Time to put that New Years resolution to lose weight to the test. Make your own diet belt  to track the inches you lose through dieting (or the inches you add through breaking that diet). For better or for worse this belt will tell you how your circumference is changing, the nylon belt won’t stretch like leather so you won’t need to worry about your measurements becoming inaccurate over time. Best of all, if you don’t want to broadcast your width to the world you can flip it the belt around and your measurements are private!

But, hey; maybe you don’t care about your waistline. Maybe you just need to measure stuff and don’t want a folded-up Ikea measuring tape in your wallet all the time. For all your measurement needs, the diet belt has you covered.

Project estimate:

  • Sewing machine, on hand
  • Clear thread, on hand or $1 and up
  • Solid-face, trim-style belt buckle, about $5
  • Fabric measuring tape, $1
  • Fabric for belt, on hand or $1 and up
Total: about $6 and up
This project involves cutting metal, wear appropriate safety gear and work within your experience.

I didn’t like the fabric my belt came with, so I used a wide, flat strip of black nylon instead. The fabric measuring tape was sewn onto my belt fabric using a transparent thread. I sewed my measuring tape with plenty of extra belt fabric on either end, then trimmed the ‘zero’ end with a straight cut and the end of the measuring tape with a tapered cut, just like a real belt.
My trim-style belt buckle had a simple, solid face. An opening needs to be created in the face to expose the measurement belt that will run underneath. Using a straight edge and a marker I sketched a simple design on the face that would work as in measurement indicator. Using a metal cutting wheel on a rotary tool the buckle face was cut along the sketch lines, then the sharp edges of the cut were smoothed.
All that’s left is to insert the measuring tape and fabric belt into the buckle and you’re ready to keep track of your waistline!
Remember, this belt is reversible, so you don’t have to advertise your dimensions to everyone if you don’t want to. Also, you can be the only person outside of a carpenter that always carries around a tape measure. Perfect  for all the times you need to make quick measurements on the fly.
Have fun!