DIY: Color Changing Belts!

| October 26, 2011 | 1 Comment

I’ve been meaning to post this for a few weeks now, but we all know how time flies during the marching season!

This year’s DIY project was a color changing belt. Our theme is “True Colors,” so we wanted the guard uniform change in some way to reflect the color song that was being played. We figured bigger costume changes require more time off the field during the show, so we went minimalistic and decided that belts were a subtle, effective, and quick change. Not being able to find something to fit our needs (not surprising), the decision was made to make them ourselves. And by ourselves, I mean have a wonderful, dedicated, willing band parent assemble them (THANK YOU!).

The belts needed to be one piece, three colors.

The belt needed to have three colors (blue, green, red), be changeable in approximately 10 seconds, and NOT be multiple pieces to be left all over the field. The photo to the right shows what we came up with.

Basically, each ribbon end had a clasp on it that attached to a ring. There was a “hinge” sewn in the middle of the belt that allows for the guard to unclip a ribbon from the right, swing it behind their back, and clip it on the left side. Since we started with blue and went to green, half the blue ribbon stood alone (top right of the photo) and half the blue ribbon was sewn to the green (bottom right). Green went red, so the other half of the green was sewn to the red (bottom left), and the other half of red was alone (top left). Some of each previous color shows after each change, but the effect is still there. Since it’s hard to explain what the belt does, here’s a video of how it works:

Materials for this project: (based on 11 belts)

65 yards of 3-inch ribbon in red, blue, and green – $110 (1066 Trimmings)
13 1.25″ nickel rings (1 per belt) – $21 (
50 Swivel clip clasps (each belt has 4) -$23 (eBay)
Total Cost: $154 (or $14 per student)

And there you have it! This wasn’t exactly a step-by-step, so please post any questions you may have in the comments regarding the actual construction.

Thank you to Amanda Gilanyi Baker for sharing this article with the Color Guard Educators community.  It was originally published on her blog “One more time, I promise! … Now do it again” and reposted here with her permission.

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Category: "DIY", Costumes, Design, General

About the Author (Author Profile)

Amanda Baker has been instructing outdoor color guard at Lenape High School in Medford, NJ since 2003. Visit her blog “One more time, I promise! … Now do it again” at

Comments (1)

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  1. Amanda – I love this idea! What a creative approach to this challenge and the video really made the concept come to life. I have used changes in sash color before – but they always required a trip to the sidelines to discard the old color. THIS IS GREAT!!! I could totally see this concept extended to a longer skirt type of wrap too. Great job!

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