Money belts are the perfect way to store extra cash while traveling or just while relaxing at home. No one knows when a crime can happen but you don’t have to lose it all, should that happen to you. Money belts are very easy to make from belts you already have.
You will, of course, need a zipper and the zipper can be as long or as short as you wish. The longer the zipper, however, the more cash you can hide. Since there won’t be much room between the zipper and the belt it’s best to use a long zipper that will allow storage of more bills.
To make the belt you’ll need fabric glue, sewing machine, and very thin fabric. The material you choose should be basically the same color as the belt. It should also be extremely lightweight and, ideally, have a little stretch to it. Using a material that is extremely stretchy will probably give you trouble when it comes time to affixing the zipper pouch to the belt so look for fabrics that have only a little “give” to them.
You will only need a small piece of fabric for this project so ask for the smallest they’ll cut – usually an eighth of a yard. Choose a zipper that matches well with the color of the fabric and the color of the belt. Nylon zippers work best since they aren’t quite as bulky as some metallic zippers.
Measure the width of the belt. Choose a zipper that will easily be hidden by the belt. Cut a fabric piece that is the exact width of the belt. The length of the fabric piece should be a couple of inches longer than the zipper itself.
Hem both side edges of the fabric piece. Split the fabric piece down the center, lengthways, leaving an inch at the end, where the two pieces stay in tact. Use sewing machine to stitch the fabric to the zipper. Sew across the width of the zipper, at each end, to prevent the zipper pull from going under the fabric.
Turn the zipper with fabric right side down, where the zipper pull is facing the flat surface on which you’re working. Use a thin line of fabric glue on all four sides of the zipper, making sure the glue is not thick enough to ooze out but thick enough to hold the thin fabric to the belt.
Align the glued zipper piece inside the belt, immediately wiping away any oozing glue from the sides. Smooth down well on all four sides. Allow to dry for at least 24 hours. Check the zipper pocket to make sure there are no openings where the glue did not grab. If there are, place a small amount of fabric glue onto a toothpick and insert it between zipper fabric and belt. Allow to dry another 24 hours.
You can also sew the zipper part into the belt, if you have a machine that can handle the thickness of the belt, but you’ll have to retrace the original stitches at the edges of the belt. By doing this it may be obvious that the stitches have been sewn over, particularly if you don’t have a perfect match on the thread. Do not sew across the width of the belt which will definitely be noticed.
To use the zipper pocket you must fold the bills lengthways. The pocket will hold several bills folded in this manner. The secret zipper pocket can also be made for things like coats. Make a slit in a coat hem, assemble the zipper and fabric piece, then install it into the slit. There are many other items that can hold the secret zipper pocket such as a purse or pants cuff.