How to Punch Holes in a Leather Belt

Written by gigi starr
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How to Punch Holes in a Leather Belt
(2008 Daniela Nob / Creative Commons)

Belts that are too loose require resizing, not recycling. It's simple and cheap to make new holes in a belt, and there's no trip to the shoemaker necessary. Follow this guide for quick instructions on punching holes in a leather belt.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Pen or tailor's chalk
  • Leather punch tool
  • Awl or scissors (for thicker leathers)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Put the belt on, wrong side out. Tighten it to its optimal level and use your pen or chalk to mark the new stopping point.

  2. 2

    Lay the belt down on a flat surface, wrong side up. Measure how far apart the pre-cut belt holes are in order to place the new belt holes correctly. For the sake of aesthetics, you should put in holes up to the point of the desired closure point. If the new spot isn't exactly on a measured place, create a hole slightly beyond that point.

  3. 3

    After checking the dots one more time for accuracy, place the belt in the leather punch tool. Lining up the cutting point and the hole, clamp down on the tool as hard as possible to punch the hole. It may be necessary to open and close the tool several times to cut through thicker leathers.

  4. 4

    After cutting the holes, brush off the excess leather and try the belt on for size. Make certain that the holes are large enough that the buckle prong can fit through completely.

Tips and warnings

  • If the belt leather is super thick, pre-drill the holes slightly with an awl or sharp scissors first in order to facilitate cutting.
  • To avoid marring the surface of the belt, lay down newspaper or fabric on the table before working.
  • Use an awl and hammer, or a hammer and nail instead of a leather hole punch. Secure the belt to the table and place something underneath the belt first to protect the finish.

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