How to Make Your Own Leather Belt

Leather belts are an excellent craft project for those new to leather crafts. Aside from being one of the easier craft projects, they also make nice gifts. Contrary to what you may believe, it is actually quite easy to make a leather belt.

First, purchase leather and a belt buckle. If you plan to tool or dye the leather, it is ideal to choose a vegetable leather. This type is easier to work with than other kinds.

Note the width of the inside of the belt buckle. Measure the waist circumference of the individual who will be wearing the belt. Using a razor knife, cut the leather. The width will be that of the inside of the belt buckle and the length one foot longer than the waist circumference measurement. To ensure an even cut, use a straight edge such as yardstick. The end of the belt that will be fed through the belt buckle can be cut to your preference. Many people like to round the end.

On the other end of the belt, fold the leather back 1 ½ inches to create a crease. Line up a slot punch with the center of the crease. Hold the punch firmly by the handle and use a wooden mallet to hammer it in until the leather has been punctured fully.

Using a rotary or drive punch, make two rivet holes ¼ inch from the end of the belt before the crease. The holes should be ¼ inch from each side of the belt. Fold back the belt on the crease and mark where the rivet holes overlap the leather. Make two more rivet holes where you have marked. When the belt is folded on the crease, the rivet holes should perfectly align.

Use a belt beveller to trim belt edges smooth. If you plan to decorate the belt, do so now. Tools and design stamps can be used to add individual touches to the leather. Some people choose to add studs. Use a leather dye to color the belt. Keep in mind that the dye in the container may appear distinctly different from the finished version. When choosing a dye, look at finished samples to be sure you are getting the color you want.

Allow dye to dry completely, flexing the leather occasionally during the drying process. This will ensure the fibers do not stiffen up too much. It can take up to several hours for dyed leather to dry completely. Once dry, clean with Neat’s foot oil or saddle soap and buff dry with a clean cloth.

Push the prong of the belt buckle through the hole made in the crease. Fold the leather back and align the rivet holes. Insert rivets from the inside of the belt and apply rivet caps using a rubber mallet.

Put on the belt and determine where a hole is needed to ensure a snug fit. Use a rotary punch to punch a hole that is centered from the edges of the belt. Working from this punched hole, punch a series of holes 1 inch apart.