HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN LEATHER BELT: A DIY BELT GUIDE
15th Jan 2023
Here is a photo of the belt I made as my very first leather creation. It has served me well over the years, but it is undoubtedly unsightly. I made a tonne of blunders, which is to be expected when starting something new. The holes are not consistently spaced, the burnishing on the edges is rough, and I built the belt with snaps rather than rivets. I decided it was time to construct a new one and share some of what I've learned so that your "first belt" will look a little bit better than mine does.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
- 8-12oz Leather (a side)
- Strap Cutter
- Leather Knife (or Rotary Cutter)
- Leather Glue
- Leather Dye
- Thread & Needles
- Long Ruler (4ft+)
- Hole Punch
- Skiving Knife (Optional)
- Diamond Chisels
- Scratch Awl
- Craft Spong
- Canvas Cloth
- Rivet Setter
- Belt Buckle
step 1 : Prepare the leather for the strap cutter in
Need: Leather, Leather Knife, Scratch Awl
This stage presupposes that you either purchased finished leather or that you personally coloured and finished the leather. Check out THIS POST if you need assistance with dyeing the leather.
You need a straight edge on the leather for the strap cutter to operate properly. Making that initial, straight cut across the leather will be your first action. It's not that difficult. Simply take your long ruler—at least three feet—and place it across the leather's top. The idea is to get the ruler as close to the edge as you can without having any leather on the ruler come off. With the least amount of scrap, this will produce a lengthy straight cut. It is best to do this along the portion of leather that was along the cow's spine.This is due to two factors. In contrast to the bottom of the leather, which will contain peninsulas from the legs, this area of the leather is already quite straight, therefore it typically generates fewer scraps. Second, the leather from this region of the spine is slightly more durable than the leather from the belly. You need this harder leather for a belt. Make your cut with the leather knife once you've drawn a precise, straight line across the leather with the ruler and scratch awl.
STEP 2: CUTTING OUT THE STRAP
Need: Leather with a straight edge, Strap cutter
The best strap cutters are. When cutting out straps and belts, they save a tonne of time, but the speed also increases the chance of the cut going horribly wrong. There's no need to freak out if this is your first time using a strap cutter; just move slowly. Set the strap cutter to the appropriate belt width before cutting. The majority of the belts I make are 1 1/4", but you can go wider or narrower as long as it matches the size of the belt buckle you have for the project. Make sure the area between the twin arms is large enough to accommodate the thick (8–12 oz) leather.The nut at the end of the twin arms, on the side opposite the blade, allows for rapid adjustment of this. Once the width and thickness are chosen, use the strap cutter to cut the leather by starting at one end and drawing inward and toward yourself. It is crucial that you maintain pressure on the leather's straight edge against the strap cutter's flat handle. The strap you cut won't be straight if the leather extends past the handle or if the handle pulls away from the leather. It won't be a big deal if you make a mistake here, but you will waste some leather.. To make sure you have another straight edge to deal with, you will need to return to the previous step and cut off the crooked straight.
STEP 3: CUTTING THE STRAP TO LENGTH
Need: Leather Strap, Divider, Ruler, Scratch Awl, Leather Knife
There are several ways to measure a belt, but the simplest and safest method is to use an old belt that fits comfortably. Measure from the beginning of the leather at the base of the buckle to the hole that fits the best if you already have a belt that fits well. You'll then have a starting length. Then you should add 3" for the leather that folds over the buckle, 3" more for the additional holes, and finally another 5" for the belt's end. To cut a long story short, you must increase your "beginning length" by 11". I.e. Thus, if your starting length is 46", add 11", and your required strap length is 57".
It's time to trim the end of the belt after you have the measurement for the ideal fit.
An "English Point" is the name for the arrow-like shape at the end of belts.
There are two methods for obtaining this form.
One is to own an English Point Punch, but most of us don't unless we are producing numerous belts.
Use of a divider is the alternative method.
Set the divider to the belt's width to accomplish this.
As was already explained, most belts have a width of about 1 1/4", but because you might have selected a different width, set the divider to that measurement.
Then, draw a little mark on each of the strap's edges after measuring the width (1 1/4") down the strap with a ruler.
After that, align the divider's arms with the markers.
Finally, while keeping the other arm immobile, press down and rotate one arm upward.
This will result in an arc.
With the other arm, repeat this procedure.
Once this was accomplished, the English Point shape should have been drawn on your strap.
Cut it out with your knife.
Check out this if you need extra guidance on how to create the English Point.