After you read Belt guide you may decided to make your own high quality belt.
( I recommend to read the belt guide before proceeding)
This guide will show you how to make a $100 full-grain leather belt for around $25. In the end, you’ll have a higher quality leather belt than the cardboard, bonded, or genuine leather* belts purchased at most mall-brand stores. The belt made here will develop a nice patina and could easily last you the rest of your life.
Beginning leathercraft is very simple and easy to get into. You probably have a leather goods store in your area. Tandy Leather Factory is a nationwide chain (also in Canada and the UK), due to their ubiquity, I’ll link them for anything that needs to be bought.
Things you’ll need to buy.
- Belt blank $10. You can use any width but 1.5″ is the max width for most of my jeans’ belt loops. Make sure you buy a full-grain, vegetable-tanned leather blank.
- Belt buckle $1-20. Use any buckle you want. Get one from a vintage store or online. The width of the buckle and the belt blank need to be the same.
- (optional) Belt keep of matching width $1. You can get a metal belt keep, a leather one, or get a buckle that doesn’t need a keep.
- (optional) All-in-one water based dye $9. This is a good dye for beginners. It won’t rub off on clothing or skin after the dye has dried (about 24 hours). Forego the dye if you want a natural or nude colored belt.
- If you don’t already have a rotary punch, you should buy one. It will pay for itself with just one use.
You might want to slick the edges of the belt
PSA against genuine leather: Genuine leather is not synonymous with authentic or real leather. Genuine leather is actually a grade of leather. In fact, it’s the second worst grade of leather (the worst being bonded leather). Don’t buy genuine leathers and expect them to last more than one or two seasons. Read Wikipedia or Saddleback Leather Company’s Leather 101 for more information.