A needlepoint belt is a very fashionable accessory for men and also for women. You can make one yourself! The belt is made of needlepoint stitches on canvas, and then finished with a buckle and with leather on the ends. You can buy one, but you can make your own exactly the way you want it. You’ll see men and women wearing stylish, unique needlepoint belts at cocktail parties, at the office, on the golf course or anywhere they want to set themselves apart from those wearing run-of-the-mill belts. Haven’t you noticed when a man wears a preppy needlepoint belt? These belts are cool, aren’t they? Make a statement about your interests, college, or hobbies. There are a variety of themes to choose from:
collegiate sports • flags • dogs • birds • fish
golf • nautical • beach • hunting • hobbies
Or you can use any design you like, such as a plaid, beer, martini glasses, shamrocks, and even mermaids! Many women and men needlepoint belts for their special someones. These unique accessories add character to slacks or shorts and are really a labor of love. A needlepoint belt is quite upscale and can be very expensive if purchased in a store. So if someone makes one for you, consider it to be very special indeed.
“The Needlepoint Belt Series” book
Probably the best book of needlepoint belt designs is The Needlepoint Belt Series by Ann Cady Scott. This book has over 900 charted designs for use on needlepoint, especially belts, in a convenient three-ring binder with full color cover. Each stitch is clearly diagrammed and explained, along with extra tips to make your stitching look better. It may seem pricey but you only have to buy it once and you’ll have nearly a thousand patterns!
Preppy Men’s Accessories (video) Here’s what these needlepoint belts look like.
How To Make A Needlepoint Belt
Briefly, these are the steps for making a needlepoint belt. 1. Determine the belt size by adding 2″ to the wearer’s pant size. Another method is to measure a belt that fits, from the outer edge of the buckle to the hole most worn, and subtract 4″ to determine how much of the canvas you will be stitching the design on. (The remaining canvas will be covered by leather at each end.) 2. Choose a design for your belt. You can use a ready-made design that has been painted on a needlepoint belt canvas. Or you can use a design from a book or design your own on graph paper. In either case, you will need to buy canvas and cut it to the proper length and width. 3. Cover the edges of your needlepoint canvas. You can hem the edges with a sewing machine or wrap the edges with masking tape. 4. Center your needlepoint design on the canvas & begin working your needlepoint stitches with wool yarn or cotton embroidery floss, using a single strand of the ply. 5. After you’ve completed your stitching, you must turn it under or use a binding stitch on the edge. Neatly secure the ends. 6 Wash and block the belt. Make sure when you block it that you have it pinned accurately to the correct size it is to be. Let the belt dry completely. 7. To complete your needlepoint belt, use a professional finishing service to apply a leather backing, leather ends and a buckle. The standard finishing charge is $100. Or you can finish the belt yourself with cotton belt webbing or suede and a buckle.
illustration Wikimedia Commons
How To Hold A Needlepoint Belt Canvas (video) This is a great tip!
Complete A Needlepoint Belt (video) A carefully explained finishing stitch.
Needlepoint is a fun hobby and once you have the basics, you can do so much!
How do you needlepoint?
1. Secure the edges of your canvas with masking tape.
2. If your canvas is large, put it on a frame to keep it taut and straight.
3. Sort your yarn by colors.
4. Cut your first piece of yarn about 12”-18” so that it is easy to work with.
5. Using a Continental Stitch, go from top to bottom at 45 degrees. (Watch the videos below for clear instructions.)
6. When you get to the end of the line, simply turn your canvas around, and repeat the stitching process.
7. Anchor the end of your thread by threading it through the last few stitches and trim the end with scissors.
How To Needlepoint (video)
How To Do The Continental Stitch A Simple Stitch
Continental Stitch Demonstrated (video)
Here are some helpful books available on Amazon.com.
Ready-Made Needlepoint Belts – 30 Gorgeous Designs