Overview: In this instructable you will learn how to:

1) Create a Celtic Knotwork pattern from scratch
2) Draw your own variations in knots
3) Tool a leather belt with the knotwork pattern
4) Finish the belt


Ball point pen
Ruler, Triangle (if making grid by hand)

Leather belt blank
Hole punch
Spray bottle
Hard tooling surface (preferably chunk of scrap granite counter-top, get it from a counter-top place for free from their dumpster)
Sturdy work bench (I made mine out of 2x4's)
Utility knife
Tracing mylar (or other plastic)
Swivel knife (special leather knife)
Leather stamps: beveler, backgrounder
High density sponge
Leather antique (stain)
Leather finish
Edge Kote
Optional: Punch for belt end (makes nice arch on end of belt, don't buy unless you are going to make a lot of belts, you can use a utility knife)


Measure proper belt length. The easiest way to do this is to measure a belt that fits the person well already. Measure from the start of the leather at the buckle to the end of the belt. You may want to subtract a little from the length because the belt may stretch a little bit.

Based on the measurement, you know how long your Celtic pattern needs to be.

Step 1: Make it Unique: Designing the Celtic Knotwork Pattern from Scratch

Making the Grid (or just use the attached template and scale to proper size):

1) Make a grid of squares 4 squares high and as many squares wide as you need (Draw lightly with pencil). The four squares should fit inside the width of the belt blank with a small amount of space between the edge of the belt and the squares (somewhere around 1/8").

2) Make diagonal lines through the corners of the squares in both directions (Draw lightly with pencil).

3) Transfer the shape of the belt end onto the grid (the arched end of the belt). Line up with the grid nicely.

OR just use my pdf and scale it to your belt width.

Drawing your Knot Pattern

Things to remember:
1) All knots have 1 diamond space between them (unless they have ends that touch another ending knot)

2) Knots always alternate over/under/over/under when they cross each other. They should be consistent through entire piece. If you look at the top edge as you read left to right, every knot should either go over/under or under/over consistently PICK ONE! (I picked over/under)

3) Alterations in knot design can be done easily by placing a line on the grid (through the middle of gray squares on pdf grid). The line should be 2 gray squares tall and can either be biased top, middle, or bottom (SEE green lines on mine). You may also do a horizontal line (these go on the gray pdf lines)
Draw the knot up to the line (using curves if necessary) and then reflect off the line (maintaining a 1 diamond space between)
If you are drawing a straight knot on the top or bottom it should be the same thickness of the diagonal knots, NOT the gray grid.

Finalize Pattern

Trace pattern with Sharpie onto mylar. I use the stuff from Tandy leather.

You have now sucessfuly completed the hard part of this project. This part takes up approx. 1/2 of the entire project time
<p>Absolutely brilliant, fav'ed!</p>
<p>Thanks, I wear this belt every day with business casual or jeans. Surprisingly, nobody has ever commented on it.</p>
<p>Well judging by the comments on this and my own opinion this is amazing!</p>
Those are also my initials......DK. Look at my user name.
<p>Great Post...job well done and explained!!!</p>
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<p>Where can I get the tools and the blank leather</p>
<p>Ditto, Tandy Leather</p>
<p>I got all my stuff at Tandy Leather</p>
<p>I have a belt stock, been waiting for a good clean Celtic Knot -- Thanks</p>
<p>that is Lapses at the dinner table</p>
<p>Very nice tutorial, may I add only, I was taught when sizing the belt, make only 3 holes , one that is the person's size, then one hole before and after for lases in judgement at the diner table and the other to make it even looking!</p><p>very clean!</p>
<p>How much for a custom one?</p>
<p>Sorry Ethan, but I only do this as a hobby. I only make things for myself or as gifts to others.</p>
<p>Oh........ ok :(</p>
whoa. seen alot of oakleaf, never a good celt belt (excuse my pun) i will be applying this to a knife sheath soon
<p>If you need ideas for knots you can check out the book: Celtic Knots: Mastering the Traditional Patterns by Aidan Meehan. I don't use his technique, but it has hundreds of knot combination ideas. For my technique I use a combination of this book and Celtic Knotwork by Ian Bain</p>
also it would be even easier if you used a cowboy style belt buckle. no need to cut the slot, no need for contact cement so you can swap out different buckles from your vast collection

About This Instructable


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Bio: A Mechanical Engineer with way too many hobbies
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