Hey what’s up everyone, welcome to this WrestleToys How To post. In this post I will be explaining how to make Felt championship belts for wrestling figures. Whether you are making custom championship belts for your action figure federation, or you are making historic belts, this guide will help you out. These are a step up from Paper belts, and the middle ground before Pleather belts (which I will tackle later). Of course, there are always generic wrestling belts on Amazon.
Custom Belt for Wrestling Action Figures Tutorial
Here is a list of items you will need.
For the Purpose of making things easier to see, I will be using different colors of felt, velcro and staples. The Belt I am using is the WrestleToys Federation (WTF) Championship Belt, which I made up so that there aren’t any copyright issues with the belts.
- Belt Image file. I have found that a good size is 12cm x 3cm. There is an excellent custom belt thread that you can find images on at the WrestlingFigs forums.
- Photo Belt Print Outs (Print these at home with HP Photo Paper and Spray or laminate with Xyron – or – Print them out at Walgreens)
- Peel & Stick Felt – I use the TreeHouse brand from Hobby Lobby I use the regular stuff, Not the Stiffened, and Not the Soft. Some people use foam, but that tears way too easily. The TreeHouse Felt actually has some resistance to it. There are a ton of different color and pattern options, so just choose the right color for the belt you are making. I usually stick to Black or White.
- Non-Stick Scissors (Yes, Non-Stick scissors. Regular scissors will get all gunked up with the adhesive from the Felt. If you use regular scissors, use Goo Gone to clean the stuff that sticks to the scissors)
- Black Sharpie (Chisel Tip works best)
- Toe Nail Clippers (for tight corners or rounded edges)
- Stapler (and Black Staples, or Sharpie the Staples Black) Do I need the stapler? No, but it is highly recommended.
- Self Adhesive Velcro (the .99 stuff from WalMart will work)
Alright, you got your supplies and now you are ready to make some belts! Like mentioned above you can get your images from WrestlingFigs or make your own images. Get these printed out at Walgreens, or print them at home with your own printer. If you print them at home you will need to either laminate them or seal them with an acrylic sealant spray. If you skip the laminating or sealing, your belts will smear and your ink will run as soon as you get water (or sweat!) on to them. If you print them at Walgreens, they already have a glossy coat on them, so you shouldn’t have any issues if they get a little wet.
(No method is waterproof, but I know hands can get sweaty especially if you are trying to pose the belt and figure for an action shot or frame by frame animation)
OK, you have your print outs ready to go, what now?
Cut out the the belt from the 4×6 photo you printed it on. Don’t cut close to the belt, just cut out the ‘strip’ that the belt is on.
After you cut it out, place the strip on your felt as a guide and cut the same shape out of the felt.
Congratulations, you now have a Paper Belt and a piece of felt to match. Now it is time to put those together so that your title doesn’t rip in half the first time you stick it on your favorite wrestling figure.
DON’T DO IT YET! First measure out where where the velcro connectors are going to go. The reason you are doing this is because you need the paper to remain in the spots where the velcro will be at. This is important so that you don’t get stuck with Staples stabbing you or scratching your figure. When you are first starting out, it helps to mark where your cut points will be, as seen in the photo below.
With those marks in place, Cut out the center strip. Do this by folding up one edge at a time and cutting at the line, then putting the edge back on the sticky part. You should end up with 3 pieces – remove the middle strip.
With that middle piece gone (see above), you can now place your belt on the sticky part. Start at one edge and smooth it out as you are placing it on to the sticky part. If you do it crooked, you might mess up the print out or cover up all the stickiness.
Your belt should looks something like the photos above and below. Stuck on by the center medallion, and with the sides able to be separated. Place the belt to the side and grap your velcro.
Now it is time to cut your velcro. The Width of the velcro should be good from the package. You just need to cut the length down to size. The way I measure it is about 5 velcro “Lines” into the strip, or 4 if making a thinner belt for female wrestlers. Naturally, use the connecter part to do your measuring and the felt looking part can be cut just by comparison.
Place the lined (or clasp part) on the front left side of the belt. This side is cosmetically better, and makes sense being on the front of the belt. If you put the other part on, you will have a nice looking printed belt with fuzz on the front. Not good.
Place the other (fuzzy or loop) part on the other side of the belt When looking at it from the front, it will be on the right rear. If your belt is facing away from you, it goes on the left. It will pretty much be the exact opposite of the other velcro piece (front left and rear right).
Time to staple the Velcro in place. This is why we left those pieces of paper on the sticky part, they will help cover up the sharp points of the staples. This also makes it look better. Anyhoo, staple the Velcro pieces. The fact that we Sharpied our staples black will help them blend into the velcro/belt also (for black belts). Black Belt, Black velcro, black staples.(Remember, I am using all different colors in the pictures to make it easy to see everything). But do I Need to staple them? No, but I highly recommend it. The staple is an added security to hold the velcro in place as well as help it come apart. Without it, the velcro would be hard to tear apart and it will rip off the belt and ruin it.
At this point, tear off the paper pieces and smooth down the front of the belt to the sticky side. Use extra pressure on the stapled portion to make sure they get really into the adhesive.
Your wrestling strap should look something like the pictures above and below. If you didn’t smooth out the picture side to the sticky side correctly, or it is misaligned a little bit, use your scissors or nail clippers to simply cut off the misalignment. Whenever this happens to me, it is usually the sticky part that is on wrong, so I just cut it off and move on.
So now your custom made belt looks pretty cool…aside from the fact that it has a white border going all around it from the photo paper. That is a simple fix that not a lot of people take the time to take care of. Using your Sharpie, color in all around the belt. This will help make it look completely authentic and great for your display or action photos!
Completed belt below. If you have any parts that you missed, (like under my S below), just run your sharpie over it and you are all set! Pretty neat, right?
Here we have a Justin Gabriel figure modeling the hand made WrestleToys Federation Championship belt for us.
View from Behind, see how the staples are covered?
Tag your custom belts with #WrestleToys so we can check them out, or share them in the comments below! Thank you very much for stopping by, and I will see you next time when we do some pleather belts.