Introduction: Dwarvish Leather Belt

About: I'm a beginner bespoke shoemaker with a whole lot of other interests. I occasionally costume for local theater, help run a large local science fiction & fantasy convention, and do art and crafts as much as I …

Add a little LOTR to your wardrobe - in a subtle way. This simple leather belt is inspired by the dwarvish designs in the Hobbit films, but would blend in just fine at work or with casual clothes.

Step 1: Inspiration and Design

The Hobbit films have an abundance of great design. The inspiration for this belt came from the angular motifs used by the Dwarves. Most the designs used as trim in the films utilize a combination of straight lines, horizontal, vertical, and angled at either 90 and 45 degrees, or 30/60/90 degrees. For my 1 1/2" wide belt, I wanted a fairly simple design that was easy to repeat. Photos above are of the costumes from the films.

Step 2: Getting Started

For this belt, I used a 1 1/2" wide belt blank from Tandy Leather, along with the matching keeper and buckle. The belt blank comes with one end skived thinner, with snaps installed and a slot for the buckle punched, so that completing the belt is very simple.

Tools used included an exacto knife, a small pear-shaped camouflage stamp, a square shader, hole punch, and an edge slicker.

I drew out two repeats of the design onto light cardboard (a manilla file folder) and cut out a stencil. I traced around the stencil and repeated until I reached the length I wanted the belt to be. I cut the end to a point.

There are far better tutorials available for basic leather tooling, so I'll summarize: I cut the lines with an exacto knife, and stamped the background with the pear shaped camouflage stamp. I also used the square shader to make the overlapping lines look like they were overlapping.

Step 3: Finishing the Belt

Once all of the tooling was done, I punched the holes, and dyed the belt and the keeper - two coats, both sides, with Feibing's USMC Black.

I used gum traganth on the edges, and ran the edge slicker along the edge until I was happy with the edges.

The back was sealed with more gum traganth, and the front finished with Eco-Flo Super Shene.

Finally, I slid the keeper onto the belt, added the buckle, and snapped the belt together.

This is a nice custom accessory that other fans will recognize, but will fly under the radar of non-fans, and just look like a really nice hand-carved belt. While this one is inspired by The Hobbit, I'll be looking to other fandoms for gift ideas for the other men in my life this holiday season.

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