Though they are sometimes hidden under shirts and sweaters, belts are an important part of everyday attire for most people. You might not think it but a belt can say a lot about a person's style, even more so when you add in your own personal flair!

This project uses store bought untreated leather belt straps along with buckle blanks and shows you some methods on how to get creative and make your own custom belts. Making your own is easy! All of the supplies you need can easily be found at craft stores, leather supplies wholesaler or the internet.

This project covers how to make resin-embedded belt buckle inserts and how to treat and finish a leather belt.

Enough talk, let's make some belts!

Step 1: tools + materials


  • small disposable mixing containers
  • stir sticks
  • latex gloves
  • colour printer + paper
  • photo editing software
  • scissors


  • belt buckle blanks*
  • belt buckle insert (for size reference)*
  • cow hide leather belts*
  • neatsfoot oil*
  • newspaper
  • casting resin%

* http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com
% http://www.michaels.com/
<p>Hi, how did you make the leather blank for cutting out the images? My blanks have rounded corners, I'm spending way to much time trying to make to cuts perfect. Also, what program did you use for sizing? </p>
<p>Any photo editing software will work for sizing. Step 2 covers how I made the images fit inside the rounded buckle blanks.</p>
<p>Do you use photo paper for your images? Do you coat them with anything before you put on the clear casting?</p>
<p>I used regular printer paper. The resin did dull the colour a bit, so photo paper is probably a better choice. </p>
<p>Hey there,<br><br>I have a couple of belt buckles like this and the loop on the back (where the belt feeds through) has snapped on both - any idea where I can get replacements, or even what the proper term for this par of the buckle is so I can google something?<br><br>Thanks!</p>
<p>I've tried repairing those before without much luck. You can check the links in Step 1 to see where I got mine from. You can buy all kinds of buckles there, and blanks, too, so you can make your own.</p><p>Good luck!</p>
<p>Ah, I tried Tandy Leathers already and they don't sell them....any other suggestions?<br><br>Thanks!</p>
Can I buy a John Wayne one???? THEY ARE SO COOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Way to go! You just gotta love that John Wayne! You solved my Christmas gift problem! Belt buckles for all the guys! Thanks for sharing!<br>Sunshiine
Love the pic! Have a fabulous day! <br>sunshiine
Wow! These look amazing! I have been looking for <a href="http://www.goldmountaintrading.com/custom-trophy-belt-buckles.html" rel="nofollow">custom belt buckles</a> everywhere and this has been so great! I want to make one as soon as possible!
Thanks for sharing this information! I have been looking into getting a new <a href="http://www.goldmountaintrading.com/custom-buckles-ws.html" rel="nofollow">custom belt buckles</a>! I really like these ones! They are unique but easy enough! Can you tell me where I can find more information like this? Thanks!
you rock, my wife's pict. would look good on my belt.
Thank you for the quick response. I see. I was somehow thinking the top part needs to have a ball shape to kind of clip in to the holes in the belt so it won't come off easily. I'm imagining the ones you had bends slightly inwards too to have a hooking effect? I will research on the buckles a little more and try and make one using your method. Thank you.
Hi Mike, enjoyed this post and I am going to try and make one myself. I've been researching on blank buckles like the ones you used and there are plenty around but I can't seem to find any info on the size of the pin on the back of the buckle that actually goes through one of the holes in the belt to secure. I have a belt that has quite big holes. The original buckle was a normal style with just the pin showing rather than a plate like yours. The buckle broke so I want to make some myself as the belt is in good condition but I don't want to buy blank ones to find that the pin is too thin for the holes. Any tips on this please?
I can't speak for all types of buckles, but the ones I used had a tapered pin. It looked much like a rhino horn, thin at the tip and thick where it attaches to the back of the plate. I would think that many are designed like this to accommodate many types of belts. <br /> <br />I'd love to see your results!
It works great! I have a collection of belt buckles but now I can make my own. thanks a bunch. <br> <br>Do you know if you can do multiple layers of the epoxy??? <br> I was thinking of using an Altoid tin and making a scene with cutouts that has some depth....Like an eagle in the foreground mountains in the background and clouds on top of them? Just wondering
<a href="http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2012/01/riusuke-fukahori-paints-three-dimensional-goldfish-embedded-in-layers-of-resin/" rel="nofollow">Check this out,</a> OnTheRange.
Expendable Youth Might make the Slayer Buckle that much better. Well... at least I think so.
the problem with tandys belts are they cost like 30 bucks....i love tandys but the belts are a rip off.
Yeah, some stuff can be pricey. But, the <a href="http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/home/department/Buckles/11738-00.aspx">buckle was $7</a> and the<a href="http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/home/department/Leather-Belts-Leather-Straps/4523-190.aspx"> belt was $9</a>! Look for those sales!
Love your projects, Mike. Can you show me what you mean by &quot;using a shell casing to emboss the leather&quot;? I bet it looks great.<br>I<br>m going to check out your stuff on dollar store crafts.
I'm glad you enjoyed reading my work!<br /><br />To emboss, I used something that had engraving in it which would transfer onto the soft leather when pressure is applied. <br />For the example shown here, I used an old shotgun shell cartridge which has the manufacturer and type of shell engraved on the brass backside. The brass backing was placed face down on the leather, then the two were clamped together on a vise and left overnight. Almost any engraved object should work, but test out on scrap leather first to make sure.
interesting project,any idea where i can get hold of blank belt buckles? <br>
links in step 1
OMG...this is soooooo awesome...
I love the real life maple leaf flag. As soon as I saw the main image, I knew it had to be yours! Now what kind of belt buckle do I need to make . . .
I've been considering this as a way to get cheaper belt buckles. Thanks for writing it up.
I saw some custom belt buckles in a &quot;strange craft&quot; magazine, and have been wanting to make some, but lost the magazine and never bothered internetting it. <br><br>Thanks! <br><br>Now to find some nat geos.
Funny, my first thought was that they were Iphones too. They look really great, you can probably set up an Etsy shop and sell them.
Awesome! I thought those were iPhones at first, belt buckles make much more sense :)

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Bio: I'm Mike and I make crazy things at Instructables HQ in San Francisco. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!
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