Easy Duct Tape Belt Tutorial

I was originally going to say that these belts were for children in the title, and then it occurred to me– why would they only be for children, again?  Um, no good reason, that’s why…  duh, people of all ages and sizes need belts, Amber!

Fox's New Belt

Fox’s New Belt

Graffiti Belt, From The Back

Graffiti Belt, From The Back

I’m sure the only reason I’d considered it to be a belt specifically for a child is because my kiddo spurred the making of these, and so in my mind– yeah.  I’m capable of devising a belt that a 7 year-old boy is actually excited to wear and knows how to work– and with common items to boot– but I can’t think past him being the primary usage demographic.  I’m a little shortsighted sometimes.  (WAY TO GO, AMBER!)

Annnywaaaay, these are pretty easy.  A bit sticky in the process, but we expect this of duct tape, no?  I recommend having some goo gone (that’s the one that smells like oranges, not the one that smells like turpentine, although it would also work), q-tips, and paper towels handy for scissor blade cleanup, it will help your cuts stay crisp and clean.  Not mandatory, though.  Patience is, however.  ‘Cause it really is quite sticky.

Oh, and remember that at any point if you want to see one of these pics a little more up-close, you can click on them twice for a larger size.

With the wide variety of duct tapes on the market these days, there are some reeeally cute and fashionable options available for the making of your belt.  My son had more than a few choices just from what’s in my stash when it came time for making his belts, so you should be able to find some colors and patterns that easily blend with the wardrobe of the wearer.

Your Supplies

Your Supplies

Close Up

Close Up

You Need:

*duct tape, at least one colored/patterned for the outside of the belt, as well as a ‘plain’ tape for the internal structure, I used the classic grey.  I also used a third tape as my detail, but that is completely optional, based on the look you want.
*plastic buckle– the packaging on these say they are ‘parachute’ buckles, I got these on sale at JoAnn’s
*scissors
*tailor’s measuring tape
*measurements of the waist in question  (see note below)

So.  When you are determining the measurements of the belt wearer, I would actually recommend threading the tailor’s tape through the belt loops of the skirt or pants that they will be most frequently wearing the belt with, that way you get an accurate fit.  This belt isn’t really adjustable, so having the right dimensions of the necessary waist is very important for a good fit.

Fold In Half Lengthwise

Fold In Half Lengthwise

1*  Start by cutting a strip of the more boring tape about eight inches longer than your waist measurement, just to give yourself plenty of extra.  I choose a simpler tape here for a couple of reasons.  One is that the patterned deco tapes are just straight-up more expensive, so I like to conserve them for the actual areas where they’ll be seen.  The other reason is that if you do a tape with lots of contrasty white/ black/ colors over itself, you can often see some of the underneath tape’s pattern seeping through on the lighter parts of the top duct tape, and you don’t really want that.  Or *I* don’t, I shouldn’t speak for you.  Just better to know now, instead of figuring it out later the hard way, eh?

2*  This is the hardest part.  You get through this without a few cursewords, you’re golden.  You’ll even be fine if you cuss up a storm, really, but patience is good here.   Carefully, carefully, fold the tape down the middle lengthways, adhering it to itself.  I will be honest with you here, you may need to do this more than once to get a nice, flat piece, as duct tape reeeeally sticks to itself.  Another set of willing hands are helpful too, but not absolutely required.  Pretty much at any other stage in this, you should be able to pull your tape off and re-stick, but this isn’t really a possibility in this stage, so don’t feel bad if you have to cut another piece of tape and do this bit until you get it right.  This piece is just to make your belt more substantial and sturdy.

Add Second Layer

Add Second Layer

3*  Depending on the pattern on your tape, you will either want to lay your base piece along the middle and fold your edges around each side to the back; or you can lay your base bit along one edge, and just fold in half again around your silver piece.  I *do* recommend if you are doing the second one (pictured), that you put your raw edge of the grey inside of the fold.  (So, folded edge out– does that make sense?)  This should also be easier to lift and reposition if you need to at this phase.

4*  At this point you have a nice, long strip that should be well over the size of your waist you’re belting.  I use my scissors to snip off a nice, neat, straight end.  Then I threaded that end of the strip through the FRONT opening of the buckle, folding the belt strip over an inch or two onto itself in the back..

5*  If you are someone who likes to mix patterns, then this is a great opportunity to use a third complimentary tape for a little accent bit.  If you don’t like to mix patterns, then it’s also possible to match your repeat from your tape, but you may waste more of the patterned tape than you’d like.  (Not ‘waste,’ maybe, but maybe not use for this project?  You know what I mean.)  In the case of this little monster belt for my dude, I opted for a bit of checkerboard tape;  on his graffiti belt I chose his favorite color, orange.  You only need a few inches for each side.   With the check tape, I actually just cut along the lines of the tape for a neat little narrow strip of three rows.  Whatever looks good to you, just remember to cut the pieces the same(ish) length, rectangular, and neat-looking.

Tape Down Your Tabs

Taping Down The Tabs

6*  And here we’ve come to the hardest-thinkin’ part, which really isn’t tough at all.  You have to make the belt fit properly.  To do this: click the buckle together if it isn’t already so that it’s clasped closed; loop it like a belt should (just imagining that there is a waisty body in that space you’re looping around), “front” side outward; feed the strip through the other side of the buckle (front to back, like you did last time), and adjust the length until the measurement of the belt matches the measurement of the waist in question.

7*  Cut off your excess belt body and tape down the tab just like you did the opposite side.  You’re done!

Now, the bad news here is that when your kiddo grows a whole bunch (or you know, you put on a few from eating clearance boxes of chocolates after the upcoming Valentines day) you will need to start from scratch and just make another belt.  You *can* leave an inch and a half or so on each side when you fold down your tabs, and those can be let out a little bit over time.  But when you think of how fast these really are; and how easily they come together; and how many adorable varieties of duct tape there are; well, let’s face it, it’s no big deal to just go ahead and make a few more!  Plus, I’ve found that when kiddo needs another, the tape on the old one is about needing to be retired anyway.  I like that I can cut the buckles off of the old ones and just build new ones, so really I’m not spending any more money as he’s growing.  Which I like.

New Duct Tape Belt!

New Duct Tape Belt!

I also like that kiddo feels cool wearing his handmade belts, there have been zero arguments about him needing something to keep his pants up since the creation of these two.  *In fact* the first time he wore one of his, we went to Target, and he proudly turned to the assorted unknown children in line behind us and proudly proclaimed, “I have a BELT!”  That’s a win, my friends, that’s a win.

 


Jan 29, 2014 | Category: Tutorial | Comments: none | Tags: , , , , , ,

 


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