Basic Leather and Paracord Survival Hiking Belt




Introduction: Basic Leather and Paracord Survival Hiking Belt

About: I have a great passion for cooking, crafting, fixing, or building stuff!

Throughout this Instructable I will be showing you how to make a simple survival belt made from leather and paracord. Whether you like camping, hiking or climbing this is a great belt for all outdoorsman.

Step 1: What You'll Need:

  • Paracord Fid Needle
  • Scissors
  • Straight Edge
  • Leather Edge Slicker
  • Leather Dye
  • Tandy Leather Belt Blank 1-1/2" Wide
  • Leather Hole Puncher
  • Leather Beveling Tool
  • Leather Skiver
  • Tandy Leather Blank Belt
  • Metal Leather Rivets
  • Pliers
  • Tape Measure
  • Leather Rivets
  • 550 Paracord
  • Sharpie/Marker
  • Roller Belt Buckle 1-1/2"

I got most of my supplies on

Step 2: Measuring Length & Marking Buckle Holes

Grab an old belt that you like that fits you well and lay it on the BACK side of your blank belt.

  1. Using a marker mark the buckle holes and length/design of the tip of the belt. You can choose any shape you like. I liked how my old belt looked, so I simply traced it.
  2. You should now have a few dots representing where you will be punching holes for your buckle along with a length and shape of the tip of the belt.

Step 3: Drawing Construction Lines for Cutting Belt Into Shape

Draw two 1/4" lines roughly 2-3" from your last buckle hole. The 2-3" measurement is more of a preference.

  1. Using a straight edge draw two perpendicular lines on either side of the belt measuring 1/4".
  2. Here's what your lines should look like.
  3. Now make those same 1/4" lines in 1' increments down the belt until you are 2-3" away from the other end.
  4. Here's what your last lines will look like.

Step 4: Connecting the Dots and Cutting Out Your Belt

In this step you will be connecting the dots. Connect the lines on either side like shown in the diagram. The colored in portion of the belt is what you will be cutting out.

  1. Using a straight edge draw a line connecting your series of lines. You should end up with a line parallel with the edge of the belt 1/4" off of it on either side.
  2. Here you will see which portion of the belt you will be cutting out.
  3. The lines should carry all the way to the other end of the belt like shown here.
  4. CUT out the two 1/4" strips off either side of the belt.

Step 5: Punching Buckle Holes and Shaping End of Belt

  1. Using your Leather Hole Puncher with a 3/16" diameter dye, punch out the buckle holes.
  2. Cut out the shape of the end of your belt.
  3. Here's what the strap end of the belt looks like.
  4. Here's what the buckle side of the belt looks like.

Step 6: Making and Preparing the Belt Keep

  1. Using a piece of scrap leather that was just cut off the belt, cut a piece roughly 5-6" or fit a piece around the belt like shown here in part 1.
  2. Using a leather Skiver, on the back side of the leather, shave off about 1-1/2" from either side. Shave about half way through the leather. The object it to simply make it thinner on the ends.
  3. Here's what you should end with.
  4. Here's a closeup of what you are looking for during measuring.

Step 7: Punch Hole for Belt Keep

  1. Wrap your belt keep into place an slip your Leather Hole Puncher into place and punch a 1/8" hole through all three layers.
  2. Here's a closeup.
  3. Top view of where the placement of the keeper should go.
  4. Here's what your holes should look like.

Step 8: Bevel, Slick and Dye

  1. Using your Leather Beveling Tool at a 45 degree angle give every edge of your belt a trim.
  2. Here's a beveled edge.
  3. Using your Leather Edge Slicker slick all edges on your belt. Start by dampening the edges with a wet paper towel. Then lie your belt on a table hanging over the edge just a bit. Run the slicker back and forth until it's smooth and shiny.
  4. Using your Leather Dye dye the entire belt, front and back, including the belt keep. A little goes a long way to be conservative. Let dry for 15-20 minutes before working with the belt. This stuff gets everywhere so be careful.

Step 9: Attaching the Belt Keep

  1. Leather Rivets
  2. Angle 1. Using a pair of pliers place your rivet through all three layers and squeeze it tight with the rivet.
  3. Angle 2.
  4. Result.

Step 10: Weaving Your First Cobra Braid

Find the half way point of your 100' of 550 Paracord.

  1. Starting at the end of the belt of your choice line up the half way point of your paracord with the location shown in part 1. You should be left with a left and right working cords.
  2. Take the left cord from left to right under the belt and over the right working cord.
  3. Take the right cord over the belt and up and under the loop created by the left cord.

Step 11: Weaving Your Second Cobra Braid

This will be the same braid but backwards. We will now start on the right.

  1. Bring your right cord under the belt over to the left side.
  2. Bring your left cord under the right cord, over the belt and up under and through the loop formed by the right cord.

Step 12: Securing Your Loose Working Ends

  1. Attach you Paracord Fid Needle to your paracord. Using your lighter melt the end of both cords and shape them into a cone. Twist (screw) the paracord into the needle.
  2. Thread both loose ends through 8-10 braids and give a good tightening.

Step 13: Cutting and Melting Ends Down And

  1. Cut the loose ends so there's enough room to get your lighter in there.
  2. Melt ends down to avoid fraying and tuck loose ends under braids.

Step 14: And You're Done! Enjoy

Attach your Roller Buckle to your belt and you are done.

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    7 years ago

    Great design. I was looking for a paracord belt in which I could hide a small knife and other items such as a firesteel. I will also incorporate some firecord. You have unleashed a creative beast of an idea. Thanks and I will do your design proud.

    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    7 years ago

    This looks great! Nice work and awesome directions :)


    Reply 7 years ago

    Thanks Penolopy!


    7 years ago

    Great idea / project! I've always liked the idea of a paracord belt but was concerned that if I had to use the cordage for survival, what would I use for an actual belt (To keep my trousers up as I'm losing weight trying to survive). So your idea / project provides: 1. Needed cordage for survival. 2. Means to keep up trousers. Keep up the good work!


    Reply 7 years ago

    You're right, dgiradin, this is a really stylish design. You'd face Armageddon proudly with AnthVale's design hugging your ever-shrinking dimensions. However, in answer to your question, if you already have a belt made entirely of paracord and a buckle, don't fret! You'd simply unravel it and use only one double-strand of cord or even inner-cord to hold up your trousers leaving you plenty of cord for survival stuff.

    If you have a 40-inch waist for example, 40" doubled and tied off would cost a little over 80", or 6'8" off your cord which should have about 80 feet or so on it, depending on the weave used. You could even make a simple one shoulder strap/suspender out of less cord if you prefer, tied to your belt loops or holes you make in your pant waist. That should only take somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 feet, including knots.