Hooty’s Belt

I know, I haven’t posted anything all week. I have been really under the weather and haven’t sewn a single stitch. I still didn’t have any energy to sew today so I thought I’d work on a belt for the owl buckle I bought on Etsy last month. I’ve been dying to wear it!

I went to Tandy Leather yesterday and picked up a couple of belt blanks. I buy the more expensive ones (about $11) that already have the snaps and are pre-skived in the buckle area. They come in one size only (I think it’s 44) and you just cut them to fit. This belt is 1.5″ wide which is what worked best with Hooty but it will not fit through the belt loops of all of my jeans so I’ll definitely need a 1.25″ as well. I couldn’t decide when I was at the shop so I bought one of each.

I don’t have a strap end punch (yet!) so I just drew a nice shape at the end and cut with a strong pair of scissors. Any irregularities can be smoothed out with an emery board.

Next, I marked the holes and punched them with a revolving leather punch. I know these holes look rather large but that is what I needed for this particular buckle. Punching the holes took every ounce of my strength because this leather is really thick!


The next step was dying the leather. I used plain old Fiebings leather dye in Chocolate, which turned out to be a lot darker than I really wanted but it’s pretty. I probably should have used the Medium Brown instead. I applied three coats of dye and then buffed off the excess with a soft cloth (an old t-shirt). I dyed the back as well but only used one coat.


Next, I finished the edges with Edge Kote in Brown. This isn’t necessary but I like the way it finishes off the edges.

Lastly, I applied a couple of coats of Tan Kote to seal everything. I was going to stitch around the edges but I am kind of liking the belt just the way it is so I’ll do that next time. My next belt is going to be USMC Black with brown stitching to go with a really cool buckle I bought on Ebay last week.


45 minutes later, Hooty is ready to wear! I think I’ll go back next Saturday and buy a few more belts to have on hand (and probably that end punch…). The snaps make them interchangeable so it would be really nice to have a few different colors on hand.



Filed under Accessories, Leatherwork

30 responses to “Hooty’s Belt

  1. Sally

    How cool! Your talents continue to amaze me. Sally

  2. love that belt! thanks for showing us the steps!

  3. That’s gorgeous! If you were going to stitch around the belt, what needle and machine combo would you use?

    • Vivienne, I was going to use #69 nylon on my Consew walking-foot machine. It looked nice but I think a heavier thread like 92 or 138 would add more definition. I’ll do that on one of my future belts.

  4. vernonfashionstudio

    How adorable! That was well worth the effort.

    Linda T

  5. I love it! I have to get some blanks. I don’t think we have a Tandy store nearby, alas. But I know of at least one online store where I can order them.

  6. I never would have thought to make leather belts as a DIY project! Hootie is adorable, and you’re an inspiration.

  7. Loving that belt! The dark color looks great with Hooty!

  8. Leslie

    That looks amazing gigi! Thanks for the mini-tutorial.

  9. Barbara at Cat Fur Studio

    I am in love with Hooty. Thanks for the excellent ‘how to’ on beltmaking. I am inspired!

  10. Summerset

    Very cool! I like the dark leather dye with Hooty.

  11. Now you have me thinking. I’m embarrassed to say how much I paid for a similar belt recently.

  12. Wow!!! That is an awesome belt!

  13. I totally LOVE Hootie!

  14. I didn’t know ‘belt blanks’ existed- now I must have them! What type of store would you find them at?

  15. Wow girl, you are so talented !

    I am so loving that belt!

  16. katharinec

    We love it! Did you know that ‘owl’ is how to say ‘cool’ in French? Chouette. Oui, รงa c’est chouette! It’s owl! Ta ceinture est vraiment chouette ๐Ÿ™‚ (Your belt is truly owl)

  17. Were did you find hooty??? I love the buckle! i cant believe u made that!

  18. Wow, that is a great buckle and the belt looks great. Very professional but then all your stuff does.

    It is a good idea to stitch a belt that will get a lot of hard use, it helps the belt retain its shape. I cheat tho. I stitch first and then cut to match. That way the stitching isn’t wonky if you don’t have the right kind of foot and half of it is hanging off the edge of the leather. Plus, people are always so impressed with how “closely and uniformly” I stitched to the edge. The emory board is a good tip. Most people use a grinder, such as that used to sharpen scissor blades.

    Fyi: many shoe repair places will have belt blanks. Also saddle & harness shops and feed stores. Check your yellow pages.

  19. Sharon

    I thought I would show you a nice picture of someone with a similar blouse to the one you made. I just thought the styling was fascinating. It’s the 3rd picture down in the Sept. 2009 blog post at The Sartorialist.


  20. Karin


    First, I adore your sewing.

    I was directed to your blog by a fellow sewing diva of yours, and it concerned the FBA.
    However, when I tried to check how it was done (clicking “HERE” on your May 13th entry), it said the page wasn’t there anymore. What a pity!

    Is it possible for the instruction to be published again?
    It would be such a great thing!

    /Karin “Miss Foster”

  21. Oh that belt buckle is the cutest thing! Where did you get it?

  22. rosieroyalty

    Awesome belt! You are so talented ๐Ÿ™‚ Luv your posts.

  23. Very nice work on the belt.

  24. Janis Baikie

    Hi I am in the process of converting a carport 16 by 30 into a sewing room. I noticed you have quite a few machines and wondered who makes your coverstitchmachines and what brand is your industrial serger? Iam very excited to get startedon all of this and your room and ideas Rock!!!! Thanks Janis