Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How to Build a Karate Belt Display Rack

Taking a Karate or martial arts lessons is hard work. Earning each belt takes dedication and determination. And I wanted to display all that hard work my son was doing. So I made a DIY belt holder for all his belts. It's a great way for him to see how far he's come.

My son has been taking Martial Arts lessons for a couple years. He started out doing Little Ninjas, which basically introduces them into Martial Arts. They earn belts and the top belt is the camo belt.

Now he is working towards becoming a black belt.

With all those belts, I needed a way to store them. 

I kept them in a grocery sack, but the kids would always get them out to play with. Then they would just end up in a pile, or strewn around the house. 

How to Build a Karate Belt Holder

This is a project that was not hard at all, but it took me a while to complete. Do you ever have projects like that? 
I cut out the main pieces before Christmas. They've been sitting in my pantry all that time. I finally got sick of it and built it. 

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Supplies Needed:
1 X 4
2 - 3/4" dowels
miter or chop saw
jig saw
drill with 3/4" bit
kreg jig pocket hole kit
wood glue

Cut List {for a standard 12 belt display}:

4 - 12" pieces cut from a 1x4
2 - 3/4" dowels cut to 21 1/2 " long

Note: Now that my son has earned all his belts, I have found out that the holder is just a bit too short to fit them all. I would increase the length of the dowels by 1 1/2 - 2 inches. 

{I actually used 1x3 firring strips for the pieces with the holes in them. DO NOT do that. Once the belts were wrapped around the dowels, the belts were too thick and it doesn't sit flush against the wall.}

Once your pieces are cut, drill 3/4 inch holes in two of the boards. Measure 1" from the end and center the  hole. 

On the other two boards, you'll want to make some kind of design. Using my silhouette, I cut out a bracket onto paper, then traced it onto the boards. Then using a jigsaw I cut them out. 

Assembling the belt display

Next using my kreg drill set, I made some pocket holes and screwed the two pieces together. You could also use a brad nailer to attach the pieces.

To assemble, place some wood glue on each end of the dowels and insert into the holes. Before the glue dries, measure to make sure it's the same distance between the shelves on both ends. Adjust as necessary. 

Stain or paint as desired.

Lastly, wrap the belts around the dowels. I used binder clips to attach the belt to itself in the back so it wouldn't unwind.

The best part about this project is that I used scraps and tools I had on hand. The only thing I needed to purchase was the dowels.  To buy a belt holder, you're looking at $30 or more. The cost of the wood is only a few dollars.

Now I need to make another for all his Little Ninja belts.

If you have kids in martial arts, one of the things they learn is how to break boards. It's pretty cool, and they come home with these broken boards. My son broke board below one right at the edge, so they used the same board and had him break it again. It made for a pretty cool display. Want to make your own? See the board breaking display tutorial

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  1. what a nice way to display and store all of his belts.

  2. You did great.
    My son took TaeKwonDo so I know what it's like to have all those belts laying around.

  3. This is a really good idea! I wish my mother would've thought of it when I took Tae Kwon Do when I was a kid, but she's not a crafter... I only have my black belt. The rest of my belts are somewhere in my parents' house. Wait! Maybe I should get them from my parents and then make my own belt holder for all my belts! :-) Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love this! I pinned it to make for my son, hope that's ok!

  5. Replies
    1. I pounded two nails in the wall and the top shelf hangs from them. You can kind of see in the first picture. Hope that helps.