A leather belt is not only an accessory to highlight your outfit but also offers you more advantages including timeless designs, flexibility, and durability. Hence, many people are willing to invest in a good leather belt despite its high price.
However, a regular leather belt cannot offer you a spacious pocket to hold your phone or small items like coins, money, and others. That’s why we bring you a guide on how to make a leather belt pouch. Without further ado, let’s craft a pouch now!
Table of Contents
- Step-by-step to Make a Leather Belt Pouch
- What to prepare:
- Method 1: Using a flat template
- Method 2: Using a hard form
Step-by-step to Make a Leather Belt Pouch
What to prepare:
- Neatsfoot oil
- Leather conditioner/polisher
- Thread and needle
- Leather belt pouch kit:
- Corner and circular ruler
- Hole puncher
- Edge trimmer
- Sharp knife
- For wooden or cardboard form:
- Fiberglass resin
- 70% rubbing alcohol
Method 1: Using a flat template
Step 1: Figure a DIY leather belt punch
Before printing a leather belt punch pattern, you should consider the following factors to select the proper one.
- Size: A compact belt punch is more workable and maneuverable than a bulky one. You need a pocket with enough space to hold small things.
- Attaching methods: There are 2 basic ways to install a pouch to your belt: the strap runs through the loops or the pouch can be detached and attached to the belt.
- Closing ways: You can opt for 1 way to close the pocket among a lot of ones, such as using button, clasp, magnetic, and others.
Step 2: Pick the right leather
Veg-tanned leather is one of the most common materials to make a leather belt with pouches. You can refer to the following ideas to pick the suitable one.
- Based on things you plan to stuff, for instance, you store a phone in the pouch, the material should be thick and sturdy to protect it from harsh bumps. Soft and fine leather is good for keeping coins and others.
Moreover, how you assemble leather pieces also decides the kinds of leather.
- The leather less than 2.2 millimeters in thickness will be convenient for you to add rivets to corners.
- For the stitching method, you can choose 4-5 ounces for sides and loops and 8-9 ounces for the back, front, and straps.
- You will dampen leather edges for adhesive application or puncture holes in leather if you use leather strips, so leather thickness shouldn’t have a significant impact.
Step 3: Print out a leather belt bag pattern
There are 2 ways to have a desired template: print out from the internet and draw it, which require the same features:
- The template should be in actual measurements
- The back and the front shape of your pouch are uniform.
- The top is the same dimension or a bit larger compared to the bottom to take items out of it easily.
- Mark the areas for the loops behind the pouch
- Bear in mind to cut long strips with a proper size for sewing sides and bottom. They will decide the width of the bag.
Check additional notes for having a good leather pouch DIY pattern.
- We’d recommend using the template on a 24×45 inches pattern sheet.
- Use a corner ruler to measure and draw straight lines and a french curve ruler or circular ruler for rounded ones.
Step 4: Cut the template and leather
- Utilize the straight ruler as a guide to divide the template perfectly. Once done, combine many pieces in 1 single paper piece or keep them separate.
Place the paper template on the rough side of the leather, secure them with tape, and trace it with a pencil.
- Apply a little neatsfoot oil to the leather surface to soften it, then follow the template to cut the main lines and create holes suitable to connecting methods in step 5.
- To remove excess leather in corners, cut the leather from 2 sides. For edges, we’d suggest using a leather edge trimmer. A sharp knife can create smooth circular edges. If leather isn’t eliminated yet, don’t pull it, just re-cut the lines.
- To have internal rectangles, puncture 4 holes in corners with a larger hole puncher and eliminate the remaining leather with a knife.
- Sand the borders with 400-grit sandpaper, and apply a leather conditioner to them to avoid tearing. For visible edges, you can smoothen the edge with a bevel to give it a nice look.
Step 5: Combine the pieces
Based on the DIY leather belt pouch pattern, you can apply one of 4 ways to merge leather pieces.
- If you stitch your belt pouch, create holes along the edges and internal areas with a 1.2-1.5mm hole puncher. After that, groove the border. You can sandpaper the surface to have a matte leather finish or age leather with felt and candle.
- Sew the front loops to close the pouch flap and the behind loops to run the strap through. Once done, secure the thread by burning it.
- Then, stretch the side strip for simple folding and stitch them to the front and back pieces. Don’t forget to attach a strap to secure the pocket flap.
#2: Using leather strips.
Prepare 2 leather ropes to connect pieces. You can add a string to them for easy pulling the strip out.
Combine back and front pieces and thread the rope through the holes until the last hole. When the strap is shorter, you can pull it with a plier.
These straps will meet at the final point, add 2 holes to their 2 ends with a rotary puncher and tie them with a leather cord.
- Mark holes in the positions where you want to add rivets. Apply the burnishing gum to the edges and smoothen out them with gloves or other tools to prevent them from damage for several years.
- Use a rivet press to create holes with your desired sizes. Once done, groove the details to bend the leather effortlessly.
- Insert your favorite lock mechanism into the pouch flap before riveting the rest of the holes. Start with the corners until you fulfill the holes in the pouch sides and attach the strap loops to the pouch.
- Alter a different rivet size for the top of the flap to make it prettier.
#4: Using Glue
- Remark where you attach the loop in the back and rough it a bit allowing the glue to bond better.
- Apply the glue to these positions and the edges of all leather pieces. Use a leather edge creaser to smoothen out the borders.
- Then, stick the loop strap and secure it with a flatten-base tool. Use a hole puncher to create holes for the loop and add rivets to them with a hammer.
- Attach the width strap to the front and back pieces, then fix them with a plier and hammer. You can dampen leather for easy folding.
- Puncture holes along the edges with a puncher and sew them. Burn the thread once finished ensuring it won’t be loose
- Gently scrub the pouch to get rid of adhesive residue. Wipe the damp sponge on the flap and fold it to determine 2 closing rivets’ spots of the flap and front side. After that, make holes and insert rivets.
- Don’t forget to polish the edges again.
Method 2: Using a hard form
Using a form will make leather pouches for belt perfectly since you will wrap up all the pieces around it.
Step 1: Prepare separate leather pieces
You can follow steps from 1 to 4 to prepare good pieces for your project. Besides, don’t forget to check notes to have an excellent pouch form.
- Run a stitcher 3 times over the leather until you realize visible straight traces to wrap the form
- Removing the 45-degree triangle from the width pieces enables you to fold them well.
- After that, make the grooves wider with a modeling spoon.
Step 2: Make a wooden or MDF cardboard form
- Separate wooden or cardboard according to the pattern leather pouch template. The form size should be ⅛ inches smaller than the pouch due to the leather thickness. Based on your preference, the bottom can be curved or flat.
- Wear a respirator and smoothen the borders with a mouse sander and grits. For cardboard, coat it with 2 layers of fiberglass resin to increase water-resistant abilities.
- Seal the form’s components to have an intact block
Step 3: Shape the leather
- Submerge leather in a mixture of ⅓ sink of water and ½ cup of rubbing alcohol 70%. After the liquid penetrates the leather evenly, resemble the pieces around the form, tie them properly with rubber bands, and ensure the sides have 90 degrees.
- Another way is to cover the form with very light glue and stick leather. If the font and back pieces don’t fit well, get rid of the excess ones to have the same measurements.
- You should let it air-dry for a day.
Step 4: Sew the pouch
- You can choose the diagram to arrange leather properly. Leave ⅛ inches apart from the borders and then stitch the pouch accordingly.
- Then, follow the sewing method as above to attach the front and behind loop before connecting all pieces.
- Once done, remove the pocket from the form with a knife if needed
Step 5: Finish the pocket
Now, uUse a damp towel to clean the edges. You can refer to the previous sections to make the desired closure.
Soak the pocket in water for 1-2 seconds. Then, insert it into your belt to imagine how it looks. Add a lot of newspaper, rag, or sand to the pouch to keep its shape before wearing it for 1 or more hours until it dries completely.
After that, remove stuffing things and seal the pocket with a sealer or finish product.
How to make a leather belt pouch guide equips you with solid knowledge to create a DIY belt pocket. Besides creating a pocket with plain leather, you can turn it into a unique one by carving it with your favorite pattern.
Don’t forget to take pictures and show us via the comment box. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon. Hope you all will succeed on the first try.
This is Edward Manning, the editor in chief of Construction Informer. Quite a bit of my time is spent researching the market and interviewing experts in the field so that I can give you reliable information.