Thursday, September 15, 2011

Belt Floor Mat

Everyone ready to get crafty?  My Mom told me that I am getting pretty technical, which I was aware of.  So in order to give us all a big breather, here is something that involves glue, belts, and fabric.  Phew!   This is a project anyone can do--and with it being garage sale season, finding the materials is pretty simple.

I saw this floor mat online at Branch Home and thought it was really neat.  Actually, a lot of their products are pretty fabulous--check it out.

Anyway, they do a round Vintage Round Floor Mat, which is the picture above.  It's all handcrafted and made of old leather belts.  So I thought I would give it a shot.

What you'll need:

15-20 Genuine Leather Belts.  Don't skimp and use vinyl, it won't hold up under foot traffic.
                        *I went to Goodwill on Mondays and Tuesdays, they have tag sales for 50% off
                          certain color tags.  I found belts for $1.99, 50% off.  Voila, $1 belts.  You might also
                          find them at garage sales or church rummage sales.
Sturdy Fabric Backing
Hot Glue gun & lots of glue sticks
A flexible, permanent glue 
Painter's Tape
A carpenter's square or yardstick
exact-o knife

I decided to make a rectangular mat, mostly because it seemed easier and more versatile.  I bought 15 belts, in browns and black.  Pick whatever colors you like best.
I started by finding the shortest belt, and cutting all the other belts to its length, squaring off each end of the belt.  And I ended up with this:

Then, I laid out the piece of fabric for the backing on the table, taping it down with the painter's tape and making sure the fabric was squared up.  Squaring the fabric up ensures that when I glue the belts down, the mat ends up being a nice rectangle without wonky sides.

Notice that I used a fabric with stripes--it's like a pre-installed straight edge.  Yesssss.

Here is the flexible permanent glue that I used.  

And here is my handy-dandy hot glue gun.  I love this thing.

I used the hot glue to get an immediate bond so I could keep everything straight and attach it right away.  I used the other glue to ensure a long-term attachment to the fabric backing.

Here, I laid out all the belts to give myself an idea of placement.  As far as which belt went where--I have a problem of over thinking things.  So in order to counter that, I pretty much left them in the order that I put them when I cut each of them down.  So it was a very random, natural process.  Worked for me.

**Note:  I realized about halfway through that I wasn't paying attention to which side the belt holes were on--so I quickly flipped a bunch on the other side.  Just keep it in mind so they don't all end up on the same side!

Now to the actual assembly.

Step 1:  I Applied the E-6000 glue down the center line of where the belt was going to be.

Step 2:  I ran a line of hot glue right up against the edge of the previous belt, in order to secure one edge of the next belt,  and along where the other edge of it would be going.  I worked in half lengths--running the E-6000 down the center halfway down the length, and the same with the hot glue.  Hot glue is a great thing, but it does dry quickly.

As soon as the hot glue is applied, quickly take the belt and press it down into the glue--making sure that the edge butts up closely with the previous belt.  *this is where having the stripes to keep me straight was really handy.*  Then press down with the ruler, to make sure it dries flat.

Repeat 15 times, or until you're done!

Here it is, all my belts glued down.  Then, I made sure that all the outside edges were nice and secure--adding a little hot glue where needed.

To clean it up a bit, I took the carpenter's square and lined it up with the rough ends and trimmed it straight with an exact-o knife.

Then, I flipped it over and trimmed the backing flush with the belts.  (Since my fabric was a member of the "super fray" club, I did run a thin layer of hot glue along the edge of it, to keep it under control).


So if you're feeling creative, find yourself some belts and get to it!

Now, anyone have any great ideas about what to do with 15 belt buckles?? 


  1. Yeah, make some super cool necklace pendants out of them. A little wire wrapping with some awesome glass beads and your all set!

  2. Ooh, Necklace pendants are a great idea! I have used a few of the belt buckles to attach to some hanging decorations and they've worked well. I think I still have a good 10+ buckles left, though!

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