Yes, you can order them online or, if you're lucky, you might find them at doll fairs. Most of what you'll find, however, is a choice of oval or square basic buckles. Minidolls.com carries a better selection than most ranging in price for about .50 - $1.00 + shipping. When you make as many clothes as I do, that can get rather expensive!
With that, I set out to make my dolls a variety of belts. I had so much fun, I ended up with enough content for two posts. This one features ideas for belt buckles, straight or curved belts. The following post will feature corset belts as well as a couple of ideas for chain belts.
There are two types of belts, straight and curved. The straight belt is a narrow rectangle which will fit around the waist. For that you only need to cut a strip of material or use a ribbon.
On the other hand, for a pair of low riding pants or jeans, you will need to make a curved belt that fits flat against the hips.
I make the first pattern using tape, right on the doll.
1. I apply tape around the hips of the doll, then press in place so that it hugs her curves.
2. Mark the top and the bottom edge of the hips, center front. Here I've marked a rather wide area since I will use this as my curved belt sloper. I can always cut this down later.
3. Mark the sides.
4. Mark the center back.
5. Now, very carefully cut the tape away from the body, being careful not to distort the shape. I used a toothpick to move the tape away from the body just enough for a tiny pair of manicure scissors to slip in and cut.
6. Flatten the tape pattern onto graph paper.
7. Depending on the type of belt you make will depend on how much you should extend your belt from the edges. Be sure to maintain the arc of the curve. Remember to leave a margin to fold the belt over the belt buckle as well as the overlap on the opposite side.
You should invest in basic jewelry pliers available at most crafts stores. I've used 16-20 gauge wire for this post, but you can use whatever size depending on your needs and the scale of buckle appropriate to your doll.
2. Continue to bend around the back and around the second blade.
3. Clip off the excess.
4. Adjust it so that the buckle is balanced and clip away any additional excess. You could stop there, but if you want a more substantial buckle, continue with the next step.
5. Take a hammer and smash your buckle flat.
6. . One end of your belt wraps around the center spoke. The other end feeds through the oval.
1. The leather strap wraps around the center spoke.
2. Fold over the edge and glue flat.
3. I added grommets. If you're wondering where I found grommets so tiny, take a trip to your crafts store and look in the "Scrapbooking" aisle. I puncture the leather with a big needle, then widened the hole until the grommet fits through. A quick squeeze of the pliers will set them in place.
4. This is a straight belt that I wanted to hang off the doll's hips. So instead of threading the belt through the loops, I made a small hook which I added to the buckle so that it can hang onto either of the holes.
2. Now, lets make the center spoke which serves as a small hook. Cut off another small piece of wire. Using the round nose pliers, make a loop on one end.
3. Attach to one side of your square.
4. The spoke should extend slightly beyond the width of the buckle. You can leave it straight or bend the end under slightly.
5. Prepare the belt. Make a slash in the middle of one side.
6. You will slide the spoke in the middle, then fold the edge over and glue down at the back.
7. I cut two tiny strips which I made into belt loops. Using a large safety pin or needle, poke holes in your belt so that the mid-spoke can pass through and be held in place.
While searching for ideas to create more interesting belt buckles, my "ah-ha" moment the moment I stepped into a jewelry supply store. Those little clasps used as closures for necklaces make for some very interesting buckles for both your girls and your guys. If you want a bejeweled buckle, simply glue a flat sided jewel on top of the clasp.
2. Make random loops.
3. I wanted to trap a bead inside, so I slid a bead onto the end and finished my loops. Be sure you have at least one loop for easy access.
4. Add your claw clip.
5. Take a strip of leather or ribbon and cut a point on one side.
6. The broader side is wrapped around one of the loops, turned and glued underneath.
7. The other side will be threaded though the hole at the base of the claw clip, turned under and glued in place. You could stop there. But I decided to add a tassel.
8. I took a tiny scrap and cut in a little fringe.
9. I fold the top edge over one of the loops and glue down underneath. Then I wrapped a bit of wire around the base.
Stay Tuned for Part II: Corset and chain belts.
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