Making A Leather Belt – Part 2

Leather Belt - TemplatesFollowing on from the tutorial on how to make a leather belt, I have decided to share with you the templates that I use for the buckle end, and the tail end of the belt.

As I mentioned in the original post, the ‘rule of thumb’ that I use for determining the length of blank required was: waist size + 10in (waist size being “I wear 32in trousers”)

This will only work if three conditions are met:

  1. You are using a 1.5in wide blank
  2. The buckle end has a 3.5in overlap
  3. The tail end is 4in from the last hole

Tail End

The ideal fit for a belt is for the wearer to use the middle of five holes in the tail end.  This gives a nice symmetrical look when worn, and allows for an equal amount of expansion/contraction in both directions.

Here is a drawing of my tail end template, complete with dimensions:

Leather Belt - Tail End Drawing

Buckle End

For the buckle end, as mentioned, I use a 3.5in overlap (that is to say that from the middle of the slot, where the buckle pin goes through, there is 3.5in that wraps around the back).

Here is a drawing of my buckle end template, complete with dimensions:

Leather Belt - Buckle End Drawing

Also, as mentioned in the original post, it is not strictly necessary to round off the buckle end with a Strap End Cutter as it will be hidden behind the belt when finished.  However, I feel it adds a nice finishing touch.  Hopefully you will agree when you see the next photo:

Leather Belt - Overlap Detail

Belt Blank Length

In order to prove the theory of adding 10inches on to the wearers waist size, please see the drawing below (click on it to see a bigger version), followed by a worked example:

Leather Belt - Belt Blank Length Drawing

Worked Example

So, you need to make a belt for a friend who has simply said “I wear 34in trousers”.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Take that measurement and add 2in = 36in
  2. Add a further 2in on for the difference between (a) and (b) = 38in
  3. Add on 6in for the tail end = 44in

34in waist = 44in Blank Length


Step One – Adding 2in to the wearers waist measurement accounts for clothing, the fold over the buckle, and leather thickness.

Step Two – Use the same formula for whatever overlap size you like to use

Step Three – With this length of tail, the end sits lovely and snug inside the first belt loop on most trousers/jeans etc when the middle hole is used for the buckle pin.  You can have it as long or short as you like, depending on personal preference.

Leather Belt - Templates

Templates can be made from anything you desire – plastic, cardboard, foamboard etc.  Mine are leather as I wanted them to last a long time and be versatile enough to be thrown in the toolbox without fear of damage.

Thats all for now folks.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into how I make my belts, and as always, feel free to leave a comment of get in touch if I can help you further.

If you are interested in owning a belt like the one above, then it can be yours, made to order, for only £32.50 (including p&p). Please contact me to discuss your requirements: oakhillwanderer @ (without the spaces).


~ by Oakhill Wanderer on December 3, 2011.

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