Craft A Leather Belt

 Here’s a notch to add to your belt: Learn basic leatherworking skills to make a sturdy, functional band.

By Jim Sowers

September/October 2018

craft leather belts

Whether you need a place to hang the rodeo buckle you won, or you just want to hold up your pants, a good leather belt is a handy thing to have. Fortunately, a good-looking, long-lasting leather belt is an easy project, even for those with little leatherworking experience.

Tools and Materials

  • 1 piece of 7- to 8-ounce vegetable-tanned leather or a precut belt blank
  • Pencil
  • Long straightedge (if you bought a hide)
  • Sharp utility knife
  • Safety skiving knife
  • 150 grit sandpaper
  • Heavy thread suitable for leather
  • Leather sewing needle
  • Buckle
  • 2 Chicago screws, twice as tall as your leather is thick

Choose Your Leather

For beginners, I recommend using vegetable-tanned leather for your belt project, because it’s easy to work with. You can also stamp designs on it or otherwise personalize it, unlike chrome-tanned leather. For this project, I used leather I had on hand, which was already dyed brown. It should be noted that plain vegetable-tanned leather would be a lighter tan.