Adding a Buckle to a Belt Blank

Project Summary: Learn to make a high quality, durable belt with a simple leather belt blank and buckle. We’ll also use common leathercraft tools including a leather hole punch tool, scratch awl and English point strap end punch to produce a very finished and professional-looking belt.

Approximate Time to Complete: 1 hour

What You Need:

  • English Bridle Leather Belt Blank with Snap Holes and Black Edge Paint (40-0160) or any of our other beautiful belt blanks
  • 01588 Fashion Buckle, 1 ½", (01588-11/2) (These instructions use a center bar buckle)
  • #D5038 Chicago Screws, Black, Plain, 1/4" (D5038-P-BK-1/4)
  • Master Tools English Point Strap End Punch, 1½" (00078-11/2)
  • Economy Punch (CSO223) or another revolving punch
  • Utility Knife (65-2860)
  • Rawhide Mallet, 20 oz. (65-2520-20)
  • Measuring Tape
  • #4 Heavy-Duty Scratch Awl, 3-1/2" (CS04-2)

Step-by-Step Instructions (with pictures):

  1. Feed the buckle end of the Belt Blank through the back of your Buckle.step1
  2. Push the Buckle tongue through the oblong-punched hole.step2
  3. Slide the Belt Blank end down through the end of the Buckle.step3
  4. Fold the Belt Blank end underneath itself so that the two sets of Chicago screw holes line up.step4
  5. Place the two female ends of the Chicago Screws in the two holes on top.step5
  6. While holding the loop of the Belt Blank in place, flip it over and let the Buckle hang off the edge of your tooling block or workbench. The Chicago Screw female ends should poke through the holes easily.step6
  7. Add a dab of glue inside the female ends of the two Chicago Screws, and twist in the male ends.step7
  8. Now that your Buckle is secured to your Belt Blank, the next step will be to add size holes. Begin by measuring your waist in inches if you don’t already know your size.
  9. Lay your belt horizontally on your workbench. Lay your Measuring Tape vertically above your belt, with 0" starting at the bend back of your belt.step9
  10. Make a size-hole mark on your belt at the length of your waist size.step10
  11. Beginning at the mark you made on your belt at your waist size, move to the right of your measurement (toward your buckle) 1.25" and make another size-hole mark. Return to your original size-hole mark, move 1.25" to the left and make another size-hole mark. Move another 1.25 inches to the left and make an additional size-hole mark. Do this again and make one last size-hole mark. You should have 5 size-hole marks spaced 1.25" from each other.
  12. Set your Economy Punch to the diameter you’d like for your size holes, and punch your five size-hole marks.step12
  13. Move 3" to the left of your last hole, and make a vertical line mark on your leather with an Awl.step13
  14. Place the tip of your English Point Strap End Punch on the vertical line mark — the tip will be facing left.step14
  15. To punch your belt tip, hit the end of your English Point Strap End Punch with your Rawhide Mallet.step15
  16. Your belt is now complete! However, if you want your belt tip’s edge to be more uniform with the rest of the belt, the tip’s edge can easily be covered with edge paint or even a permanent marker.step16