You might have used Karate belts lying around your closet, which makes you wonder what to do with old Karate belts.
You can upcycle old Karate belts by crafting a Karate basket, a homemade rug, a stool seat, a memory quilt, and pillows, or make them a display in the living room. You can also do this with old Taekwondo belts.
Don’t throw those belts away. Make them into something useful instead. I’ve prepared a list of crafty upcycling ideas.
1. Craft a Karate basket
You can make a do-it-yourself basket made out of used Karate belts. In this project, you’ll need more than a dozen Karate belts and a sewing kit.
Any Karate belt will do; it doesn’t matter what Karate style it came from. You can use it if it’s still in good condition.
You’ll need to make an overlapping pattern with the belts to lock them up in one piece. The hardest thing to do is tidy up the edges of the basket’s rim.
To make the basket rim edges smooth, you’ll need a heavy-duty thread and needle; fold the excess edge part to the basket’s walls.
Getting the needle through two layers of a Karate belt is tricky, so be careful not to wound yourself.
You can turn this basket into extra storage for your unused belongings. If not, you can display it in your living room; it’ll be an eye-catcher for the guests.
2. Weave a Karate belt rug
Making a Karate belt rug is pretty much the same as making a belt basket. You need a dozen or more spare belts to make a large rug.
Before starting, it’s better to decide on your color pattern. It’ll add more beauty to the project you’ll make.
Prepare an extra cloth or fabric of the right size, which you need to tidy up the edges when you’re done weaving.
Like the basket, make an overlapping pattern to lock the belts onto each other. Add some shoe glue where the belts touch each other for a better hold.
After reaching your desired rug size, take the cloth or fabric you prepared earlier and sew it on the edge of the rug to make it look neat.
Putting this in the middle of your living room is an excellent way to flex that you’re a Karate family.
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3. Turn them into a stool seat
If your good old stool has its seat all torn up, why not replace it with Karate belts? A gun tucker, a hammer, nails, and Karate belts are all the things you need to make this project come to life.
First, make a seat base with the belts. Staple or nail them on the edge of the stool to keep them in place. Remember to align them in one distinct direction.
After that, you can now thicken the seat base to your desired comfort level. To thicken it, you’ll need to make an overlapping pattern just like in the basket and rug weaving project.
When you’re happy with your stool seat’s thickness, then it’s time to tuck the edges under to make the seat look neat.
The seat will give you a nice stretchy sitting cushion when used. Your kids will love this brightly-colored furniture.
If you’re learning Karate at home, you can put this near your training area and use it during your rest. An excellent way to bring up a Karate atmosphere at home.
4. Build a Karate belt display with woodworking
Suppose your Karate belts have a significant sentimental value. In that case, you might want to preserve them along with the memories and hardships that come with them.
Building a belt display is a great way to hang them to remember the achievement.
You need some wood of your choice, nails, and your Karate belts.
If not, try making a hanging cabinet that can hold your belts along with the awards you’ve achieved with it.
After making use of your wood, try painting it with classic varnish or a clear coating to improve its appearance. You can go a bit extra and slide in some Japanese characters to make it feel more authentic.
It’s best to showcase your Karate belt display in your living room to future guests. You can also put it in your room as a private collection.
5. Knit into a memory quilt
If you have a lot of extra unused t-shirts with your old Karate belts, why not make a quilt from them? You’ll use the belts as the border for the quilt. This makes a great bed sheet or a simple blanket during winter.
To do this, all you need is a sewing kit, sheer scissors, as many t-shirts as you want, and old Karate belts.
The first step is to cut the printed part of your t-shirts and sew them together in a pattern until you reach your desired size.
You can make any shape you want, depending on how you use it; rectangle for a blanket, square for a table mat, etc.
After sewing the shirt together, the final step is to use the Karate belts as a border. Before sewing them, it’s nice to put them in order to show your Karate belt progress.
6. Weave into memory pillows
If you want to make a pillow from a Karate belt, you’ll need a sewing kit, a piece of extra fabric, and a lot of Karate belts.
This is the same with the Karate rug’s material because, in this project, you’ll just do a back-to-back rug that’s filled with feathers, cotton, or extra cloth inside.
You first need to make the two sides of the pillow; it’s like making two rugs. After that, you’ll sew them together using the extra fabrics as borders.
Before sewing the final side of the pillow, be sure to put the inner filling first. Upon doing that, you can now close the pillow or sew a zipper to the side.
You can also make pillow covers if you don’t have any inner fillings to put in. Measure your favorite pillow and follow similar steps above without the inner filling.
Joe Bloom is the lead author and editor of MMA Hive. Joe has been a passionate mixed martial artist in training since 2019, having studied Boxing and Muay Thai at BaliMMA and Soma Fight Club, as well as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with RitualsJJ.