Tuesday

Recycled Leather Belt Flooring


Oh, yes. This has DIY written all over it, and at $600 for the round example above, it had better. Now, which one of you is going to tell me the best way to make old belts into a rug? Speak up leather people!

via Dornob

25 comments:

  1. I started collecting/searching for old belt starting last year to do this. There are two ways I am considering:
    1. stitching the belts together every 6-10 inchs with 2-3 stitches that look like this =

    2. using leather glue to glue the belts to a felt or web underlayer base and then cut the shape of the area rug.

    I am leaning towards #2 and I am about half way in my belt collecting, I am being pretty picky, my best finds have been at yard sales.

    The problem I am having is figuring out how to get the belts flat and straight, use belts slightly curve up and the leather near the ends are wrinkled...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd weave one, which would give you a different result and require more belts. To replicate that, I'd have to follow Kate's advice and glue the belts to a backing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the input, y'all. Kate - your solution #2 is what I was thinking of. On the same site there are also tiles made out of belts, using shorter lengths. This may help with the curvature problem a little.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You may be able to steam them into shape kinda like one does wood when wanting a certain shape.. steam and press..

    ReplyDelete
  5. Renee - Interesting. Have you done this before?

    ReplyDelete
  6. From the vendor website: "Recycled vintage leather belts mounted on a backing of reconstituted leather using water-based glue"

    ReplyDelete
  7. You can see in the photo that the belts are not perfectly straight. I would not try to get rid of this element because I dig wabi-sabi.

    Getting the rug to lay flat would be the problem. Ting(the maker) says they use a backing of reconstituted leather with water based glue. The backing would have to be stiff and heavy enough and the glue strong enough to keep the rug flat. If your backing is not heavy enough, the rug would probably still curl up in spots.

    I am thinking a heavy pond liner or shower liner would be a good backing. Something heavy yet still supple under the foot. I would glue everything, throw a piece of plywood on top and then place some weights on top and let the glue dry. Hopefully it would lay flat.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Minimize the picture and it looks like Jupiter. It just needs the big red spot.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That rug is just gorgeous. I learned that our grandmothers made rugs out of old nylons, which had its charms, but the leather is hawt. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Leather can be retreated with the addition of oils. I don't remember what kind though. I was looking at restoring an old backpack and some leather guru said the only time one would oil their leather is if one were trying to get it malleable again. Hope that helps

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for the leather tips everyone! Now I need to collect some belts. I'll keep you updated.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ohhh! It would be amazing to refinish an old table with those as the top!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Penny - ooh. Yes it would. Please do that and send me pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm working on a floor mat now, a rectangular door mat to start (to make things easier). I cheated and found a discount store with leather belts for $2.25 each (on sale). I went with all black, various styles (dress, "rough," tooled, etc.). Since they're new, they aren't curved and will lay flat (like I said, cheating). I'd like to work out the kinks on this and work up to a true, and more interesting, recycled project. I cut the belts last night and blackened the edges, then laid them out upside-down, and used small pieces of gaffer tape (like duct tape, but better) to hold the belts together nice and straight. Then, using spray adhesive ("strong stuff" for you Blues Brothers fans out there) I applied cheap rubber matting from the dollar store, the stuff you might use to line your kitchen cabinet shelves. I used books to weigh the whole thing down while it dried and can't wait to get home tonight to see how it turned out.

    Any suggestions about protecting the leather surface (other than the usual leather protectant sprays) would be appreciated. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My other idea is to buy some of those cheap, vinyl, self-adhesive floor tiles and glue the belt strips to the tops of those to make leather floor tiles. Then you'd have the adhesive sticky back to actually lay them in place. Of course, you could just stick the belts directly to the sticky side of the floor tiles if you wanted something reversible!

    ReplyDelete
  16. What interesting comments and contribution from you all. A question- how do you finish off the edges. Madnusbaum said "Blackened the edges," how do you do this? Julie

    ReplyDelete
  17. Matt, who just finished a project with belts, used a sharpie.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've seen these belts from a bunch of companies -- cheapest ones were @ ecodomo (i think its ecodomo.com -- check for phoenix collection) and they're pretty neat! i would recommend contacting the company to ask how they do it, or ask for a sample or something

    ReplyDelete
  19. You've a great idea. And this can totally fool me. First I thought it's wooden floor!!! :D Your rug has a wonderful color.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I've seen this before, it's actually really cool. It reminds me of painted wood (with a few extra holes in it). I'm sure people pay big money for used belt floors. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have started making these rugs as a sideline business. I have both tiled and "full" belt versions. If you have any questions about making them or if you are interested in purchasing one just send me a link through my website.

    I have one 2 for sale on ebay right now.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180595226327&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT#ht_3416wt_1139
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  22. What about using the belts in a room instead of hardwood flooring? Yeah, I know it would require LOTS of belts but what an awesome floor! Could I just glue them to my concrete subfloor? Or glue them to a backing material and then the whole floor would float like laying laminate. Thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Diane -- I wouldn't do anything that permanent. If a belt were damaged, there'd be no easy way to replace it. That's what's so good about the rug, and madnusbaum's idea of using floor tiles.

    ReplyDelete
  24. There's a "heat bond carpet seaming tape." It seems like that would be the perfect thing to use here. Strong,flexable,iron on. Lowes and Home Depot carry it for about $11 a roll.




    ReplyDelete
  25. I've thought about creating flooring myself. I think it could work. If you have full grain leather belts they would last a lifetime. Cheaper leather belts (Bonded and Genuine leather) would wear out but they could be individually chiseled up and replaced without a great deal of difficulty.

    ReplyDelete