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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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!