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How do I make this leather belt floor mat?

Below is a link to an example of an expensive floor mat made from recycled leather belts. I want to know is how do you think they are attached? Is there another mat underneath that they are glued to? What type of backing is involved? What type of adhesive would be durable enough for this type of application? What is the best way to cut the leather to make a precise edge? Should the leather be treated to make it last longer? There must be an inexpensive solution. Please help me out. Thanks.

http://www.ecosalon.com/from_fashion_accessory_to_floor_mat/

Patrik6 years ago
If you click through to the seller, they actually have some info on how the mat is constructed:

"materials:
Recycled vintage leather belts mounted on a backing of reconstituted leather using water-based glue"

They're selling a 27.5" for $688, so you should definitely be able to do better than that! Goodwill stores usually have a whole rack of belts at a few dollar a piece. Do make sure you get genuine leather belts - most will be cheap imitation leather that will wear off after a couple weeks of use, leaving you with a mangy mat! Even if they say "genuine leather", they may be made from reconstituted leather (which has as much in common with real leather as McDonald's chicken nuggets have with a real chicken), or they may be plain lying! Luckily, with a well-worn second hand belt, it's much easier to tell the real leather from the fakes.

The mat they displayed has 23 strips. At 27.5 inch diameter, I figure you can probably get two strips per belt, if you plan carefully. So you'll need 12-13 belts, which should cost you around $30-$40 at Goodwill (or free if you get them from your belt wearing friends). As Kent suggested, leather glue them onto a cheap mat (plenty of those at Goodwill too).

By the way, I just found this related link for a change tray made out of old belts, to thumb a nose at a tray by Hermes that sells for hundreds of dollars:

http://www.dailydanny.com/?p=3334

The stitched leather looks really cool, and might be a nice touch for your mat as well. I would still glue the belts down though - don't just trust the stitching, if people will be waling on them daily. Sewing leather is a lot of work, so it may not be worth the trouble for mere decoration. To make the job a little easier, you can buy a sewing awl from Tandy Leather (see http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/home/department/Tools/1216-00.aspx) at most Michael's or other craft stores .
judaith8 years ago
OK, love the mat but it reminds me of a Minwax display at Lowes...so...get 1 piece of round canvas/cheap plastic fabric, burn straight lines across it (however many fit your desired size), go to Lowes and ask for samples of 10 gel stain finishes-stain your fabric-coat with a sealer from a spray can ( mine says something generic like "acrylic sealer") ad you are done and have spent maybe 10.00 bucks for fabric and spray. An old table top already in a circle or fiberboard slats would give you the same look if you faux finished it to look loke leather. Basically you paint a section one solid color like green or maroon and then you wad up a plastic sack and dab on a black or dark brown to make it look like leather. The one in your link was most likely glued down to a non slip backing and then a top sealer was floated over it to fill in any of the joint areas. Post when your done so we can see your knock off.
KentsOkay8 years ago
I would be tempted to say there is a rug underneath that the belts are stitched onto. To make your own I would buy a cheap mat. To glue, I would use leather weld, which is leather glue sold by Tandy Leather Factory:
http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/choosecountry/choosecountry.aspx
To cut the leather, use a razor blade. I think natural wear on the belts would look good, I wouldnt treat it personally.