Introduction: Leather Suspenders
The quest for suitable suspenders is a suspenseful story, filled with the hopes of a lad who desired something more distinguishable than a belt to hold his pants up. The initial quest resulted in the lad pathetically walking around from store to store with pants around his ankles because there were no suspenders in sight. After a long days quest... a pair of suspenders were found at the mall, but they were of such poor quality that the lad would prefer to not disgrace his family, but instead continue the quest with pants at half mast. A glimmer of hope resided on Etsy, but it was too far and too long a time to go pants down. After continued failed attempts and ridicules from onlookers, the lad decided that he could hold up his own pants.. by himself.. like a big DIY boy.
Step 1: Strip the Leather
- Cut a big sheet of leather into strips of the desired width of the suspender straps. Hold the sheet of leather to your body to measure the length you want.
- I was going to do what I wrote above, but I was lazy and bought leather strips from a tack shop.
Step 2: Connect the Strips to Back Ring
- Fold the end of a strip around the back ring, and mark the fold point. Ring can come from a tack shop or any regular hardware store.
- Punch some holes in the folded tab. Punch mirrored holes on the adjacent part of the folded strap. I started to punch the hole with a leather punch, but once again I got lazy and used a drill instead.
- Sew with string, the tab to the adjacent part of the folded strip. Make sure the the ring is trapped within the folded strip. A big leather needle and palm thimble help to put the string through the leather.
- Repeat until the left strap, right strap, and back strap are connected to the back ring in a trifecta of strapping aww.
Step 3: Adjustment Buckles
- Connect adjustment buckles to each of the lower front straps in a similar fashion to the back ring. Buckles can come from a tack shop.
- Determine where you want the buckles to sit on your chest, and cut the end of the lower straps around your belt level. Make a loop in the bottom of the lower front straps in a similar fashion to the the loops around the back ring, but with no ring. The loop will be where the pant connectors attach to the suspenders.
- Hold the back ring somewhere between your shoulder blades in a place that is comfortable. From this position, ensure there is enough tail on the ends of the front strap to pass the position of the buckles and cut the excess off.
- Drill holes on the end of the upper front straps for size adjustments for the buckle to attach to.
- I made the mistake of first connecting the buckles to the upper front (left and right) straps. Upon completion this mistake leads to the tails of the lower front straps pointing up and outward around the nipple level (even when it wasn't cold). This also resulted in excess adjustment holes being drilled on the wrong strips... luckily these mistake holes make great vent holes to keep me cool.
Step 4: Pant Connectors
- Strip 3 smaller pieces of leather. the length and width is up to you and how stylish you want to be.
- Fold them over length wise, and sew the edges together leaving 1.5"-2" un-sewen at both ends.
- Make a hole with a connecting slit in the end of the pant connectors. This void connects where the pant buttons will connect.
- Insert the pant connector half way into a loop made in the main straps.
Step 5: Colour Leather
- This can be done at any point.
- Spread the desired colour of shoe polish on the leather. Wipe polish off or buff with a brush. You may have to reapply the polish to a couple of times to get the colour you want.
- If the leather is not taking the colour, sand the leather to roughen the surface so the coloured shoe polish will engrain itself into the leather.
Step 6: Pant Buttons
- Place 3 sets of 2 buttons on the desired pants that need to be held up in a snazzy way.
- Buttons can be placed inside or outside of the pants. I choose inside so I could wear the pants without suspenders and look normal.
- Back buttons are centred on the back
- The front buttons are just outside of the front belt loops.
Step 7: Become a Strapping Hunk