Beltmaking – Buckles

Please note that as of March 2015, my online shop closed and these belt and buckle kits are no longer available. Sadly, I do not have another source for them at this time. Thank you so much!

For my beltmaking series, I thought it would be good to get a feel for all of the elements of a belt, so to start I’ll be going through the tools you’ll need to make a stellar belt – beginning with the most fun – buckles! Aren’t buckles just the best? They are like the eye candy for your belt. You can go basic, fabric covered, bling it up and so on and so forth. There are so many belt buckles out there to choose from these days. If you’ve decided to tackle making your own belt for a particular project, you’ve got something of a candy store waiting for you. Here’s some ideas:

Hand Cover Buckles

Hand Cover Buckles
Hand Cover Buckles are so much fun to play around with and make your very own. Reminiscent of vintage dressmaking, these can be made up in the same or contrasting fabric as your dress. They add a bit of nostalgia and texture to finish off a fun vintage sewing pattern. Hand Cover Buckles are typically found in Belt and Buckle kits and also as Buckle kits which do not include the belt backing or eyelets for making a covered belt. They have a metal top and bottom and come with a double sided sticky transfer pattern that allows you to cut and notch the fabric in a way that will perfectly match the buckle. Also usually included is an optional prong for use in belts with eyelets.

Premade Buckles

Pre-made Buckles
These are premade and ready to go. No fuss and very sturdy. Sometimes with prongs and sometimes without (usually called a buckle slide). Generally you can find a selection of buckles at your local fabric store (usually chain stores) or you can even go shopping on Etsy or Ebay for genuine vintage articles. I have a sweet little selection of vintage buckles all ready for beltmaking joy! You can also get green and recycle old buckles or purchase belts for their buckles at your local thrift.

Clasp Buckles

Clasp Buckles
One of my favorites! I love clasp buckles. These are typically used in conjunction with an elastic belting. I’ve a small collection going of these as well. I’ve found a few at my local thrift (in the belts section) and at estate sales, where I’ve just salvaged the buckle since the belt was in such sad condition.  Keep your eyes peeled for these treasures too.

Buckles are fun to mix and match with different fabrics and elements. Let your imagination run wild! Start a stash and begin collecting some of your favorites. Do you have a buckle collection? Do share some of your finds and tips with us!

  • Tasha - Belts is a department where I am woefully lacking. I have one wide black belt, one narrow black belt, and the only reason I have more than that is I recently ordered two wonderful belts from Cassie Stephens, one red polka dot, one patterned with blue/yellow/red/white. Of course I do have several dresses with self-belts made with hard cover buckles (yay, I learned a new term today!), which I should sometimes consider mixing and matching. I definitely need more belts!ReplyCancel

  • sheila - I love belts, especially skinny belts & chain belts. I have purchased serveal buckles, kits and the stiff belting supplies, but have only made a few and oddly keep purchasing belts from the Loft. Get home and pinch myself because it would cheaper and fun to just do it. Looking forward to your beltmaking series.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - i have a really pitiful belt buckle collection – i don’t necessarily go out of my way to buy them, but if i see them for cheap (pretty much always at the flea market or thrift store), i snatch them up! mine are all pretty plain/boring though.

    anyway, i came here to say HOLD THE EFF UP: whereeee did you find that rose clasp buckle? i’m assuming it’s yours. please tell me it’s yours. you need to wear that thing all the time – it is amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Beth - Looking forward to more posts about beltmaking!

    I have a question about clasp buckles – I’m about to make a belt for a vintage 40’s dress that has lost its belt, and I’m using a clasp buckle. I love the idea of using elastic for an adjustable fit, but I don’t think it’s period correct for the 40’s (I’ve never seen an elastic belt from back then, at least)…any suggestions? Maybe making a casing for the elastic so it doesn’t show? Have you seen other methods on your hunts? Thanks for the help!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda S. - Ooh, I am SO EXCITED you are doing a series of posts on this topic. I love the look of matching belt and even have a few vintage belt making sets in my stash, but have no idea how to go about it. My vintage sets have sticky transfers that are completely dried up, so I’d like to see that problem addressed if you know of a solution. I will definitely be purchasing some belt kits from you too. So fun!ReplyCancel

  • Debi - I’ve recently discovered searching ‘art deco buckles’ on etsy and I love it! though I tend to still shop project by project…but it’s always nice to have a few lovely buckles on hand! I especially adore your belt kits and the self-cover buckles!ReplyCancel

  • PepperToast - Oh YaY. I will follow this with MUCH interest. I received my parcel from you about 2 days ago and as soon as my out of town guests leave (in 2 days), I am on to making my own belts!ReplyCancel

  • eunny jang - fun, can’t wait to see what to do with them!

    PS – the new look is awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Buckles Buckle - […] Beltmaking – Buckles Hand Cover Buckles are typically found in Belt and Buckle kits and also as Buckle kits which do not include the belt backing or eyelets for making a covered belt. They have a metal top and bottom and come with a double […]ReplyCancel