Belt Making Part 1: The Tools and Supplies

My fabric covered belt and buckle was a success. Having the right tools and supplies makes all the difference so I will post about those first. I hope these close-up photos and accompanying details help others.

Belt and Buckle Kit from Maxant.

I consider the Belt and Buckle Kit from Maxant a good way for a beginner to start out. Everything needed is included: belting, buckle, buckle backing, five eyelets and pattern for cutting the fabric to cover the belt.

Instructions for the Maxant Belt and Buckle Kit.

The Maxant Belt and Buckle Kit comes complete with easy-to-follow instructions. I’m still glad, however, that I was able to locate several online tutorials with photos to broaden my knowledge of what needed to be done.

Small pliers with spring action used to set the buckle prong.

A small, lightweight pair of pliers used to crimp the buckle bar and set the prong can be found at a hardware store. Be sure to tell the clerk that you want a plier with spring action.

This strange looking thing is called a Crop-A-Dile. It made my beltmaking experience simple and easy.

The Crop-A-Dile is, I think, a wonderful took that makes beltmaking much easier. It looks very unwieldy and heavy but isn’t so once you get used to using it. I recommend saving whatever belting remains after you cut the length you need. This leftover belting will prove useful when practicing how to use the Crop-A-Dile.

3/16″ hole puncher on the Crop-A-Dile.

The 3/16″ hole puncher is used to punch a hole that is sized to hold an eyelet. The depth at which the hole is punched is determined by the little black sliding bar.

1/8″ hole puncher on the Crop-A-Dile.

The 1/8″ hole puncher creates a hole the perfect size for the belt prong to slip through.

The hole punchers make a neat, round hole in the fabric covered belting. I think using an awl would require more work. I recommend using a little Fray Check after the hole is punched. (Test on a fabric scrap before using Fray Check.)

Eyelet and washer setting is done on the head of the Crop-A-Dile.

The head of the Crop-A-Dile is used to set eylets and washers. There is a little cube at the top that rotates for the correct size and combination of eyelets and washers. An eyelet can also be set without a washer. I found that while a washer is not necessary, the reverse side of the belt looked and felt a little rough after the eyelets had been set. I plan to use washers with eyelets the next time.

I found setting the eyelets required just one strong pressing down on the Crop-A-Dile. Some of the tutorials I read described using a small tubular tool plus a hammer to set in the eyelets.

Now that I have the right tools and a successful belt making experience to share, I don’t understand why I was ever so hesitant to give it a try!