Monday, December 9, 2013

DIY Manhattan Chic Leather Belt

Leather Belt Tutorial

When the lovely folks over at the Leather Hide Store asked if I'd like a hide to work with, I wasn't hesitant at all about accepting.  If you click over to their shop, you'll see why.  I never knew there was such variety it leather colors and textures and I had such a hard time choosing just one.


I finally nailed it down to this gorgeous Manhattan Grey. When it arrived on my doorstep, I fell in love. Its' amazingly soft and buttery. And then, I remembered that I've never worked with leather before. Which after a little research on the best tools and practices turns out, even a novice leather worker can turn out a lovely project. Here's how I turned this HUGE piece of leather into my new favorite belt.


Start by gathering all of your materials: leather remnant, belt buckle, Nylon thread, leather needle, awl, and binder clips.


Now on the back side of your hide, mark your belt measurements.  Measure around your hips, true waist or high waist depending on where you plan to wear the belt.  Then add 6 inches.  Create 2 perpendicular rectangles based on these measurements and how wide you want the belt to be.  I measured my belt loop and went with that width measurement which was 1/2". Now cut around the perimeter of the larger rectangle that these make together. (DO NOT CUT DOWN THE MIDDLE LINE)


Fold the belt in half along the center line with WRONG sides facing and hold in place with binder clips. This will secure the belt while ensuring that no holes are placed in the material.


The leather needle is specially designed to cut through the thickness of the leather.  You will want to play with the tension of your machine by practicing with scraps first. Once you've settled your tension settings, sew along the raw edge of the folded leather using a leather needle and nylon thread, starting at a short side, pivoting at the corner and continuing along the rest of the belt, coming up the folded edge and back to where you started, back stitching at the beginning and the end.


Loop one short end through the belt loop about 1 1/2" and sew in place.  You can create a loop in the same manner as the belt to hold the excess belt in place.  You'll need to hand stitch the small loop closed.


Use an awl to create your holes.  To measure the first hole, try the belt on pulling until you gain the desired smallest width.  Mark this hole with a marking pencil.  Then measure in 1" increments and mark each additional hole.  This process takes some muscle so don't get discouraged.  You may have to help each hole along by going through both the front and back side of each hole.  Finally, trim up the raw edge of your belt to make sure this side is smooth and even.  A rotary cutter really aids this process.

DIY Leather Belt

And now that you're finished, start contemplating how to use the rest of that hide.  I'm thinking big city bag to match my chic new belt.

Enter to win $50 the Leather Hide Store below so you can make your own leather projects! (US and Canada only, 18 or older, void where prohibited.) Giveaway will close on Sunday, December 15th.



And hey, I just realized it's Giveaway Day at Sew, Mama, Sew so I'm linking this fabulous giveaway over there. Good luck!


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72 comments:

  1. I'd love a piece of the "Old Gold Shell" leather. I think it would make a really cool bracelet!

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  2. Tucson Spice! I'd have a hard time deciding between a new purse or a pencil skirt...
    Amy

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  3. I love the purple fusion. I would probably make a purse

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  4. Tucson Spice is my favorite. Probably a simple skirt.

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  5. The Shagreen copper spice leather is beautiful! We have an armchair that belonged to my mother-in-law and it is badly in need of being reupsholstered, so that's what I'd do with it. :)

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  6. Rustic Croc is GORGEOUS, even though definitely out of my price range! I would definitely make a hand bag out of it, though!

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  7. Firehouse is the perfect red! Love it. Although, the turquoise blue and pink gator leathers are pretty awesome, too!

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway ~ Carey

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  8. I like vanilla cream and would make some shoes for little ones!

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  9. I love the browns. Ozark Brown is beautiful. I'm thinking cuff bracelets!

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  10. I would do black, maybe raven black? I have a friend who makes belts for babies & kids so I'd share with her in exchange for her doing the leather sewing. It doesn't look quite as scary anymore, but she already has the specialized tools and I don't :)

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  11. There are so many beautiful colors but today I would pick Dark Pecan Ale Distress.

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  12. I love the Mustang. Any of the rich browns, actually. I'd love to make my little guy some leather booties. I think I'd have to be really brave to try a bag.

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    Replies
    1. Try See Kate Sew's Polka Dot Clutch, Sarah. Just a rectangle, strap and bow.

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  13. I love working with leather. Love the grey color herr.

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  14. I love the English Pub color. I love to work with leather, maybe this will be my chance to go for a whole hide (with such a great giveaway)!!

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  15. I love the miami key lime leather and would love to try and sew some baby moccasins!

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

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  16. Tuscon Spice is a hands down winner!

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  17. Dakota Prairie, a close second was Electric Blue!

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  18. Copper Mountain Saddle - I think I'd make a tablet case or try making a wallet. Thanks for the giveaway & ideas!

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  19. Great giveaway! I totally want to make some leather baby shoes!

    em_komiskey@yahoo.com

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  20. Soft Black! I'd make wallets :)

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  21. I would love to make a purse with the firehouse.

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  22. I love the Boston Mahogany Tea. I just worked with leather for the first time on a purse that I made. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be and it looks fantastic!

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  23. I like the Rich Mahogany! I think I'd try making an underbuster for Ren Faire next year, or at the very least a nice pouch/handbag. Thank you for your kindness and generosity, even if I don't win!

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  24. Dark Copper Mountain Saddle is delicious, though I would love to have some of that Eclipse Black to use as accents for various sewing projects.

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  25. wow I like the embossed hides a lot. I am making a bag right now for my husband and these would be perfect for the trims

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  26. thank you for sharing your tutorial and thanks for the giveaway!!!!

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  27. I like Austin Deep Purple and Austin Verde Sea. There is a purse in Sewing in a Straight Line that I would make with either of these (probably the Purple).

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  28. If they still have it in stock, I'd love to get a few feet of Austin Washed Teal and experiment with it!

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  29. I love the Hair on Hide. So pretty!
    And the Turquoise Blue Gator is gorgeous

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  30. I love the browns. I've never used leather and would love to try and add some to a bag!

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  31. i like the earth tones mainly for the names...mellow mushroom and chai...

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  32. I like the red distress. I would make a purse with accents in read.

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  33. I love the Tuscan Spice! I would make a purse!

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  34. Denver pale ale is lovely...along with about 20 others, lol!

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  35. Auburn Blaze Remnant is glorious. Merry Christmas from Oklahoma, USA. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

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  36. I like the Western Floral. It reminds me of a non-leather purse a friend made me.

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  37. I love the bubble gum pink and would love a purse out of it

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  38. I love the Tuscan Spice..and I would make a purse

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  39. I like the copper mtn. saddle. I'd love to try and make a belt!

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  40. So much leather! I like Bourbon gold, but it would be a hard to choice to make. I've never worked with leather - it would be fun and challenging to try. Many thanks!
    emyerly(at)wideopenwest(dot)com

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  41. The Manhattan Grey is pretty great and I was thinking bag straps. Thanks so much.

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  42. So many gorgeous ones! I love the copper mountain saddle. I would most likely use it for bag accents and maybe some baby shoes :)

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  43. I really love the black gator hide. I would definitely make some cuffs with it

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  44. Oh what a nice selection. I think I'd have to choose the black gator.

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  45. I like tucson spice. I would make a harness for my cat.

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  46. You give me courage to try working with leather, you make it seem so much easier than I thought it was! Fab

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  47. Bourbon gold is gorgeous and I would absolutely love to have a shoulder bag for my my camera!

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  48. Copper mountain saddle would be awesome. I would love to use it as slipper soles.

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  49. That Ozark brown is gorgeous. Real leather feels incredible, doesn't it?

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  50. I love that manhattan gray but I also like the plantation moss and the german moss croc! SUCH GREAT STUFF.. .thanks for sharing.. I am looking forward to going back there and purchasing

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  51. I like the Dark Brown Copper. I'm not sure what I'd make. What a wonderful prize. Thank you for participating in the Giveaway Day.

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  52. I just enrolled in a Craftsy class to make a leather bag. I would be SO excited to win this giveaway!

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  53. I really like Golden Saddle. Maybe a bag but I like the idea of a good belt, too. Thanks!

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  55. Wow, I love the bourbon gold! I think I would make a small bag.

    rafflecopter entry as Sandy Hardman

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  56. Copper mt. Saddle
    t_ktl at yahoo.com

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  57. emmevon(at)gmail(dot)com
    love the metallics!

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  58. I like Shagreen Copper Spice. I think I'd make some kind of bag. This is a great prize, thank you!

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  59. Black oak distressed or black croc. There's almost too much to pick :)

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  60. tuscon spice!!! i'd make delia creates natty jane shoes ;)

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