DIY

{Needlepoint Belts} Guest Post by LITTLE V!

by Little V
I don’t really remember how I first got involved in making needlepoint belts- but I do know that my best friends from the barn and I used to spend our sleepovers needlepointing…when we were 12.  
When I was learning how to needlepoint, I started with handpainted canvases.  I don’t have this belt with me right now, but I made a pirate belt.
Canvases are expensive though, and some of the more simple needlepoint patterns are very simple and easy to do!  
Such as this argyle one, or the nautical flags, and the one with the cute little sailboats.  I have also made a lot of rowing ones for my boyfriend, which are very simple in school colors.  
Making them from scratch is a lot cheaper- the actual canvas is 18 pt, and will cost ~$5-10 at a needlepoint store.  The canvas should be at least 5 inches tall, and 40 inches wide.  You will only need to needlepoint your waist size minus 4 inches in width, and I usually fill 24 squares in height (1.25 inches).  So, for example, if you have a size 30 waist, then you only need to do 26 inches.  
This is one I did in Georgetown colors and with Georgetown oars
Most recently, I’ve been working on a belt for Jack with coats of arms.  The detail on the shields is quite complicated.  Jack wrote a book on heraldry and simplified the illustrations for the coats of arms in paint, so I want to make sure to do them justice.  The shields are for all the different schools he has attended- BB&N, Georgetown, Oxford, and his college at Oxford, Brasenose.  
Here it is, in progress:
Canvases cost around $100, and some will include the actual wool as well.  My favorite part is picking out the colors! 
Finishing the belt is also very expensive- done the wrong way.
If you take it to your local needlepoint store they will send it away and charge you $150.  I found a leather man in Kentucky (he makes leather halters for fancy thoroughbred race horses) who does a beautiful job for $50. I havn’t sent him a belt in a year or two but I think he is still reachable.  He has also done dozens of keychains for me, which are a lot quicker and quite cute.

MidwayLeather

141 East Main Street
Midway, KY 40347
xoxoxoxox

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20 Comments

mFw

Sign of the Arrow in St. Louis finishes brass buckle belts for around $50 and they are amazing quality. Lots of shops around the country ship their belts to be finished there and have to charge so much more.

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Carole

I am SO impressed that you figured out how to create your own patterns. I always rely on a kit. Questions re sending your belts off to be finished–do you finish and back the belt yourself and then send it to have the leather/metal bits added? Thanks!

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Megan

THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting about the guy in Midway!! I always go to a needlepoint shop in Lexington and it is soo expensive. I have made several belts (without the painted canvas to save money) and I have stopped recently because of the ridiculous cost to finish them.

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ShannonAshley

This is wonderful!! If you wouldn't mind, could you answer a few questions? How long does the average belt take you to needle point? If I go to the craft store and tell them I am interested in needlepoint, will they know what materials to show me? orrr do I need to find a needle point store?

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Laura DiLibero

Is there a good needlepoint store in the DC metro area? I've been searching for a while to find a needlepoint/cross stitch wenbsite with cute preppy patterns, but haven't had any luck! Please e-mail suggestions ­čÖé

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The Preppy Princess

They are just fabulous, she is amazing! I do pillows and brick covers and all sorts of needlepoint, and keep saying I'm going to do a belt, but have yet to make one! These are seriously TDF.

Big smiles at you!
tp

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Cait

just came across your blog and those are FABULOUS! wow! check my blog out for a free COACH bangle give away! it ends friday! xox def going to follow you love!

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Whitney and the Preppy Puppy

Little V is so talented! I rely on painted canvases but am now insipred to create a pattern and do one from scratch.

There is a great shop in DC, in Friendship Heights. It's call The Point of it All- http://www.tpoia.com. The owner, Susan, is amazing and so helpful. There is also a great store in North Arlington, near Spout Run, called Waste Knot- http://www.wasteknotneedlepoint.com. I'm taking a class there now to learn decorative stitches.

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yolanda

I love these belts so i learned how to make my belts out of beads. I have made several belts on a bead loom and have taken them to a leather shop to put the finish on them. The bead belts are a huge hit and certainly on the golf course i made a university of kentucky golf belt. I want to make a Keeneland belt with beads for my next project. I would love to do a belt for one of the horse farms i live in Versailles.

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