DIY Leather Yoga Mat Strap

DIY Leather Yoga Mat Strap

I am SUPER excited about this DIY because it’s something I’m actually going to use regularly, and it took so little time to make. My new job has yoga classes every Monday, and I bike to work most days, so this yoga strap is the perfect hands-free way for carrying my mat with me!

I also love love LOVE that this is truly an “upcycle” project. Because I love our planet so much, and copious waste makes me sad, I try hard to reduce, reuse, recycle (in that order) - so making this out of two discarded belts means I am reducing my personal consumption and environmental footprint. This is now my second DIY repurposing belts: the first was my hanging belt shelf.

Fellow yogis, keep on reading for how to make this super cute (and practical) yoga mat strap!

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Time: 15 minutes
Cost: <$10 depending on cost of belts

What you will need
- Two (p)leather belts, about the same width
- Scissors
- Ruler
- Sharpie marker
- Black embroidery floss/string
- Needle with a big eye (that your floss/string fits through)
- Leather punch, drill, or a hammer and thick nail

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Instructions

Let’s name the two belts: Belt #1 and Belt #2. Basically, you’re going to connect the belts into one long strap (putting one end of Belt #1 into the buckle of Belt #2) and form adjustable loops on the two ends. In order to do that, we need to remove the buckle from one end (the buckle of Belt #1).

  1. Connect the two belts - put the end of Belt #1 into the buckle of Belt #2. 
  2. Remove the buckle from Belt #1 by cutting the threads that attach it. The buckle is probably attached to a sewn loop or fold. Take your scissors and from the side of the belt, cut the threads that hold together the leather, detaching the loop/fold. Remove the buckle. Voila! You should have two, buckle-free ends.
  3. Let’s make the loop at the end of Belt #2 first. Make a mark at the end of Belt #1 where you will need to make your hole. Fold the end over the strap (see above picture), flip it around, and mark with your sharpie where the hole will need to go. It should be about 0.5" from the very tip of the strap.
  4. Punch holes where you made the two marks with a drill or hammer & nail. If using a drill, a 1/4” bit should do. If using a hammer and nail like I did, get the thickest nail you can find. Either way, just line up your drill/nail to the marks you made, and make sure to have something behind the belt strap when you’re hammering or drilling so you don’t actually nail your belt to the floor or table or whatever surface you’re working on!
  5. To create the loop, fold the end over a higher part of Belt #1, line up the two holes, and sew them together. 
    1. Thread your string/floss through your needle (you don’t need to tie the ends together, just pull the thread through enough to stay in the needle).
    2. Go through the two holes once, and tie the string to itself to secure it. Leave about an inch of thread at the end of your knot.
    3. Then continue threading, in a figure eight fashion (alternating sides) until it feels secure, and then tie it to the inch of thread you left from the first knot you made. I stitched each side about three times, going through the holes a total of six times. One side done!
  6. Now time to make the loop on Belt #1! With your Sharpie, make two marks on your Belt #1. You can follow the same method in #3 and just make marks based on where the fold happens, or you can measure it with your ruler. If measuring, the first mark is about 0.5” from the end of the strap, and the other about 3x the width of your belt from the first mark. Confused? Let’s break it down:
    1. Make the first mark 0.5” from the end of the strap. 
    2. Measure the width of Belt #1, multiply by 3, and measure that distance from the first mark. My belt width was 1.25 inches, so I measured 3.75 from the first mark, and made a second mark.
  7. Punch holes in Belt #1 by repeating step #4.
  8. Now, create the second loop by repeating step #5 on this side. 

You’re done! You can adjust which hole the belt buckle in the middle is on if you want to adjust the length, but otherwise, roll up your yoga mat and adjust the loops to fit it. Happy downward dogging and Namaste!

Finished
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