belt, buttons, DIY, flat back pearls, seashell buttons, stars, vintage -

Embellishing a Belt

Flushed with the success of reviving my grandmother's old bead bag, I decided it was time I started on something else. I wanted it to be something I could use every day and as I began to look around the room for the best possible item, my eyes fell upon my well-worn Levi's scout belt.

Apart from casual outings, this belt has been a faithful and useful follower on many a backpacking trip. It was time to repay it for years of service ;) Now, how should I do it? Somehow, like the old bead bag, putting the bling on it did not appeal to me. Call me sentimental, but I wanted the belt to represent the feeling I get whenever I'm about to embark on a trip to a new country. I closed my eyes to better remember the feeling. Then it hit me. The heavenly feeling of being alive with a new adventure ahead, the dreamy sight of millions of twinkling lights from the city you're about to land in, the magic of exploring a new place...culture...season... No doubt about it, I was going to decorate my belt with stars... In the beginning, I tried on some seashell buttons, like so. 

But it wasn't enough. The belt deserved more. A little more sparkle and shine perhaps without over bedazzling it. This was when I thought of adding some shiny beads. I chose brown and white beaded pearl stars to suit the earthy colour of the belt. The next decision was the design. I played around with the arrangement, using the different coloured beads. Sometimes opting for more of one colour to go between or around the seashell buttons. Sometimes totally excluding a particular colour.

Several variations later, it dawned on me that I did not want the design to be so ordered and rigid. After all, I never followed a strict regime during my travels. It was more fun, flexible, free and easy. That would have to be how the belt was decorated as well. Thus, instead of lining the stars in a particular pattern, I elected to place them in tiny irregular groups along the belt. I tried out how it would look, and not only was it pleasing to the eye, it suited the soul of the theme.

However, I still wanted it to look nice and unfrivolous, so I followed calculated intervals, taking care to measure where the buckle would attach when I put the belt on. I left a bigger gap there, in case I lost or (shudder) gained weight.

Satisfied with the design, I completed sewing on the seashell star buttons and used the E6000 glue to stick on the beaded pearl stars. And my belt was completed.

I was ecstatic! It felt like I had bought a brand new belt. Not wasting another minute, I put it on and the gap for the buckle was perfect. I've been wearing it ever since...with my jeans..cargo pants..shorts..skirts, and received some nice compliments from family and friends. I'm looking forward to my next holiday. We haven't decided yet where it would be...but if you happen to see a girl with a brown star spangled scout belt in your part of the world...that would be me :)

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