made: DIY studded leather jacket

For ages and ages, probably since I was about twenty-one, I’ve wanted a studded leather jacket. I’ve spent ages umm-ing and ahh-ing over various different styles, on every clothes website around, and have never managed to quite commit myself to spending quite so much money on one item of clothing, Seriously, they retail for around £200, and I know why – it’s leather, obviously – but still, £200 is an incredible amount of money. When I was younger, I didn’t have it. Now I’m older, and most of the time I still don’t have it – and if we do ever have any spare cash, I automatically spend it on the kiddos (seriously, they wear Boden and Little Green Radicals and Beau Loves, and we dress in charity shop and eBay stuff!). But still, the longing for a studded leather jacket nagged and nagged at me, until I decided to do what every thrifter worth her salt does – gather some craft supplies and make my own!

I actually started this DIY about three years ago, when I bought the leather jacket on eBay for a bargain-tastic £4.99. £4.99! I wanted a biker-style jacket really, but then I also want a winning lottery ticket and a wardrobe full of Swedish Hasbeens and Modcloth dresses – beggars can’t be choosers, and I’m a strong believer in working with what you’ve got.
I only got round to adding the studs over the last week (I partly had the fear of ruining the jacket, and partly couldn’t find the time to actually do it), which ended up being a little more drawn out than I expected. So I decided to make a post of it, and give you my top tips for studding your own leather jacket. Ta-dah!

1. Get some decent pliers.
You’re going to need them. A heavy set pair, with padded handles and a good grip is best – you’re going to be using them for a while, so anything to make them more comfortable in your hand is great.

2. Plan where you’re going to put your studs.
Choosing a layout is vital – it ensures that you like the end product, and you don’t end up making mistakes. If you’re going for a complicated design (I did two straight lines and two triangles), it’s best to make some marks where you want to put them.

3. Check for seams and fabric thickness.
There are certain areas in a leather jacket (and any item of clothing, actually) that are thicker than others – seams are one, shoulders are another. You are never in a gazillion years going to manage to poke a stud through those areas – you’ve literally got more chance of flying to the moon. Studding leather is difficult anyway, but this is nigh on impossible. It’s possible that you could use a nail to punch a hole, but even then, I can’t imagine it being that easy. I decided to save myself a massive headache by just steering clear of those spots!

4. Take your time.
Adding studs to something is time consuming, particularly when it’s made of leather. Make sure you’ve got enough time to take it slowly, plan it properly and can leave your project and come back to it if you need to. Rushing will just make you feel stressed and increase your chances of making a mistake. Put the radio on, and let it become repetitive – before you know it, you’ll be finished.

Studding leather is hard work – you need to put quite a lot of pressure behind your stud to make it puncture the leather, it’s a naturally resistant fabric and will put up a fight. I was pretty pleased with the result though, and would say it was definitely worth the hassle. And bruised thumbs!

Jacket – eBay (customised) // T-shirt – the Husband //Jeans – eBay // Clogs – Lotta from Stockholm //
Bib necklace –  Primark (four years ago) // Headband – belt from a vintage dress

Look! It’s me! Outside! In the SUNSHINE!
Sunglasses from somewhere in Brighton


  1. thriftymonster
    April 23, 2013 / 9:36 pm

    Wow love it. Don't normally like leather jackets but I love this outfit!!!!

    • Vicky
      April 23, 2013 / 9:40 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

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    December 19, 2013 / 12:16 pm

    These outfit look amazing..! you look really amazing in this jackets

  3. Austin Bert
    August 30, 2014 / 9:49 pm

    She looks beautiful & terrific. Latest design of leather jacket see this Women's Leather Jackets

  4. Anastasia Hall
    March 28, 2016 / 1:31 pm


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