Belt Buckle Bracelet (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

A small to medium size belt buckle can make a fantastic focal element on a bracelet.

Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Belt Buckle Bracelet – tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Here I used a vintage buckle that had been in my grandmother’s stash of fashion-craft parts.

Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

I didn’t want the fabric part of the bracelet to cover up any of the buckle’s edges when the bracelet was worn – and I also didn’t want to remove the prong latch from the buckle.

So I developed this design with the fabric running under the belt buckle instead of covering any of the buckle’s frame, and an eyelet to accommodate the prong.

Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

This project is simple, and makes quite a statement on your wrist!

Supplies:

  • A small to medium size belt buckle with a bar down the center that holds the buckle’s prong latch.
    My buckle is 2.5″ x 2″ (6.4 x 5.1 cm).
    That’s the maximum size I recommend using – and if your wrist is small, use a much smaller buckle.
    Also, some buckles may be too heavy to be comfortable on a bracelet – so do consider weight when choosing your buckle.
    My buckle is a vintage brass piece:
    Vintage Belt Buckle for Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • A strip of sturdy, flexible fabric; or soft, flexible leather / faux leather – something sturdy that you can still scrunch up nicely around your jump rings.
    I used a soft snakeskin-print fabric that should have been just a bit sturdier for supporting my belt buckle on the finished bracelet:
    Snakeskin fabric for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • One metal eyelet, in a size that will accommodate your belt buckle’s prong.
    (Many eyelet packages come with a handy little tool for attaching the eyelet to your fabric.)
    I used a brass eyelet in 5/32″ size:
    Eyelets for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • 2 large jump rings to attach to your fabric ends.
    I used antiqued brass jump rings in 15mm size:
    Large jump rings for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • Sturdy clasp for your bracelet.
    I used a handmade brass hook clasp:
    Brass hook clasp for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • 2 pieces of 20 gauge round soft wire, each 10″ (25.4cm) long:
    Wires for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg
  • Optional: a short length of chain or a few small jump rings to use as an extender chain on the opposite end from the bracelet’s clasp.
  • Flat nose pliers.
  • Chain nose pliers.
  • Wire cutter.

How to Make a
Belt Buckle Bracelet:

First, we’ll measure the length of our jump rings and clasp when they’re attached to each other (so we’ll know how long our fabric strip needs to be).

When my jump rings and clasp are attached to each other, their total length is 1.75″ (4.5cm):

Hook clasp with jump rings for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now let’s figure how long your fabric strip should be.

Bracelet Measurement Example:

For a 7″ wrist, your total finished bracelet size = 7″ (this bracelet looks better with snug fit).

Now add 2″ for folding the ends of your fabric strip around the jump rings:

7″ + 2″ = 9″

Then subtract your jump ring & clasp total length (mine is 1.75″):

9 – 1.75 = 7.25″.

So for a 7″ wrist and a 1.75″ jump ring & clasp length, your fabric strip should be 7.25″ long.

The width of your fabric strip should be a size that fits nicely through the center bar on the buckle.

(My buckle’s center bar is 1.5″, so my fabric strip is also 1.5″.)

So I cut my fabric to 7.25″ x 1.5″:

Fabric for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now let’s mark where to place the eyelet.

I used a pencil to make a mark in the center of the fabric:

Marking fabric for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

If you’re new to using eyelets, practice with a couple of eyelets on a scrap of fabric before attaching an eyelet to your bracelet fabric.

Use your eyelet tool to attach the eyelet, right on the mark you made with your pencil:

Attach eyelet for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now turn your belt buckle over so its underside is facing up:

Vintage brass buckle for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Turn your fabric strip face-down, so its underside is facing up.

Thread it under the center bar of your buckle:

Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now turn your buckle and fabric strip over, so their front sides are facing up:

Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Thread the buckle’s prong through the eyelet in your fabric strip:

Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Then thread the fabric strip underneath the buckle’s frame:

Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now the underside of your buckle should look like this:

Underside of Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

The front of your bracelet should look like this:

Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now it’s time to attach the jump rings and clasp to the ends of the fabric.

We’ll start by attaching the clasp and one jump ring to one end of the bracelet:

Attaching clasp for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Thread the fabric end through the jump ring, folding about 1″ (2.5cm) of the fabric under:

Attaching clasp for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now we’ll use wire to fasten the fabric to the jump ring.

Scrunch the fabric artistically on the jump ring.

Place the end of one of your 10″ wires across the top side of your fabric end, just below the jump ring.

Use your flat nose pliers to hold the folded fabric onto the jump ring, and the wire end in place on top of the fabric:

Attaching clasp for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now with the fingers of your other hand, grasp the long end of your wire and wrap the wire tightly around the folded fabric several times.

(You can make a neat wrap or an artistically messy wrap):

Attaching clasp for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

When you’ve wrapped the wire several times around the folded fabric, finish with both wire ends on the underside of the bracelet.

Use your wire cutter to snip off the excess wire ends.

Use your chain nose pliers to squeeze down tightly on the wire ends so they won’t come loose and won’t poke the wearer’s wrist:

Attaching clasp for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now this end of your bracelet should look like this:
Attaching clasp for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Now attach the remaining large jump ring to the other end of your bracelet:

Attaching clasp for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Thread the fabric end around the jump ring, fold the fabric end under, and wrap your remaining 10″ wire tightly around the folded fabric several times.

Finish off these wire ends the same way you did on the other bracelet end:

Attaching clasp for Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Optional: If you’re adding an extender chain (or additional small jump rings as an extender), you can attach it to this end of the bracelet now.

Your finished belt buckle bracelet should look like this:

Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Belt Buckle Bracelet - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

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Comments

  1. Sheila Meador says:

    I love thinking outside the box and making something unique. This is a great idea! I’ll never look at belt buckles the same again. Thanks!

  2. A very cool bracelet! I can see using leather as an alternative to fabric as well. What a beautiful, creative way to reuse that buckle.

  3. I love this idea. Great job Rena. You are always coming up with the most interesting jewelry ideas. Thank you!

  4. WOW, what a great idea.

  5. I have made several belt buckle bracelets by leaving the buckle attached to the belt. I cut the belt to a length suitable for fitting a wrist, leaving enough to still fasten the buckle. Western leather tooled belts are fabulous. If there is a metal belt tip, I remove it and reattach it at the new end of the cut belt. I will try to figure out how to post some of the photos of these.

  6. Thanks for this Fabulous idea and Tut.. I have been saving a whole bunch of vintage belt buckles & didn’t know what to do with them… Way to go Rena!!

  7. coraNation says:

    Rena, this is awesome! I love mixing and repurposing materials. You are such a great inspiration and we appreciate this forum so much. Thank you.

  8. What a fun idea. Thanks for the great instructions. I would love to do this with Black leather for the holidays to look like Santa’s belt!

  9. I love the repurposing and the trendy look of this.

  10. When I first saw this I thought it was a napkin ring. Now wouldn’t that be a cool idea for Christmas. Anyway thanks for the inspiration

  11. This is a statement piece for sure! Thank you for sharing it. I will be on the look-out for buckles at yardsales, etc. What an awesome accessory!!

  12. Wow what a beautiful project! I love this! I am actually thinking of making my daughter one of these for the holidays but I have to find the perfect buckle of course! 🙂

  13. RENA!!! I love this.. so different. Love it. Linda

  14. Clever craft idea! Thanks for sharing!

  15. This is such a cute and unique bracelet! I have a thing for accessories with buckles. I just ordered some boots for my daughter that have buckles on them! Anyhoo, I’m pinning this!

    Navy Wifey Peters

  16. Gorgeous What a fabulous bracelet. Hugs, Marty

  17. This is such a unique statement piece! I’m going to have to show this to my daughter.

  18. I have a couple belt buckles that I have cut off of old belts that i have been wondering what to do with them.

  19. Oddly enough, this reminds me of my mother’s super stylish best friend in the 80s. I adored her and always wanted to be just like her when I grew up. This is fantastic and I love that you gave me a walk down memory lane without meaning to 🙂

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