How To Tool A Leather Belt

Learn how to tool a leather belt for a one-of-a-kind accessory. Leather belts are great. They can make a simple pair of blue jeans and a tailored shirt look finished. Plus, they hold up your pants! Make your own belt and add a buckle that tells everyone who you are.

To tool a leather belt, you will need:

  • Leather belt blank
  • Leather stamps
  • Stylus
  • Leather mallet
  • Leather dye
  1. Clean the leather belt blank. Simply wipe the belt with a soft cloth to remove any surface dirt.
  2. Design the pattern to tool on the leather belt. Decide what images you want to include. Examples include your name, your initials, a scene with horse and rider with trees and grass or a combination of these and other designs. Sketch out the design on paper ensuring the spacing is accurate to fit the leather belt you'll be tooling.
  3. Practice stamping on scrap leather. To see how hard you need to hit the top of the stamp with the mallet, try a few practice impressions to get it right.
  4. Sketch or trace the pattern or design on the leather belt. Use tracing paper, also known as carbon paper, to lay the imagine on the leather. Make it easy to know where each design element will go on the belt before you begin to tool the leather belt.
  5. Wet the leather by soaking it for about 30 minutes. Lay it out on a towel to let a bit of the moisture soak up.
  6. Begin stamping the belt. Use a leather stamp to make the first impression on the belt. Refer back to the paper sketch for spacing. Make sure the images match the actual tooled leather belt.
  7. Stamp all the elements on the belt. Use leather stamps and a stylus for adding lines and fine work.
  8. Dye the leather belt. Carefully wipe on leather dye in even strokes to add your color of choice to the tooled leather belt. It's also possible to dye the belt blank first before stamping it to create a different color where the the tooling impressions meet the leather.
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