I love fabric-covered belt buckles! So when I saw this kit at Lacis in Berkeley, I bought it right away. I had only seen some vintage buckle kits at second-hand places. If you don’t live in the Bay Area, you can order this kit and other styles and sizes (square, circle, rectangle) from Lacis’s online catalog. Just go to this page and type in “hand cover buckle” into the search field and several buckle styles will appear. (Prices range from $3.20 to $9.)
It’s very easy to cover a buckle with this kit. However, I think it works best with lighter weight fabrics. My fabric was medium weight cotton and going around the corners was a little tricky. The metal of the buckle is very light and easily dented so be gentle!
Here’s what you’ll find inside once you open the kit: two buckle pieces (fabric goes over the larger piece and the other piece fits inside the back, holding the fabric in place); the metal prong goes into the belt holes/eyelets; and that white thing is a double-sided piece of adhesive that you stick to the fabric.
Instructions are on the back of the kit. You remove the center part and then peel off one side of the double-sided sticker and place it on your fabric. I placed my sticker on the bias so it would go around the curves more easily.
Then I cut around it and removed the remaining bit of paper, revealing the second sticky side, which goes over the buckle.
Then I placed the buckle in the dead center of this piece of fabric, clipped the inside corners, and began sticking the fabric to the buckle. I began with the corners and stuck them down. I didn’t think about clipping the curves until I stuck the corners down. Oops. Note: clip your corners so the fabric isn’t so thick in those areas.
Then I went around the edges and stuck the fabric to the buckle like so.
After that’s done, you put the other buckle piece on top of the fabric-covered one…
and then you put the circular part of the metal prong in the center and use pliers to close it and you’re done!
I bought a yard of cotton/rayon Petersham ribbon for the belt. It’s rather thick, which was perfect for my purposes. And I loved the royal blue color. A couple of years ago I got this Dritz plier kit (on sale!) to install eyelets and snaps but I never used it. So I finally took it out of its packaging, discovered that it came with a few blue eyelets, which I then installed on the ribbon, about an inch apart from each other.
It’s pretty easy to use. Just mark where you want the eyelets to go, use the pliers to punch a hole, place the eyelet on the pliers and then put it over the hole and squeeze the handles.
I was nervous I was going to screw it up but I just took a deep breath and squeezed and it worked! And in case you’re wondering, here’s how I finished the belt…
which then needed a snap installed to keep it from flopping down because of the added weight of the folds on the end.
Have you made a fabric-covered belt buckle before? I made one once but I was totally fudging it. It looked fine on the outside but it was a total mess on the other side. I just cut some fabric and hand sewed it on the back – thus the mess.