Bartlemas “flayed” leather bracelets

When celebrating feasts in the liturgical calendar, I love trying to find crafts that can somehow teach us about the story we’re walking through. Memory is so tied to the tangible, after all.

In thinking about a craft for Bartlemas, I wasn’t quite sure where to go – St. Bartholomew’s martyrdom was famously grisly: he was flayed and beheaded.

The celebrations in the calendar are adept at weaving together the paradox of joy and suffering, so finding ways to bring these lessons into the story through crafting seems so fitting. Given St. Bartholomew’s martyrdom, and since he was accordingly the patron saint of tanners and butchers, I figured a leather craft would fit the bill!

We found some “mystery braid” leather bracelets from Silver Creek Leather Co. (out of Indiana), which are cut into three strands but are closed on both ends. So, the leather itself looks flayed!

The braid was a little tough to get the hang of at first, but soon we got the rhythm of it. And while we braided, we talked about St. Bartholomew’s legacy, the choices he made, his response to God, and his martyrdom.

Another fun idea would be to burn words or designs onto leather cuffs!

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