my blog last month I talked about how I'd been woken early in the morning by persistent thoughts ... about belts. Yes, belts!!
During that week I could resist no longer and finally gave in to these strange, mid-slumber, creative thoughts and made myself two bespoke belts. One was made from a measuring tape and the other .... the other is the one pictured above which is made from graph paper, scraps, Banana Frog stamps and laminating pouches!
Here's how you can put together something similar:
Step 1: Choose the style of belt you're going to make.
My main inspiration for the style, feel and colour of my belt was this retro American license plate paper, from a pack of collage ephemera:
Step 2: Select papers and inks to recreate your chosen style.
I looked through my stash and picked out a selection of contrating and co-ordinating items. For my main backing paper I chose A3 size to give me several longer lengths to go around my waist without too many joints.
Step 3: Use your chosen buckle as a sizing guide + stamp a stitched edge.
I bought this buckle for £1 at an antiques fair - and had thought I might use it on a papercrafting project rather than to make a belt. Now I've combined both of those ideas!
If you're not able to get to a similar antique fair / vintage market have a rummage in the back of your / your kids' wardrobes for any old belts you may have grown out and cut them free! You can even canibalise the buckles from an old bag or purse. Failing that - head out to the nearest charity shop and stock up on belt buckles while helping a good cause ....how's that for guilt-free crafting??
Once you've selected your buckle - measure the opening on it and cut your background paper into strips to a width which will easily slide through.
Using one of the running stitch stamps from the Sewing Kit set, stamp along the full length the edge of your belt.
Step 4: Cut coloured sections of paper to fit onto backing paper and ink their edges.
Step 5: Stamp decorative elements randomly.
I laid out my coloured sections onto scrap paper. I used the Circus Stories set to randomly add decorative elements, allowing the stamped image to run off the edges of my paper.
Step 6: Add apha and number stamps.
To recreate that retro license plate style I used the 'FT Rosecube' and 'Highway to Heck' font sets.
Step 7: Assemble belt and place in laminating pouch.
Using a glue stick I adhered my stamped sections to my backing paper.
I trimmed a regular office-supply laminating sheet roughly to the size of each of the individual lengths of paper - and slid them inside the pouch. I used A3 sized laminating sheets to fit my A3 lengths of paper. You can certainly use standard A4 size - the only difference being that you'll need to join more sections together later.
Then, following the instructions and settings for my basic home-office laminating machine, I laminated my three strips of belt-strap separately.
Step 8: Join lengths of belting together.
After laminating I carefully trimmed and straightened the edges of my laminated paper. Make sure when doing this that you do not trim right up to the edge of the paper. You must leave at least a few millimetres of clear laminate around the edges to avoid breaking the protective seal.
However many sections you have made your belt in - you are now going to have to join them together. I chose to use eyelets for this taking two ends I used an eyelet tool to punch two holes in each end. I then overlapped the holes so that they lined up - placed an eyelet in each hole and set it.
Alternativley you could stitch the sections together, although this would require a heavy duty needle ... and I'd definitely need to use a thimble to help push it through. Or you could punch holes with a Crop-a-dile [or similar] and thread through floss, cording, ribbon etc to tie your lengths together.
Step 9: Create fastening holes.
As my buckle was a prong fastening type - I needed to place holes along the length of my belting so I could adjust and fasten it. I threaded the belt through the loops on my jeans and worked out where I would need to place the holes. To protect the holes from tearing I reinforced them with a large eyelet.
Step 10: Wear with pride and turn a few heads.
Come on now, you don't make and wear a stamped, laminated belt if you're afraid of being looked at in public and anyway, after all the hard work you'll have put in ... you''ll deserve a few admiring glances.
Laminating paper is a great way to create durable, wearable art and the basic idea can be adapted to create any accessory you fancy.
Before embarking on my full-sized belt project, my fellow BF DT member Hannah Milburn and I tested out the idea by stamping, decorating and laminating paper to form unique wrist cuffs. [Maybe we should blog them sometime]. Equally the technique could be applied to creating earrings, pendants, bag charms, key rings .....I could go on .....and probably will ......
If you also go on to create something from any of the ideas I've mentioned above, then do remember to share them with me. Leave me a comment below, upload photos of your laminated adventures into the Banana Frog Flickr goup or sidle up to me in public and wave your creations before my eyes.
Whichever you choose ....have fun. I'll see you in a few weeks with my next Project of the Day.
Until then, you know where to find me,