Well, I finished the belt. I was surprised at how well it tuned out and how easy applying the suns and crescents turned out to be. I received several compliments on this belt at 12thNight, the most important one coming from my beautiful lady, Cristiana.
To finish the belt I first had to attach the metal plaques I’m using as a buckle to the leather strap. Each plaque has two prongs on one side designed to hook through the loop on the other side of a corresponding piece. To use two of these as a buckle I had to attach the ‘loop’ side of one plaque to the leather which I did using two rivets. The other plaque is attached by punching two holes in the other end of the leather, passing the prongs through these holes, and bending them down to hold it in place.
I then made a pattern jig out of a scrap piece of belt leather to match where the holes had to be to attach the suns and crescents. I measured the correct distances between where each piece needed to be attached, held the jig in the right spot, and used a leather punch to make the holes. The pieces fit in perfectly and I bent the tabs over on the back side of the belt to hold them in place. I used a ball-peen hammer to bend them over so they wouldn’t catch and snag my tunic.
The red color of this belt is actually a bit darker than these pictures appear to be.
So, what do you do when your Lady gives you a beautiful new cotehardie, hood, and shoes to wear to 12th Night, and all you have is an old brown leather belt? You make a new one of course. I chose to honor my knight, by making a new squires belt for myself to wear with this outfit. The metal plaques were another gift from my Lady and the suns and crescents were a Father’s Day gift from our daughters, Mirella and Molly.
I began this process by dying the leather red. The dye was applied with a piece of lamb’s wool. The belt appears brighter in the picture below than the actual color.
Stay tuned for part 2, the construction phase.