to add, since the topic locked: turns out that heavy watercolor paper is the perfect solution! I painted it with darker watercolors, limbered up the paper by rubbing it at all angles over a 90 degree edge, then sealed it with Odie’s oil (normally for wood, but it worked well ;p). Thn I lasered out all of the bracelets. The thick paper works fine since they won’t get abused by child use.

Thank you @dklgood, @CMadok, @cynd11, @bwente, @ca_worth, and @Helene for all the brainstorming help! I love the way they turned out :heart_eyes_cat:

Pics of end result:


The JPP Saddle Collection sheets are affordable, engraveable and can be glued or hand sewn. I hven’t used any of the other materials you mentioned.

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Does it have to be something leather-ish? I think since a doll will be wearing it, you can make something cool with a living hinge. Like the center is engraved with the name inside a flower shape or something, and the straps be living hinges, then you can just use wood. :rofl::rofl:. Sorry, I’m cheap, and leather is expensive and smelly. :joy::rofl:.

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There’s always silicone. You can cut and engrave a silicone food prep mat, and maybe fill in the engraving with acrylic paint if you want it to be more visible.

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You could try using adhesive veneer back to back. Or what if it was more like a charm?

Or just a wood and cord?


Thank you all for your ideas and material feedback, @dklgood, @CMadok, @cynd11, and @bwente! I like the living hinge, although being only 1/4" wide, I’m afraid it would be too fragile. I love the idea of a flower shape too! One thing I’d like the design to be is very non-fiddley. As in, not a lot of post cutting work to finish it, since they are so small and there she has over 50 dolls! I’m working with about 3.5"x0.25" :sweat_smile:

I did a simple bracelet test on some PG leather I have has since the original sample pack, and realized that I also need to tweak the PG settings for the engrave so it doesn’t go as deep + has more resolution/lpi. Granted, this leather is probably fairly dry considering it has been sitting in an airconditioned house for 3 years, so I’m not surprised the settings from 3 years ago need a bit of a tweak!

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if you need to strengthen the living hinge and since the dolls aren’t active :slight_smile:

what about a couple of drops of thin CA glue? it would penetrate the wood and you might be good to go.

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How about a Double Arc Bracelet (I just made that up!)
cut 3 arcs, place 2 the same direction and flip the other one over.
put the flipped one in between the other two and pin them together so they will hinge.
If the doll won’t be moving, you probably won’t need a pin for the closing side.
Here is a quick svg of my idea.
arc bracelet experiment

You could engrave on the top / bottom or cut them out in a flower petal shape instead of just round

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@ca_worth strengthening the wood with CA is a good point. I did a mockup with the living hinge idea, but the hinge part takes up so much room that it only leaves about an ~1" of flat area for text, which makes the font hard to read. Thank you for that idea though, it was worth a try! Hmmm, I wonder about doing them with veneer…

@Helene that is an intriguing angle to look at this bracelet problem with! I tried putting text on a half circle like that, and unfortunately it made it hard to read, not to mention that the text was perpendicular to the arm, which makes it hard to see. That would be a really interesting cuff multiplied and made human size though!

I’ve prototyped a handful out of wood and leather, but now I really like the idea of the veneer. I’ll have to see if the same leather bracelet file I’ve been versioning will work if I cut with the grain of the veneer.

Thanks for all y’alls ideating! It is incredibly helpful to tap a poopl of creative minds like this one :sparkling_heart:

well heck. I knew it would strengthen it for sure. As I have done that many times in my wood turning. Completely did NOT consider the resulting engravable space in the end. Kinda the whole point I know.

I hope you can arrive at a workable solution before you go too crazy. :slight_smile:

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Here is how I used the veneer on a watchband.

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Wow, those are very cool! Thank you for sharing, I hadn’t seen that post :sparkling_heart:

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