Picture of Craft yourself a new leather belt
Hi there!

So you're interested in a lil leather crafting?  No problem, I was too, so I gave it a shot.  There's a lot you can take away from this instructable, but on the same token, you will need a few tools.  Below, I'll outline everything that you should have for each major step.  

Just a heads up:  While crafting this belt, I used a burning tool, you can you a method called "stamping" as well, however I find that takes a lot longer, and A LOT more skill.  I find burning a quicker and dirtier way of making a sweet design on leather.  

I also kept the belt very simple.  By using one snap, I can switch out the buckles, hopefully you have one or two buckles laying around (I will not instruct you how to make a buckle this time).  

I'm going to show you how to make a basic functional belt with some design involved.  Also, when I outline the tools, I'll do my best to suggest other tools, but for the most part, I'm going to outline what I used to get the job done.

What you need for the design:
  1. A strip of leather (Tandy Leather carries everything on the list by the way, but you also might find a leather shop in your hood too!)
  2. A sweet design in mind
  3. Tracing paper (You don't need to be an artist!)
  4. A burning tool (I used my wood burner)
  5. Pencil
  6. Pen-like tool (for outlining the design through the tracing paper onto the leather)
  7. Leather stains (For desired colours)
  8. Leather liquid finish (To seal the finished belt)
  9. Newspaper
  10. Sponge
  11. Fine Paintbrush (depends on your design)

What you need for the leather work (Again, Tandy Leather is your best bet here):
  1. Leather Skiver (I actually don't have one, I used a woodcarving blade)
  2. A rubber/plastic hammer
  3. Leather punches for necessary holes
  4. Snaps and snap anvil 
  5. Heavy duty scissors or blade (May need to shorten your belt)

If you keep the design simple, less stuff is required.  If you want to add more components to the belt, obviously you'll need more on the leather side of things.  Either way, it's hard to get into leather crafting as a minimalist.  If you want to get into it, look into a leather starter kit, most of the tools included you'll be able to reuse anyways!  And if you've notice in the pic...Yes my coffee table is a work-out bench, most of the belt was done on there...Awesome. 

If you want to get to know me more, follow my personal account on Instagram, I'd love the attention!  Just click the link or look me up, mattw13. Thanks!


Also, as I'm ramping up, I speak my mind on Twitter too, so feel free to follow me on there too!

whitejac made it!1 year ago

Tried burning it and be VERY careful with the tip you choose. I used a generic wood burning kit I got when I was a kid, and the tip has an extra sharp wedge design. So the "burns" came out more like deep scars and cuts. Probably would have been less noticeable with the two-tone design he used, but for mine it showed through the paint entirely.

But now I know (and can share with you!) that if you completely ruin a great blank, you can sand it down with medium grit sand paper and remove any signs of those scars. In fact, I kind of liked it after sanding. The shiny smooth side was worn away and left the woody interior texture. I ended up using paint pens and free handing it, but this is how it came out before applying a finish.

Not sure about "Burning" (Brandign?) but if you are thinking of Stamping, Embossing, or "Tooling" your belt you will probably need to look for "Veg Tanned Leather".
matt.w (author)  Dream Dragon2 years ago
Thanks for comment, I actually burned my design in with a wood burning tool. I agree that stamping is a lot cleaner but consider me a beginner and I'm still practicing with stamping. Yes, this is "Veg tanned leather", I should have pointed that out, cheers!
I have noticed in the day to day vernacular at work, the word legit is becoming more common.
In Toronto is it common place for a belt to deceive or engage in illegal behavior?
matt.w (author)  thematthatter2 years ago
Ahhh, well I suppose by "legit" I mean, it's legitimate and conforms to the rules of what a traditional belt should be...I think.