Monday, September 26, 2011

DIY: Needlepoint Belt

Hey all!  So for a while now the hubby has really been wanting a needlepoint belt.  I am probably getting him one from Smathers and Branson for Christmas (don't tell him!!) but in the mean time I thought ... " hard can it be?  I can make one of these!"  So what did I do?  You guessed it!  It took me about a month to finish, but I made a needlepoint belt!  And I am very proud of it if I do say so myself!

I chose the sailboat design because Neil loves the water and boating and it was a pretty simple design for my first time ever needlepointing. 

This is the Ehow article I found that helped me get started.  It gives pretty easy to follow instructions, and if any of you try this project and need help or get stuck, just let me know and I will try my best to help! 

In step 4 of the tutorial where is says "center needlepoint design on canvas" I drew the outline of the belt and then drew in my sail boats.  Then I painted the majority of the canvas navy blue, leaving the sailboats white.  I did that so the white canvas didn't show through when I stitched over it with navy thread (I had to find that out the hard way).

Here is the list of supplies I used:

14 Count Aida Cloth (36" x 40" roll)
Needlepoint Thread (I used DMC pearl cotton skein size 5)
Tapestry Needle ( I used a size 22 needle)
Paint and brush (to paint the canvas before you needlepoint)
Masking Tape (to cover the rough edges of the Aida cloth)
Old webbed ribbon belt

-I picked all of this up at my local Hobby Lobby, except the belt which I found in the closet. 
-I think I ended up using about 6 skeins of Navy thread and 2 of white. *A little hint: I found that to get the perfect strand length, take one end of the yarn skein, put your scissors through the big loop at the end and cut. Now you have the perfect length of yard to work with*
-You can use 16 or 18 count Aida cloth, but you  use more thread and it takes a lot longer to finish. Also, you can get several belt canvas out of one roll of Aida cloth.

Alot of people who make these belts, make the needlepoint canvas (the main part of the belt) and then send it off to a Finishing Shop that will back it with leather and put ends and a buckle on it.  This usually costs between $50 - $150 depending on where you send it.  I didn't send this one off because I hate to wait and the belt canvas had to be an exact size for it to work or they are not able to sew the leather on, and I was afraid I was a little off with my sizing.  (If you plan on sending yours off, the finishing shops website will give you exact measurements for your canvas.)

So, with a little imagination and creative thinking I realized that I could take apart one of Neils old belts and use the ends and webbed backing to back the needlepoint canvas.  The old belt looked just like this: (you can usually find these pretty inexpensive)

All I did was remove the stitching from the belt ends and pulled the stitching from the ribbon.  So I was left with 4 pieces: Leather buckle end, Leather hole end, Webbed backing and ribbon. (you can either throw the ribbon away or keep it in your scraps bin, you never know when you might be able to use it!).

Next I used a paint brush and brushed fabric glue evenly onto the webbed backing, then centered the needlepoint canvas on it. Smooth it out so there are no lumps or bumps and let it dry.  Once it is dry, place the canvas and webbing piece into the opening of the leather ends, and using thread that matches your belt ends, sew, by hand,  through the holes left by the old stitching.  Repeat with the other leather end. And you're done!

Now you have a beautiful handmade-by-you needlepoint belt!

Hope you all enjoyed!  Let me know what you think!

xoxo Julia


  1. That is amazing! I am very envious.. I have don't have the patience for something so tedious! My fiance would love it if I could make him one -- maybe someday!!

  2. This looks so cool!! I really want to try it! Thank you for all the information :)

  3. props girl I think these are so hard to make - it looks great!

    xx Emily @

  4. This is such a good tutorial! Thanks! I've been wanting my own needlepoint belt for a while, but I not quite ready to dish out so much cash for one. I'm deff gonna have to try this.

    Thanks for stopping over at my blog!

  5. Wow this looks amazing. I have always wanted to do needlepoint but just dont think I have the patience for it!


  6. I love these!! I'm an art major and I took a textiles class last year... I wish I could have made one of these beauties!!

    Those Saranac Pumpkin Ale's I blogged about can usually be found at Harris Teeter.... but they go soooo fast. They are definitely worth hunting down!

    Thanks for visiting my blog :] I <3 yours!

  7. FINALLY! Some help on making your own!!! I'm making my boyfriend one and I hadn't been able to find any helpful websites! Thanks so much for sharing your tips!!!

    1. Thank you!! I never had any luck finding any kind of tutorial, so I made my own! I'm so glad the post helped you out!

  8. Did you fold the extra needlepoint canvas under? How did you do that part of the finishing? Thanks for more details.