Elvis' music is still played all over the world today and lots of people make a living impersonating his style. Dressing up as Elvis is still a Halloween favorite and lots of costumes are easily available on the market. If you are trying to save money or make a statement by constructing your own costume, figuring out how to make an Elvis-style embellished belt can feel like a chore. Rest assured that as long as you have the right supplies on hand, it can be done with ease.
Things You'll Need
- Shirt-weight leather
- Tape measure
- Tailor's chalk
- Photo of Elvis belt
- Rhinestones and studs
- Rhinestone and stud setter
- Wide belt
- Shoe glue
Measure the length of your belt, add two inches to that measurement and cut your shirt-weight leather to the length of your belt. Measure how wide your belt is, add two inches to that measurement and then cut the shirt weight leather to that width. The extra width will accommodate for the extra material needed to fold over the belt later on.
Mark the belt design you want onto the cut leather using tailor's chalk. Use dots to indicate where each stud or rhinestone should be placed. Leave a 1 1/2-inch border on each side of your design. Use your photo of Elvis' belt as a guide. Some of his belts were on white leather, while others were on black leather. They featured a wide variety of rhinestone styles, such as circles, crosses and even flowers.
Use your rhinestone and stud setter to set the design into the leather. You will load one stud or rhinestone at a time into the machine, place your leather beneath it and press down to attach the stud or rhinestone to the material. Use firm and even pressure in order to ensure that each stud or rhinestone is securely attached. Try grouping brass studs and colored rhinestones together in groupings, rather than randomly mixing them up. Elvis' belts always had an organized glitz about them.
Check the studs and rhinestones to ensure they are fastened properly and then compare your final design with the original belt. Make any necessary design changes before moving on. Once the leather is attached to the belt, you will no longer be able to make any changes because your stud and rhinestone setter will not be able to puncture through the heavy material of your belt.
Apply shoe glue to the embellished leather and glue it evenly to your belt, wrapping excess material to the back side of the belt. The glue should form a thin even layer on the leather. You do not want globs of glue that will give your finished belt an uneven appearance. Allow the glue to fully dry before using your belt.