How to Alter a Leather Belt

by Eliza Martinez

Altering a leather belt creates a customized fit.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

Some articles of clothing come with a leather belt, which is sometimes too large, even if the garment fits. Altering the belt at home saves money on a tailor and allows you to get a custom fit. Shortening a leather belt may also be necessary if you've recently lost weight. Using leather-cutting tools for altering a belt helps you get a more precise cut. Such tools are available at some craft stores or fabric supply stores.

Items you will need

  • Tape measure, flexible cloth
  • Leather hole puncher
  • Leather shears
  • Pencil
  • Razor blade (optional)
  • Clothespin
Step 1

Measure the size of your waist and add 6 inches -- enough room to buckle the belt. Take your measurement where you want your belt to wrap around your body. For example, if you prefer a lower-riding belt on your hips, wrap the tape measure around your hips in that same lower area.

Step 2

Cut the leather belt to the desired length. Do this on the end that has the holes punched, to prevent having to remove the belt buckle. Use a pair of leather shears for an even and precise cut. If you prefer a patterned cut such as a curve, use a pencil to sketch the design on the inside of the belt and use leather shears or a razor blade to cut the end of the belt.

Step 3

Wrap the belt around your body and secure it in place with a clothespin. Use a pencil to mark where the new belt holes will go, spacing them the same distance apart as the existing holes. Punch the holes with a leather hole puncher to create a professional look that mimics those already punched into your belt.

Step 4

Try on the belt and make any adjustments necessary.


  • Many jewelry and fabric stores sell belt accessories you can add as embellishments. Choose one of these to attach to the end of your belt, which allows you to customize it and cover the cut you made when shortening the belt.

    Covering the holes in your belt with grommets makes it look professional and preserves the quality of the holes with use. Look for them at jewelry or fabric supply stores.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images

About the Author

Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.