How to Make a Fabric-covered Belt Buckle

How to make a fabric-covered belt buckle -

Maxant fabric-covered buckle kit -

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.

Fabric-covered buckle kit pieces -

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.

Fabric to cover belt buckle -

Then I cut around it and removed the remaining bit of paper, revealing the second sticky side, which goes over the buckle.

Adhesive on fabric for belt 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.

Sticking fabric to belt buckle - csews.comAttaching fabric to belt buckle -

Then I went around the edges and stuck the fabric to the buckle like so.

Back of fabric-covered buckle -

After that’s done, you put the other buckle piece on top of the fabric-covered one…

Back of fabric-covered buckle -

and then you put the circular part of the metal prong in the center and use pliers to close it and you’re done!

Fabric-covered belt buckle -

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.

Pliers for eyelet installation

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.

Pliers for rivets -

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…

Finishing ribbon belt -

which then needed a snap installed to keep it from flopping down because of the added weight of the folds on the end.

Eyelets in ribbon belt -

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.

How to make a fabric-covered belt buckle - Maxant buckle kit

Author: Chuleenan

Chuleenan sews, collects hats and shoes, and is a fabric addict. She is also the organizer for the Bay Area Sewists Meetup group.

13 thoughts on “How to Make a Fabric-covered Belt Buckle”

  1. Complete self-cover belt kits are now available for sale at They come with the belt tape, eyelets, buckle…the whole lot. The instructions are clear and the belts look perfect when finished. They are in 3 widths as well. Very easy to put together.

  2. For all you lovers of fabric covered belts. Maxant Buttons LLC has released 10 new packages of Buckles to Cover. These are available on the web site and soon in your favorite sewing notions store. These are all made in the US and we think you will like them. Also belting is available.

  3. I am so excited to know that I can order those. I have collected a few vintage packages but always hated to use them, I just love to admire them and often wondered why someone would not manufacture them again. Thanks so much for the link. They have so many styles! I love the look of a covered bucket, it is such a great look and so essential when trying to recreate a vintage styled outfit. TWO THUMBS UP!

    1. You’re welcome! I also have a couple of vintage kits but couldn’t bring myself to use them. Heheh. I love fabric-covered buckles, too. Thanks for visiting!

  4. I’ve used these kits many times. (I even have a handful of the exact one you pictured above.) I recently used one for a theatre production and covered it with brocade. It was a little thick and tricky to work with, but fray check helped in the snipped corners. I wish the kits were easier to find and in more sizes!

    When I need a smaller buckle, I usually just handstitch my fabric around a metal one. If you’re careful and fold under the edges of the fabric as you go, it isn’t too bad but definitely not as neat and clean as the kit finishes up.

    Your ribbon belt looks lovely! I really like how you finished the end.=)

    1. I had never seen a new buckle kit in a store before so I was thrilled that Lacis (just down the street from where I live) started carrying them. If I ever use heavier fabric I’ll have to remember about using fray check – good idea, Brooke!

      I can see how smaller buckles could be a bit of a challenge, hiding the folds and stitches.

      Glad you like how I finished the belt! 🙂

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