Remaking a Belt

How to make a belt longer by Go Gingham

Dear 25-year-old Self,

Buy bigger belts! You will not be the same size around the middle – despite all of your best intentions and hard work. Child birth, fashion, and gravity will all conspire against you, and your beautiful belts won’t fit any longer.

With love, from your 45+-year-old Self

ps buy Apple stock.

If only I had read this back then. Drats! As part of my compensation when I worked for Polo/Ralph Lauren, I received a clothing allowance and spent it on cashmere (of course!) and leather goods. Hanging onto belts that will never fit again is pointless but what about reusing the buckle? Now we’re onto something!

Remaking a Belt

  • Head straight to Oregon Leather – or check online.
  • Look in the “scrap” area for leather first. It’s less expensive than the finished goods. My piece of leather cost $15 and they cut it for me.
  • You can buy leather “straps” to use for belts but when fitting a particular buckle, what they have may not work.
  • Reuse as many of the parts as possible. The screws are “Chicago screws” and are easy to unscrew and reuse. The old belt tab (not sure that’s what it’s called) got reused on the new belt.
  • Use a pencil to mark the leather where you want the holes. By tracing the finished edge, I used a fabric rotary cutter.
  • Using a drill, to make the holes, worked out quite well. Make sure drill bit is slightly smaller than size you need.
  • Don’t buy leather dye. It’s expensive.  The color of the leather will darken naturally – or you can help it along by rubbing with olive oil.
  • Use very fine sandpaper on edges of leather (not on smooth front) to get rid of little pieces left from cutting.

Here’s a tutorial for you. It’s so easy to do and took about an hour. If you’re near Oregon Leather, it will take you longer to look around the store!

How to make a belt longer by Go Gingham

We’re not making leather belts grow – and we’re not fighting gravity or fashion. Remaking this belt was easier than I thought and now I’m going to reuse the old leather belt as a handle – on something.

Have you ever remade a belt? Have you ever been to Oregon Leather?

Go Gingham related links:

iPod slipcovers – small and cute, you can easily sew these
How to take apart a skirt – use your seam ripper on this project!
Sew your own homemade lunch sack
How to sew a Harry Potter cape complete with wand pocket
A “new” briefcase for a blogger – me!

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