How to DIY a Unique Belt Bag

225 Materials
2 Hours

This tutorial will teach you what to do with old belts to make this brilliant DIY belt bag. This cage bucket style is both practical and stylish. Follow along to learn how to make one for yourself.

Tools and materials:

  • Pins
  • Ruler
  • Thread set
  • Seam ripper
  • Marking tool
  • Tape measure
  • Sewing machine
  • Heavy duty snaps ⅝”
  • Fashion grommet kit ½”
  • Extra strong heavy duty threads
  • Leather belts or strips (at least 7)
  • 1 yd heavy duty canvas
  • 2 Upholstery hand needles
  • Sewing awl or ice pick
  • Leather square 7”x7”
  • Cord 3/16”; 1 yd
  • Glue gun
  • Tile or cutting surface
  • Utility (Exacto) knife
Belts for DIY belt bag

Here are the belts I had on hand to make this DIY belt bag.

1. Set up the layout

Make sure you have 4 belts to go horizontally, and 3 to be placed vertically, 2 of which should be the same width (those will be the shoulder straps). The leather square will be the base of the purse.

Setting up the layout

2. Construct the base

Start by removing the belt closure.

Constructing the base

Then clip the corners of the base to match the belt’s shape.

Clipping the corners

Using your ruler and tracing tool, mark a line ¼” from the edge.

Marking fabric

Repeat this on all 4 sides.

Bending fabric

Taking the base, bend the edge about a ½” to attach the belt.

Bending fabric

Use your glue gun to attach the belt all around the base.

Attaching belt around the base

Next, use the awl to make stitching holes every ½”, following the line you made with the tracing wheel.

Creating stitching holes

Creating stitching holes

Next, take a piece of heavy-duty thread with a needle on each end.

Heavy-duty thread

Then, sew a saddle stitch. (See video 2:40-2:48) 

Saddle stitching

To complete the base, close the sides with a zigzag stitch, coupled with the saddle stitch.

Closing the sides

3. Prepare the other belts

Now, starting with the smaller belts, remove the buckles.


Then measure the perimeter of the base to cut the belts the same length. 

Measuring base

Once those are cut, also cut the vertical panels in half, with each piece measuring 12”.

Belt pieces

As for the other 2 belts, keep one buckle intact to join them at the shoulders.

Belt pieces

4. Cut the grooves and thread the belts

First, determine how much of the vertical strips will be needed to attach to the base.


Taking that into account, measure that amount (for me it was 3”) from the bottom of the strip to start your first groove.

Marking belt piece

Space the belts about 2” apart with each groove measuring 1½”. This measurement for the grooves allows for a ½” of wiggle room for the 1” belts.

Belt piece

Next, on top of a cutting surface, cut the grooves out carefully with a utility knife.

Then, you can check to make sure the small belts fit through.

Combing belt pieces

Repeat for all vertical strips. 

Belt pieces

Use a saddle stitch to attach them to the sides of the base.

Attaching belt pieces to base

At this point, thread the small belts through the grooves.

Attaching belt pieces

With the bag finally taking shape, close the sides with a zig zag stitch in combination with the saddle stitch.

Attaching belt pieces

Then, tuck the seams under the grooves to conceal them.

Attaching belt pieces

Attaching belt pieces

5. Make the drawstring insert

Cut 2 pieces of canvas, 1 the size of the base and the other the perimeter of the bag plus the height, adding 6 inches.

Making drawstring insert

Here’s the canvas fabric cut to those measurements. Not shown is the pocket detail I added inside at a later point.

Making drawstring insert

After piecing the bag together, fold the top over 1½” with allowance. Then, insert the grommets, following the instructions on the pack.

Making drawstring insert

Feed the cord through the grommets, then make a knot at each end.

Making drawstring insert

Then, reuse a piece from one of the buckles as a cord stopper.

Making drawstring insert

Making drawstring insert

6. Insert the snaps

The set includes 4 parts–a cap, socket, post and stud. Insert the cap and socket at all 4 corners of the base.

Inserting the snaps

From underneath: 

Inserting the snaps

From inside:

Inserting the snaps

Do the same thing with the canvas using the post and stud. 

Inserting the snaps

Lastly, place another 4 snaps on the top of each joint. 

Inserting the snaps

Because the joints were too thick to insert the snaps regularly, I had to improvise by attaching them to a piece of leather before sewing them on with heavy duty thread. Snap the canvas insert to the bag.

Inserting the snaps

Close the shoulder strap with the original belt closure.

Inserting the snaps

DIY belt bag

Then, your upcycled cage bag is complete!

DIY belt bag

If you’ve created this unique DIY belt bag, I’d love to see your version in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this tutorial, check out my post on How to Update Old Boots with Paint.

Suggested materials:
  • Pins
  • Ruler
  • Thread set
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