Because Superhero’s Need Doodads Around Their Waist
I’ve seen so many cute DIY Superhero costuming tutorials online, especially since there has been a recent resurgence of comic book movies. It is now totally cool to be a comic hero nerd. This is great news for our family because we are comic loving folks! There is a reason my “blog-names” for my husband & son are Superman & Wonder Boy! Sadly though, most play dress-up sets I see include a mask and a cape and maybe even wrist bands but that’s about it.
Like this super cute set from Feelincrafty
So, where is the love for the utility belt?! This is a seriously overlooked and under-appreciated article of superhero awesome! In my opinion, the utility belt is the one super item that instantly transforms the whole look of a costume or outfit from so-so to super-tastic. It’s the best accessory ever! And if you make it generic it will go with soooo many different costumes! Wonder Boy has a yellow utility belt, which he wears as Superman, Batman, Robin, Aquaman, and Hawkman… even Flash has a yellow belt even though his is really different it could still work – could even work for Green Arrow even though his is actually very light green. And female heroes: Wonder Woman, Batgirl and Supergirl all have yellow utility belts too – and I am sure there are way more! Don’t even get me listing the characters with black belts! My point is, make one! They go with everything and will expand your dress-up box and polish off all of your kiddo’s superhero costumes with just one easy project.
So today I am going to explain how to construct your very own Super Hero Utility Belt. Wonder Boy’s is fashioned mostly after the Superman/Batman/Robin style compartmentalized utility belts. You can easily follow the same basic construction, with different shapes or placement of the “pouches” and “buckle” and change the look of the belt entirely.
Skill Level: Beginner
- basic sewing
- 2 sheets Yellow or Black craft felt
- Yellow or Black cotton material [about 2″x40″]
- circular 2″-3″ diameter tracing object [like a jar lid]
- BOTH Yellow & Black embroidery floss [BOTH, no matter what color belt]
- sharp sewing needle of your choice
- sewing machine [optional, can do all by hand if preferred] & thread
- scissors duh
Step 1: The Tie Strip
- Cut a length of cotton material that is approximately 2×40″ [longer if needed]
- Tri-fold the strip lengthwise: fold one side 3/4 of the way in, then iron, fold the other side in so the raw-edge is about in the middle of the strip. You should have a strip that is an inch or so wide, with the raw edge of the cotton showing on one side.
- Fold the ends up into themselves 1/4″ – or just fold them over if you don’t mind an unfinished seam
- Zig-zag stitch down the middle of the entire length of the strip. The unfinished cotton edge should wind up in the middle with the folding, so zig-zag over that edge to keep it from fraying. I like to use contrasting thread for pop but you can do whatever.
Step 2: Prepare the Felt
- Cut 2 rectangular belt pieces: Cut the strips to your preferred size for your belt. Wonder Boy’s is 1.75″ wide, 1″ would probably be too thin to hide the cotton tie strap, so anywhere from 1.5-2″ would work. Just use the size of the felt sheet for the length, it will be either 12″ or 11″ depending on brand.
- Cut 4 rectangles for the “pouches” – size is up to you, but make sure they are larger than the belt piece, see the diagram.
- Cut where you see the dotted lines on the felt rectangle inset on the diagram [to the left of the big writing.] You are making 2 little cuts that will allow you to thread the “pouch” through the belt piece.
- Cut 2 circles for the “buckle” – use a circular tracing object like a lid to cut out circles that are larger than the belt.
Step 3: Construct the Belt
- Thread on the 4 “pouch” pieces to the belt piece, 2 on each side. Lay the circle “buckle” on the center so that you can get the spacing correct.
- Using contrasting embroidery floss [I use 4 strands], stitch the sides of each “pouch” to the belt piece. Look at the picture or diagrams for reference.
- Lay one of your circles BEHIND the belt piece, center it, and then put a couple of stay stitches in the very center so that the BACK piece of the “buckle” is secured to the belt piece.
- Lay the other circle onto the FRONT of the belt piece, so that it lines up with the back piece you just secured. Using contrasting floss, stitch around the outside of the buckle. [TIP: Hide your start and stop stitches near the center so that they will be covered up when we add the back belt piece]
- If you are NOT making this generic, you can stitch a letter or symbol onto the “buckle” piece before sewing the front and back “buckle” pieces together.
Step 4: Sew It All Together
- Lay all the pieces together like this: The leftover belt piece on bottom; then lay the long tie strip across the belt centered so that the middle of the strip is in the middle of the belt piece, then lay the belt front on top making sure the everything is squared up.
- With same-color thread, securely stitch all of this together with two lines of stitching all the way across [skip over where the “pouches” and “buckle” are, just stitch the belt pieces]
- Make VERY sure that you are catching the cotton tie strip with your needle with every stitch, sandwiching it between the two felt belt pieces.