There is a mythical creature roaming the urban landscapes of the world. This creature hopes that people will notice him everywhere he goes. In some cultures he's referred to as "The Guy Who Thinks It's Not Silly To Wear Jewelry," and he is a sorry sight to behold.
Don't get me wrong. Jewelry is beautiful and there's nothing wrong with wearing one ring (not on your thumb, dude!) or a nice watch. But a guy should leave the jangly bracelets for Pharaohs, the chunky necklaces for Mr. T and the diamonds for his beautiful girl, shouldn't he? Ladies, am I wrong here?
YES! I was wrong. Completely. I was wrong and you are all right. Man adornment is good.
Of course, it has to be done right. Like Liberace did, you have to own it, but don't expect to be as cool as he was right away. The time is right for some awesome belt buckles. And I really like making belt buckles.
Step 1: Remedial Metalcasting
To make your own buckles you have to study a little about metal casting. I use the green sand casting method.
My greensand is made of 1 part by volume cat litter (bentonite clay) that has been powdered (use a food processor, not your dryer, like I did) to 10 parts fine sand. Mix these thoroughly and then wet it until it can clump really firmly but isn't wet. 5 gallons should cost you about 4 dollars and 1 hour to make. It also makes very fun indoor play sand for kids. I will post this process in depth as a toy i'ble in the future.
The next step is to make a flask which is the lidless box (really just two frames) that holds the mold. The sand will be rammed against your pattern inside the flask. You can use anything that can accommodate your pattern. Try whatever you have around, even cheap picture frames or rigid food containers. Cheap is the key, right? Being cheap is how I have enough money to buy my girl pretty things.
If you don't have a foundry you can melt pewter scrap on your stove top. My sources of inexpensive scrap have included chess pieces, cabinet knobs, sundry tchotchkes, and cups. But the best and cheapest source I have found yet are heavy lamps from thrift stores. Gold mine! (Pewter mine?)
Melt whatever pewter you can find in a small lidded pot or measuring cup and skim off the top slag (impurities).
Now make a pattern for your buckle.