Custom needlepoint belts or “life belts” are quite popular and a great gift. Those who want to buy or gift a custom belt need to decide whether to do stitch it or contract a company like Good Threads to stitch it. Giving someone a belt you stitched yourself is, of course, special and personal. It is also more expensive than buying a custom belt from us. People will generally pay about 100 USD for a painted canvas that they can stitch. They will then pay another 25-50 USD for the thread and other materials. The belt will then take 30-60 hours to stitch before it has to be sent off to a finisher, who will charge anywhere from 85-200 USD to finish the belt. So in total you are looking at 300+ USD and 40-60 hours of your time to make a belt yourself.
If you are not going to stitch your own custom needlepoint belt or life belt and still want a belt like that, you can contract a company like Good Threads to make the custom belt for you. Our pricing varies based on size and just how complicated the design is, but for a standard life belt with 5-12 images we charge 200 USD. You still have to spend some time compiling the images that you want stitched, but that is about 10-30 minutes of work, as opposed to the 40-60 hours it takes to stitch the belt yourself.
If you enjoy the process of doing needlepoint and want to give someone a hand stitched belt, then by all means get the supplies and make that great gift. Needlepointing can be therapeutic, and we certainly understand that it is a fulfilling craft that many do because they enjoy the process, not just because they want a belt. However, if you just want a life belt and are indifferent to stitching it, then we recommend working with us. It will take less time, be significantly cheaper, will employ a woman for a week and feed a child for two weeks, everybody wins!