boy belt tutorial

February 15th, 2010

My middle son is jumpy and crazy and skinny and tall–all of which make his pants fall down quite often (if he is wearing pants that is), so I thought I’d make a belt for him. In honor of Celebrate the Boy month at Made and Made by Rae I  drew up a pattern to share with all of you.

The finished belt is 1 1/2 inches wide and adjusts to fit waist sizes of about 20 inches to 24 inches. To make a different size take the waist measurement you want to use then add 8 inches: the main fabric will be (waist size + 8)inches by 3 1/2 inches and the lining fabric will be one inch shorter.



  • one piece of fabric cut 30 inches long and 4 inches wide, preferablly cut parallel to the selvege, but as long as it’s not cut on the bias it will work out just fine.
  • one strip of canvas or denim (or something that is a similar weight) 29 inches long and just shy of 1 1/2 inches wide.
  • three snaps and snap setting tool
  • one 1 1/4 inch D-ring
  • scissors, pins, iron, sewing machine


  1. Fold your strip of fabric in half the long way (wrong sides together) and press.
  2. Open the fabric back up and with the right side down, fold the top edge down 1/2 inch and iron, then fold the bottom edge up 1/2 inch and iron.
  3. Set your strip of canvas or denim on the bottom half and fold both short ends over it and press
  4. Miter your corners: fold the corner diagonally, so it makes a right triangle where the middle of the longest side (the hypotenuse if you paid attention in geometry) of the triangle lies on the point where the folds of the short end and the long side meet. This makes much more sense if you just look at the picture. And this is just how I do mitered corners, of course you can do it any way you know how.
  5. Sew all around the belt anywhere from 1/8 inch to a 1/4 inch from the edge–whatever looks best to you.
  6. Pick one side of the belt to be the right side (the one that will face out) and put that side down. Slide the D-ring onto the left end of the belt, fold the end over it one inch and sew down. Sew back and forth a few times to make sure it’s secure.
  7. Now for the snaps (I used heavy duty snaps for the wood grain belt, but there are a lot of options out there). With the right side down again and the D-ring to the left, attach the top part of three snaps: the decorative part on top and the male part (for lack of a better term) of the snap on the right side of the belt. The snaps should start about 1/2 from the end and be about an inch or so apart.
  8. 6 inches to the left of the last snap attach the bottom part of the snap: the female part of the snap should go on the right side of the belt and the very bottom piece of the snap should go on the wrong side  (the side that will face in). This seems wrong, but it’s not. The belt will go through the D-ring and then fold back on itself and snap.
  9. Find some pants with belt loops and try that sucker out!  Look at you, you just made a belt!


  • To make a skinnier belt, your fabric strip should measure 30 x 2 1/2 inches and the lining should be 29 x 3/4 of an inch. Then just follow the directions for the wider belt.
  • I thought it would be nice to have a fabric buckle for baby belts (yes, it’s ridiculous I know, but so are baby sneakers and I bet you have some of those) so the metal doesn’t jab their pudgy tummies, or if you don’t have a d-ring around, or if you’d just like to make a cool fabric buckle, whatever, this is how you do it:
    Cut a piece of fabric that is 6 x 2 inches (for the skinnier belt, cut 4 x 2). With right sides facing sew the ends together, so you have a small fabric ring, then fold both the edges in (wrong sides together) to meet each other in the middle. Fold in half again and sew. It’s easiest to sew with the loop going up over your presser foot than the other way around. Attach the fabric buckle just like you would the D-ring, making sure the seam is hidden under the fold and the nice side is facing out.
  • Buttons! Sew button holes where the snaps would go and then sew some buttons on.

There are so many other things that can be done with this belt: topstitching, grommets, snaps all around, a matching mama belt! If you make one from this tutorial (or any other tutorial of mine) remember to add it to the elsie marley flickr group.  And please add a photo or two to the Celebrate the Boy group on flickr too!

Go Boys!

Posted in tutorials.

44 Responses to boy belt tutorial

  1. blair says:

    I just love this! I may have to make belts for Ian, skinny and tall describes him best. Thank you!

  2. CitricSugar says:

    Very cool! Love the way you showed off the different takes on the pattern, too. Wonderful use of the number buttons to take buckling up to an educational level. :-)

  3. gonzomama says:

    thank you! i have the same situation. skinny, jumpy, beltless, pants falling down kind of boy. great looking belts!

  4. Kelley says:

    ohhh! I like this! Hurray! I will be using my snap pliers for belts! I have two skinny tall boys too!

  5. Jane says:

    What a fantastic tutorial. My youngest was always having the same problem

  6. Kestlyn says:

    Hi I’m here from Made By Rae :) Thank you so much for a great useful tutorial!

  7. tiny twig says:

    can’t wait to make these–my oldest is a string bean and his pants are GINORMOUS in the waist! he’ll love these belts!

  8. Briana says:

    You cracked me up with the description of your tall, skinny, jumpy boy with his pants falling down. So many of us can relate! I have made the looping kind of belt for my son before, but the snaps are a great idea! I may need to go get a snap setter!

  9. Caitlin says:

    So cute, of course. And why not have belts for babies?

    Are you also some kind of genius with the snap setter? I bought one at JoAnn’s last year and it nearly drove me insane because it ruined all the snaps and wouldn’t actually attach it to the fabric. Is yours an older, more reliable one, or am I just snap setter deficient?

  10. Jennifer says:

    Thank you! I have a nephew with a birthday coming up. He will be getting about 5 of these from me!

  11. […] to cinch up the waists to keep the pants from falling down. So I’m taking special note of this tutorial for cute adjustable belts for kids. The tutorial is part of the fun Celebrate the Boy series, but these belts would work great for […]

  12. cara says:

    Love this tutorial, I shared it on Twitter :) I need to make a few of these for my boys.

  13. fun Frieda says:

    My boy also shuns pants – when here at home, that is. I tried to impress upon him the importance of staying clothed When Pres. Obama was in Seattle a while back. I asked how he’d feel if the PRESIDENT decided to visit us, and saw Ben with no pants on. He got it. Now he (mostly) wears pants. But no shirt.
    I really love these belts, I may try one, just to see if he’d wear it.

  14. Karin says:

    Love the belts! Any thoughts out there about Velcro? I’m afraid of that snappy tool…

  15. urban craft says:

    this is badly needed. Thank you! Awesome. We have the same skinny tall boy. Cloth diapers help but not often.

  16. Jenny says:

    I love these! Especially the wood fabric. Thanx thanx thanx for the tutorial!

  17. dana says:

    This is so cool. Thanks for sharing with us. You never fail to impress!

  18. What a good idea to use snaps. My kids have always struggled with belts, so I’ve always had to use those trousers with the adjustable elastic waists to keep their trousers up and around their scrawny little waists.

  19. Brittany says:

    I love this! I have one of those tall, skinny boys, as well. I will definitely be using this tutorial! Thank you so much!

  20. Debra says:

    I don’t have a child to do this for, but I might be making one for myself. Really simple tutorial for something I never would have thought of on my own! Thanks for sharing. :)

  21. […] to cinch up the waists to keep the pants from falling down. So I’m taking special note of this tutorial for cute adjustable belts for kids. The tutorial is part of the fun Celebrate the Boy series, but these belts would work great for […]

  22. […] Elsie Marley celebrates the boy with a tutorial on her blog showing how to make a belt for a little boy.  Snaps give it an all-boy look.  Go to the tutorial. […]

  23. Anne says:

    What an awesome belt!! I love the snaps! And the numbered buttons!

    I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  24. meg says:

    it seems like there are a ton of tall skinny boys out there whose pants keep falling down!

  25. Great tutorial! Such a cute idea! I added it to our link luv roundup today, come by for a peek!