Introduction: Recycle Seat Belts and Make the Ladies Love You!!

Picture of Recycle Seat Belts and Make the Ladies Love You!!

This is an Instructable on how to RECYCLE SEAT - BELTS from old cars, and make many useful things.
Some of these include...
A unisex adjustable single strap bag that the ladies will love!!
A small coin wallet for women.
A hammock, big enough for two  that also can be used as a cargo net for the bed of small pickups..
A dog seat belt that will keep your pet safely in your auto while you cruse the streets with him or her.
And two belts, one with the Toyota clip and one with the GM clip!!!

In this Instructable, I recycled 50 LBS + of lap belts from broken down auto's for just pennies... For literally pennies I was able to save hundreds of lap belts from the local landfill. Seat belts can take thousands of years to brake down because they are made of plastics, and so it is important to keep things of this nature out of the ground and in circulation where they can be reused. To make all of these things, I did have to buy a sewing machine (7 Washingtons at a Good Will) a hot glue gun (1.5 Washingtons at Good Will) and last but not least, 6000 yards of thread at my local arts and crafts store(1.75 Green Backs). Also, I did buy some Safe to Wash Fabric Glue. This is very useful, very cheap and not necessary, but it is handy when making the bags. Last I did have to buy a few zippers, but they were only $1.25. The single strap bag was just an experiment and because of its popularity I have yet to keep one for my self. The coin wallet was just a random idea. The hammock was actually made so that I would have something to lay on when studying astronomy. The dog seat belt was an idea that came to me when my friends dog got hurt in a car wreck. And last but not least, the buckles just looked like they would make cool belt buckles. In total this whole project that I worked on cost less then 15 bucks. I have found that girls love a guy who is conscientious about the environment, and who can make something that they will wear. DO THIS AND YOU WILL GET NOTICED...

Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Gather Materials

For this step you will just need to find a local junk yard. Most junk yards will let you take seat belts for little to nothing because of the age of the belts, and because they will not see any value in them. The junk yard I went too gave me 50 pounds + for just 50 cents.

Do not go without tools, I found that a: 13mm, 14mm and a 17mm wrench covered most metric cars and American cars.

The most important tool is A KNIFE, a very sharp knife!! With this you can cut out the seat belts, its much faster than unbolting them.

I used a quick dry GLUE for bonding straps before I sewed them together. A hot glue gun works wonders for this. I found this tool at my local Good Will store for just a buck fifty. For bigger things such as the hammock cargo net I used a stronger fabric glue that drys in 24 hours. I did try crazy glue, but it bonded the strapping so good that when i went to sew it, the nettle bent and jamed the machine. SO DON'T USE CRAZY GLUE!!!


SCISSORS, these let you cut and trim and yeah you get the point...

LIGHTER This will help get rid of the loose ends and keep them from fraying...

SEAM PULLER (you don't need this but it does help) used for undoing seams...

SEWING MACHINE You need this if you want your stuff to stay together, I got my sewing machine on the cheep at a Good Will for seven bucks and it works great.....

FLEXIBLE TAPE MEASURE This comes in handy, but you really don't need it, you could just use an old tape measure that you already have...

Most all these things you could round up for under 20 bucks, and they will come in handy for more then just this project....

Step 2: Figure Out What You Want to Make!!!!

Picture of Figure Out What You Want to Make!!!!

Some of the things I made are....

Many unisex adjustable single strap bags that girls will love you for!!

A small coin wallet for women.

A hammock Cargo net and tie downs, big enough for two that also can be used as a cargo net for the bed of small pickups..

A dog seat belt that will keep your pet safely in your auto while you cruse the streets with him or her.

And two belts, one with the Toyota clip and one with the GM clip!!!

I have found that the best thing to do is start with what you want to make and then move on to things like how strong does it need to be and will it have extra stress on it such as rubbing. some times you may need to use extra layers, but sometimes you may be fine with just glue, and will not need to sew, so take a little time to think out your project.

Step 3: How to Make the Hand Bag

Picture of How to Make the Hand Bag

I am starting with the hand bags because they were the first thing I wanted to make when I had seen this contest posted..

First pick the colors of strapping that you want to use.
Second pick a size, if you are making a hand bag for a girl it could end up being very small, and you may want to look at other hand bags to size yours up, but if its going to be made for a book bag or laptop bag you can just use some books as your rulers.
Third, you need to figure out if your bag is going to have a lid that folds over or not. My bags did and I just made the lid go all the way down the bag.
Fourth, now that you know some of that other stuff, you need to measure out and cut your straps, I found that a book bag is about 7 seat belt straps wide. So take the book that you want to use or books, and wrap one strap around the book 1and a half times, add one inch and cut to length.
Fifth, you will need six more straps like that one, or there abouts depending on how big your bag is.
Sixth, you will need straps for the depth of the bag, if you want to put more then one book in the bag use Two straps for the depth. wrap them around the outside of the book, add one inch and cut to length.
Seventh, lace the belts together and use pins to hold them in place while you glue them. with my bags I just used glue because it is strong enough, I did not bother with sewing them.
Last fit a strap for holding the bag, glue it in place and let it all dry. Do not remove the pins until the bag completes drying, because if you do you will end up with a big blob.

Step 4: How to Make a Cargo Net Hammock

Picture of How to Make a Cargo Net Hammock
The cargo net hammock is very easy to make, all you have to do is lay out the strapping in the size and shape that you want. When they are all laced together, glue them together, if you use a slow dry glue, make sure you put something on top of the straps to make them hold in place while they dry. It makes it far more easy to stitch the hammock if the straps are held in place, you could use pins but you get poked so much that it makes the project way less fun, so use glue when you can.

When the straps are all dry you can sew them together, this is the tough part. For strength of the hammock you want to use a box stitch. Because I used the smallest standard thread I made about four passes per line for strength. You will see what I am talking about if you watch my video.

This is my box stitch...

Now you will just have to find a way to hang up your hammock net. I put my hammock net across the bed of my truck, so I had to strap it down. For this I used the seat belt clips and made special metal parts on a CNC Plasma cutter. and now I can pull each side down tight. You can see them get cut out in my short clip, if you have not seen a plasma cutter yet.

Step 5: This Is My Dog Seat Belt...

Picture of This Is My Dog Seat Belt...

The dog seat belt is sweet because you can make it in less then ten minutes. It takes about three pieces of strapping, or one belt from A car I should say. It is made of two long pieces that go around the dog and one piece that connects the two.

FIRST make a strap that goes around the dog.
SECOND copy that strap for length
THIRD take a piece of strap that is about six inches and connect the two big ones with the small one.
FOURTH put on the adjustable belt strap.

And your done.

Step 6:

Picture of

The coin wallet.

FIRST take about 8 inches of seat-belt, fold it over on its self.
SECOND sew two sides.
FOURTH flip the bag inside out,

And your done!!


ManishB26 (author)2016-05-26




3366carlos (author)2013-02-21

very nice.

ginger20037 (author)2011-07-01

I love the cargo harness, I'm defiantly going to raid our 'storage sheds' (two cars and a van), and probably a junk yard or two to make one for my Tacoma! :D

Ocea (author)2009-12-26

Does anyone know where to buy seat belt sashes from?? (besides junk yards)
what junk yard did you buy the seat belts from?

Cervantes (author)Ocea2010-05-13

Most auto parts stores carry them. Usually rolled up into the seat belt mechanism. Or you can try this site;

Cervantes (author)2010-05-13

I like the ideas. I make slings out of seat belts my self, they double as bracelets. I was wondering if you have ever tried sandwiching seat belts of different colors, and cutting a relief into the top layer so the bottom layer is seen? I'm probably hosing my question up...can't think straight..too many hours on help desk duty..seeing stars..head pounding..

erosser (author)2009-09-16

Man, you got that sewing machine for $7 at a Goodwill?!?!! And a glue gun cheap, to boot?!? Your Goodwill gets some awesome stuff!

MarKilmer (author)erosser2009-10-05

I concur

porcupinemamma (author)2009-08-16

O.K. lol. I'm a lady and I love you. Very cool. Brill and stellar

cruz.benj (author)2009-06-15

that dog doesnt look very happy :)

joker861304 (author)2009-05-09

Awesome project! Did you color the seat belts some how? Thank you!

mhertel (author)joker8613042009-05-14

no, every car comes with different colors, I just had access to lots of cars, but that is a good idea i wonder if you could color them...

CorpseRsCarla (author)2009-05-08

I made a belt out of a seat belt from a cadillac. I wanted to make it adjustable, but found that neither the buckle, nor the adjustable slider would fit through the belt loops of any of my pants. The clip did though, so I had to go with it not being adjustable...until I think of a better idea... I guess the belt loops on chick's pants are smaller than on men's. oh well.

hwall13 (author)2009-04-30

I'm amazed at all the things you can make from sitbelts

hailtothkngbby (author)2009-04-25

Saw a show on the National Geographic Channel tonight called Garbage Moguls. The 27 year old proprietor of a development company had designed a messenger bag made of recycled seatbelts. When I saw it, I immediately thought of this instructable. There you have it everyone; I saw it here first! Great job!

mhertel (author)hailtothkngbby2009-04-26

wow your comment alone made this project worth while... Thank you so much!!!

krowii (author)2009-04-24

INCREDIBLE! Great ideas!

8bit (author)2009-04-23

any hints on finding or selecting a junk yard? How to make the proposal.

mhertel (author)8bit2009-04-24

you could call the local dump, they should be able to tell you, or a car parts store. you are just looking for a car yard, with old cars in it. when you find out where they are at and or what the number is to call, just ask them if they can quote you on old seat belts per pound...

jianqiang (author)2009-04-23

One word: Awesome

tarzioo (author)2009-04-22

I'm a lady and I love it! I could fall in love with that purse!

mhertel (author)tarzioo2009-04-23

wow... thanks, you have some super cool stuff yourself !!!

dannyboy1 (author)2009-04-22

What a great idea. Think of all the useful stuff that could be made; and durable to boot!

hertelm (author)dannyboy12009-04-22

thanks dad!!

DylanGrow (author)2009-04-22

Awesome, great job of thinking outside the box. But what else can it be used for?

mhertel (author)2009-04-21

hey thanks, that is super cool, you should post a pic

artist without a medium (author)2009-04-21

Awesome. I actually bought a license plate purse a couple years ago "Little Earth" But their products while cool do tend to be very expensive, I bought mine used.

mhertel (author)2009-04-20

This is a note to all of you who look through my Instructable, Thank you for giving my project the time of day, I am trying to bring you a project that is truly about recycling. Something that could be done by any person of any age or gender. My apologies for the CNC plasma cutter, I know that 99.9 percent of the population does not have access to things like this, for making clips and stuff. If that becomes the reason for your inability to complete the cargo net section, please let me know I will make and ship you some clips. I did want to bring you all a grate CNC project, because that is what I am in school for, but to many people don't have access or don't know how to use them, so I chose the seat belts instead. I have wanted for some time to write A project like this, but until now, have not been able to find the time. This is my first one, I hope that it is easy to understand, please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks Matt Hertel

llemon (author)2009-04-20

This is an awesome bag; great colors and size in this picture...I WANT ONE!!! -llemon

carlos69190 (author)2009-04-20

sweet!!!! cool stuff man thanks

thematthatter (author)2009-04-20

the female in step 1 doesnt look too happy i dont know if i would want to impress her with my home made stuff.

mhertel (author)thematthatter2009-04-20

it was seven in the morning, so she was still a little bit sleepy, that is all

hammer9876 (author)2009-04-19

I want some purple seat belts!

mhertel (author)hammer98762009-04-19

just let me know, i can get you some... FOR REAL

hammer9876 (author)mhertel2009-04-19

I could probably get them at the local car stuff place. All of the seat belts in my various cars have been black or tan - very dull. I would like to liven things up, but purple wouldn't even go well with my Copra Drab paint job. (sigh)

crasdog (author)2009-04-19

Dude this is an incredible amount of seat belts! I think its one of the most creative things Ive heard of in like forever!

mhertel (author)2009-04-19

thanks, its funny that you said that because that is what i am working on at the moment

MarKilmer (author)2009-04-19

dang dude, that's a friggin' load of seatbelts. You should make seats for the inside of your truck, that'd be bad-a

About This Instructable




More by mhertel:USB-Rechargable Laser PointerRecycle seat belts and make the ladies love you!!
Add instructable to: