I need some better findings (clasp), but the leather looks good. I cut long, 2-inch-wide strips of leather from a cheap leather coat I sourced at a thrift shop last summer. I folded the strip in half lengthwise, and tucked the edges in. I stitched very close to the edge so that it would appear neat, and there wouldn't be big flapping edges sticking out from the tube. In order to keep the leather from sticking to my sewing machine, I actually sewed it onto paper, then quickly immersed it in hot water in my sink and tore the paper away. I had to pick out some of the bits while drying the tubes (with a towel, quickly, and stretching them so that the leather wouldn't become stiff). Then I used a metal skewer and stuffed the tubes with bits of cotton/wool batting that I had hanging around. I hand-sewed the edges closed around large jump rings, and attached findings. Ta-da!
I actually made the tubes too long; I think I'll make a bracelet with the leftovers.
Overall cost: leather jacket = $10 (plus tax), and I've used bits of it for four projects now. I used maybe $1 worth of batting, at most. Needle and thread = neglible cost, and all told, these recycled findings probably cost me a dollar or two to begin with.