Leather Belt

For a long length of material designed to secure various types of garments around the waist, the humble belt has been a veritable wardrobe workhorse from biblical, Grecian and Roman times all the way to modern day society. A modesty savior for tubby-bellied fellows as well as those who were once (or still) down with the scrunchy-undie, droopy-drawered look, belts have also found an equally valuable place in the hearts of feminine fashionistas who love punctuating their style with a little waist-cinched pop of color.

But there comes a time when all good things must come to an end, treasured belts included. They can be made from the finest quality leather or equally durable woven material and still ultimately suffer the slings and arrows of age, forcing us to make that dreaded ‘keep’ or ‘chuck’ decision. In some cases, if a belt is remarkably well-made, it can be given a fantastic face lift courtesy of some strategically applied leather dye, but in those cases when artistic intervention just won’t cut it, there’s only one other choice. Garbage can, meet your new little friend.

We think not! Accepting defeat is not an option, even when it comes to belts. Sure, they’re affordable enough, but that’s not the point! Every item that passes through our hands – while typically designed for a specific purpose – has the potential to morph into a cool new incarnation when we just take a few minutes to think outside of the box, and not just by creating additional fashion accessories with them, either. Feast your eyes on these inspired ways to make the most of those worn and weary waist trimmers that you might have otherwise kicked to the curb:

FLOORING

Some lovely ladies are obsessed with shoes and handbags, while others hoard hats much like hamsters plowing through a free-for-all nut and seed buffet. If you, on the other hand, have accumulated so many belts that the door to your closet is absolutely straining at the bit, chances are good that at least a dozen of them are well out of style. Lucky you! Depending on how many you cull, you can create everything from a cozy little entry mat to a plethora of weathered, earthy and incredibly hip stripey leather flooring tiles. Seriously… how cool is that?

CUSTOMIZABLE DOG OR CAT COLLAR

This is a no-brainer belt upcycling solution, but to be quite honest, it’s oddly easy to overlook. When the belt no longer fits, just shrink it down to accommodate someone or something a bit more petite. With just a careful snip of your heavy duty scissors and perhaps a few added adornments, your pup or kitty can saunter down the street in truly unique style. Just watch… before you know what hit you, admirers will start placing their upcycled leather pet collar orders with you, in effect bankrolling your enthusiastic acquisition of a whole new array of cool new (future puppy) belts.

TRINKET TRAY

We all need it. A place to catch the many bits and pieces that spill out of our pockets at the end of the day. A little somethin’-somethin’ that makes us feel slightly less disorganized than our mothers accuse us of being. With several retired belts, you too can become the proud new DIY owner of a snazzy little textural tray that will stand the test of time while also blowing away anything that you could have purchased at IKEA.This is a pretty simple craft project that you can crank out after a long day at work or better yet, get all the girls together and make it a potluck extravaganza with many glasses of red, red wiiiine!

VINTAGE FURNITURE UPGRADE

If your idea of a good time is hitting the streets the day before the sanitation department is scheduled to pick up large household items, then you’re probably familiar with the fine art of scoring vintage, albeit decrepit, furniture. Perhaps you thrive on figuring out how to transform neglected little tables and spindley-legged chairs into unique pieces of art that you know you’ll never see in another person’s home. Good for you, you crafty-vixen! In order to boost the eco-appeal of your latest treasure even more, how about transforming your old leather belts into a woven seat cushion or petite table top? 

image: blmurch

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