Metal belts have been on my mind and at the absolute top of my DIY list for a long time. I finally found the material I needed to make my own version when I was back in Australia on holidays – aluminium flashing which is sheet metal used in roofs, found at the hardware store. Read on for an incredibly simple (and cheap!) tutorial.
– Approx 1 metre of 0.03mm or 0.05mm thick Aluminium Flashing – used in roofing and available in most hardware stores. It cost me around AUD$2.50 for the metre.
– Rope, leather or wire to secure at the back
1. Using scissors cut a strip of flashing to size – I cut mine about 7cm wide and 75cm long to suit my waist with a little extra at the ends.
2. To effectively ‘hem’ the edge of the metal (so that you don’t cut yourself while wearing it), place your flashing on a table with about 1cm along the length of it hanging over the side of the table. Using your fingers, push the metal down so it is flush with the corner of the table. Turn the metal over and push it down all the way down along the edge. Repeat this on the other long edge of the belt.
5. To finish the edges, cover with a towel and hammer lightly with the hammer along the edge so it is nice and flat. You can also place the belt between two phone books and hammer the edges to make sure it is finished well.
6. Carefully bend the belt around your waist or something round like a bucket, making sure not to fold it – the less it folds or bends the better the belt will look.
7. Roll the two ends of the belt over so that you have two tubes at the ends. I rolled the ends around a pencil to make it easier.
8. Finally, thread the tubes with ribbon, leather or rope and tie in a bow or tuck into the tubes at the back to secure the belt. I used some plastic covered fencing wire but you can use whatever you want.
Here’s the finished product. Given how cheap aluminium flashing is you can make a few different versions – thick, thin, hammered, smooth etc.
And there you go! How easy is that? The belt goes with just about every outfit you can imagine – and suits summer as much as it does winter.