How to Upcycle Thrifted Belts into Bracelets

Are you like me, sifting through old belts at the thrift store wondering, “What I can I do with these?” Today I sharing how I upcyled thrifted belts into bracelets.

This isn’t a brand new idea for me–you can read past posts here and here.

a thrifted white leather belt

I bought this leather belt a week or so ago at a thrift store, knowing that it would be perfect for a belt bracelet.

Any belt that has holes or a cut out design, like this one, all along the full extent of the belt makes a great candidate, because then you don’t have make your own holes.

white leather belt upcycled into a bracelet

For this belt, I trimmed it to 12″ and–boom–the bracelet was done! Wasn’t that super easy? While they aren’t all quite this simple, the difficulty level of this project remains fairly low.

Thrifted belt bracelet

This belt that had grommets all the way along the entire belt, making it a great choice for a bracelet.

After trying it on my wrist, I decided to cut this one a little longer (13″), just because of the way it rested on my wrist.

Thrifted belt bracelets

Many textile belts, like the red and blue ones above, have a metal clip on the end that finishes off the belt and prevents it from fraying.

Read my first post about belt bracelets for instructions on how to remove and reapply these clips.

Here’s another textile belt with grommets all the way down and with a metal clip on the end. Hot pink is a favorite of mine!

Thrifted blue textile belt bracelet with brass fitting

Army-Navy belts, like this one, with aged brass buckles, make great candidates for belt bracelets.

They typically have metal clips on their ends and the buckles have toothed clasps inside that hold the belt/bracelet snugly in place.

thrifted belt bracelet

Here we have a bonded leather belt with grommets running down its length. I decided to cut the end on a curve and touched up the edge with a black permanent marker to match the black leather.

thrifted belt bracelet

This silver example is made of soft leather, which made it quite easy to create the necessary holes using a hammer and an awl.

I really like the look of this big Geoffrey Beene belt bracelet. I used heavy duty scissors to cut the end, blackened the cut edge with a permanent marker, and used an awl to create some holes where there were none.

I’m not in love with the look of the holes; they’re a little rough, but then so is the belt. I think of it as a cowboy bracelet and have worn it myself a couple of times.

I get wonderful satisfaction out of turning vintage and thrifted belts into something fun and unique. The most expensive cost $2.00 and a majority of the rest, no more than 50ยข! All from thrift stores.

Here’s the original post:

From Vintage Belt to Beautiful Bracelet

And the first follow-up post:

vintage belt bracelets
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15 Comments

  1. These are really cute. A cropodile, used for crafting, would make perfect holes and they can punch through all kinds of materials. I’m going to start looking for belts!! Thanks for the tip.

  2. This is a neat idea & would like to try my hand at it sometime. You make it sound so easy! Sharing to FB

  3. I love your belt bracelets Diana!! I started doing this last year and love doing this same thing. You inspired me to start working on them again, thank you! Pinned!

  4. What a super clever idea! I’m officially on the lookout to make my own DIY cuff!

    I’ve featured you this weekend on DIY Salvaged Junk Projects. Thanks for linking up! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I love your bracelets they are so stylish! Thank you for sharing your bracekets at the Snickerdoodle Create~Bake~Make link party!

  6. Diana, I am surprised that you have not come across a revolving punch to make professional holes. Check out Tandy sometime so you know what they look like; a good new one costs an arm and a leg and a cheap one is a false economy, but if you found one secondhand….. In the good revolving punches, the individual hole punchers and the copper hitting plate are replacable ; used to do leathercraft with my vets at the VA; a drive punch with 1/4″ size holes is a Godsend; a set is even butter, about $90 new: I used to cut up felt/craft foam circles on my noon hour! A belt end cutter is another thing to look for; it makeas such a profession looking end. Also, I would make some of the men’s belts slightly longer for a man to wear, especially goth black! Tres chic!

  7. I actually used to make these for friends when I was in High School! I also added beads or charms on the clasp. How funny I had forgotten until you showed it!

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