As I was walking down the street the other day, I happened across a piece of ratchet strap. Evidently, while someone was hauling something, it must've broken and fallen off. As it was, it was far too short to be used as a ratchet strap again (and I don't know how much I'd trust it given that it already broke once), but I hated the idea of just throwing away something so potential-filled. So, instead, I decided to turn it into a belt.
- Ratchet strap
- Wire coat hanger
- Needle and thread
- Wire cutters
- Seam ripper*
- Safety pin*
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Step 1: Removing the Hook
Removing the hook on the end was the first modification the strap needed to undergo. This was quite straightforward and only took a couple of minutes. A seam ripper made quick work of the thread securing the hook, but if you don't have one, the tip of a knife would work in a pinch, just would require extra care. After I cut it enough times, I plucked out the bits of thread and also removed the hook and tag and disposed of them.
Step 2: Creating the Buckle
I made the buckle pieces out of a thick wire coat hanger. I first used a wire cutters to open the coat hanger and then I used pliers and a fair amount of determination to bend the pieces into the desired shape. This process may have been made easier with a bench vise, but I don't have one yet. I modeled the wire pieces after those on a belt I already owned and tried to make them as similar to each other as possible.
Step 3: Attaching the Buckle
This is perhaps the simplest sewing I've ever had to do for a project. One end of the strap folds over the buckle pieces and then can be secured with some simple stitches. I used embroidery floss for this but really any type of thread-like material should work. I first held the layers in place with a safety pin. Then, I tied the thread off between the two layers and stitched across. After that, I stitched back across to where I began and once again tied off between the two layers.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
This is the point in which normally one would determine the length of the belt, but in my case, it was already down to the right length. However, the end of the belt was quite frayed and I didn't want to risk it unraveling further so I took a few passes along it with a lighter. This not only burned off loose strands but, because the material is oil based, also prevented further unravelling by fusing it to itself. I considered folding the very end in and sewing it, but decided it would be unnecessary after using the lighter.
Step 5: Wearing the Belt
I thought I'd include this step just in case anyone isn't familiar with this style of belt and how it works. The end of the belt passes first under both buckle pieces, then folds over the top and back under the bottom. The result is a sort of friction fit which is more customizable than some other types of belts.
Thank you so much for reading my instructable; I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear them!
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