Yesterday i decided to attempt a somewhat unusual project. Initially I had gone to my local leather store to buy materials for a leather cover for my new bullet journal (blog post and video coming soon). When I got there they had whole boxes full of belt buckles for less than a dollar. Having been looking for a nice leather belt for quite a while, I saw an opportunity. Incidentally, they also had pre-cut leather straps, perfect for belts. It was just meant to be!
So, in case anyone would like to attempt making their own belt, I have written down how I made mine. (please bear in mind that this was my first attempt, and I may not have done it in the "correct" way, but it worked fine for me).
- A buckle (mine was from a small leather shop)
- A leather strap - mine was pre-cut and from the same shop as the buckle
- An exacto-knife
- A metal ruler
- An awl
- Cutting surface
- Leather hole puncher
- Needle and thread
In the end the belt ended up costing me about 20$, which I think is a great deal considering most quality belts can cost you upwards of 100$. Here's how I made it:
- Start by measuring your waist or where you want your belt to sit. Add about 20 cm (8 in) to that length (mine ended up being 107 cm / 42 in). This is for overlap and extra holes.
- Cut the belt strap to size with the exacto knife. (My belt was 3,5 cm wide).
- Bend over one end of the strap about 4 cm and try to flatten the loop as much as possible. If needed use a hammer to make it fold.
- Mark the center of the folded strap and make a small rectangular hole to fit the buckle (1-1,5 cm long and 0,5 cm wide)
- Stick the prong of the buckle through the hole and fold the strap around so the leather closes around the bottom of the buckle frame. Attach a binder clip to one side to keep it in place if needed.
- Start making holes through both layers of the folded leather and sew them together with a strong thread. This takes a while and it pretty hard on your fingers, but it is very much worth it! To make it even more secure you can go through the holes twice, this also looks more professional.
- When the buckle is attached you can cut off the thread and perhaps secure it with some leather glue.
- If you have other parts than the buckle (like I do) now is the time to slide on the loop, which holds the end of the strap in place once it has been all the way around the wearer's waist.
- The end tip is not nessecary, but I think it completed the look for my belt. This particular one you attach by folding the "teeth" on the back of it down with pliers. They clamp down over the leather tip with no need for sewing or glue.
- Lastly measure out 4-6 holes and punch them out with a hole puncher for leather. Mine were 3 cm /1,15 in apart and about 4mm / 0,15 inches in diameter. The size and placement of your holes should of course depend of the width of your belt.
And that's it! If you would like to see how I did it, head over to my Youtube channel where I show every step in detail. Thanks for reading!