Belt it Out

Buckle up and prepare to steer your wardrobe in a fun direction. These glass belt buckles from Kiku Handmade can add a jolt of color and style to any outfit. They’re the handiwork of Laurie Freivogel, who etches her designs into glass, colors them, then fuses the pieces together in a kiln she fires up in her home studio. Laurie taught herself how to fuse glass after getting inspired by the beautiful glass work she saw at an indie craft fair in 2004. Our favorite buckles include a graphic red bike on a blue background and an orange Mehndi pattern on lavender. The black and white camera lens has a vintage, hipster vibe, and the yarn buckle beckons to that DIYer in all of us. Laurie has a keen eye for color and a restrained approach to design that keep these buckles modern and chic, never overwrought. It’s just the thing for transforming your favorite jeans and T-shirt into a hip outfit, or, in the spirit of the season, making you the best gift-giver around.

Kiku

Fused Glass Belt Buckles

Belt it Out

Buckle up and prepare to steer your wardrobe in a fun direction. These glass belt buckles from Kiku Handmade can add a jolt of color and style to any outfit. They’re the handiwork of Laurie Freivogel, who etches her designs into glass, colors them, then fuses the pieces together in a kiln she fires up in her home studio. Laurie taught herself how to fuse glass after getting inspired by the beautiful glass work she saw at an indie craft fair in 2004. Our favorite buckles include a graphic red bike on a blue background and an orange Mehndi pattern on lavender. The black and white camera lens has a vintage, hipster vibe, and the yarn buckle beckons to that DIYer in all of us. Laurie has a keen eye for color and a restrained approach to design that keep these buckles modern and chic, never overwrought. It’s just the thing for transforming your favorite jeans and T-shirt into a hip outfit, or, in the spirit of the season, making you the best gift-giver around.
Handcrafted
Made in the USA
Underrepresented Entrepreneur

Grommet Launch Conversation

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Laurie
    Laurie

    My name is Laurie Freivogel and I'm super excited to be today's Grommet! My little company (just l'il ole me), Kiku Handmade, is located in my basement studio in Oak Park, IL just outside Chicago. While I have been creating ever since I was very small (remember latch-hook rugs?), I started fusing glass in 2004. I quit my "real" job in 2001 when my second child was born, but by the time she was two I was going crazy with both an art background and nothing to do or make. In March of 2004, my friend took me to an indie-craft fair and I was so inspired by the beautiful work I saw that I went and bought a kiln and taught myself how to fuse glass. I love glass - it has so many possibilities and directions one can take it. Over time, with a lot of research and experimentation, I've developed my own unique style incorporating my silkscreening background and emphasizing color, simplicity and design.

    So what do I make? I started off with jewelry and one day had a brain storm to make buckles. They are far and away my biggest seller, and I love coming up with new designs (one of which is featured today - mehndi). I, personally, tend to dress very simply but love to accessorize and find that a smashing buckle does the trick every time.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/10/2009 12:00 PM

    Laurie forwarded a picture of the cute package these belts and buckles come in. The top box is if you purchase the buckle alone. And of course each is wrapped to ensure it has a safe journey to your home.

  • Emily
    Emily
    12/10/2009 12:16 PM

    I am in love with these buckles! Awesome hip designs for both me and my guy. Sure to make a statement every time we wear one! :)

  • Laurie
    Laurie – Special Guest
    12/10/2009 12:19 PM

    Well thanks Emily! And good afternoon everyone, hope you're all warm, it's frigid here in Chicago. Glad my kilns keep my studio warm...

  • Angela V
    Angela V
    12/10/2009 12:32 PM

    Laurie's glasswork is GORGEOUS. I've bought earrings, necklaces, coasters, platters, .... I'm never disappointed!

  • Melissa
    Melissa
    12/10/2009 12:34 PM

    These are gorgeous!!! What a nifty gift idea. Love seeing how they are made.

  • Laurie
    Laurie – Special Guest
    12/10/2009 1:05 PM

    I just wanted to add some details about the belts. I don't make them myself, but they are handcrafted right here in Illinois. As far as sizing, the 32" belt fits sizes from 29-33", the 36" fits sizes from 33-37" and the 40" fits sizes from 37-41".

    You do need a snap belt for these buckles - many belts are fitted with snaps, but if you have a belt that you love that doesn't have snaps, you can take it to a cobbler and have him/her put snaps on it for around $5.

  • evan
    evan
    12/10/2009 1:22 PM

    love love love these. i get comments one mine whenever i wear it, which is all the time. with jeans and a t-shirt or a simple skirt and cashmere hoodie. goes with everything.

  • Robin Luke
    Robin Luke
    12/10/2009 1:42 PM

    I own 3 of Laurie's buckles and can't say how much I love them. Everytime I wear one I get a lot of compliments. I have 2 skull(1 red and one frosted/etched glass)and one dandelion(when I am feeling fun). The only thing I don't like is: having to decide which one to wear. Believe me when I say, sometimes I plan what I am wearing around the buckle. These buckles are beyond cool and ordinary.

  • Laurie
    Laurie – Special Guest
    12/10/2009 1:46 PM

    Thanks so much everyone. The top question I get about my buckle is "how durable are they?". They are 1/4" thick (by about 2 1/4" tall and 3 1/3" wide), which makes them pretty sturdy. The designs are made of glass and fused, so there is no worry of them wearing off. I would advise not to drop them, but a fall to a carpeted or even wood floor probably won't hurt them - I've even dropped them on concrete (I'm fumble fingered) and had them survive, but I wouldn't recommend it.

  • JenQ
    JenQ
    12/10/2009 1:51 PM

    One of a kind, unique, special gifts. Sometimes I buy something from Kiku

    just for me!

  • christine rosa
    christine rosa
    12/10/2009 1:56 PM

    Laurie's designs will surely kick any outfit up a notch. Her pieces feature gorgeous designs and an equally stunning color palette. You can justify buying yourself one by buying another for a loved one. :)

  • Zan
    Zan
    12/10/2009 2:40 PM

    These buckles make the perfect gift item. I gave one to my sister (the ball of yarn) who knits and crochets. Ordering and shipping was hassle-free and she LOVES it! I own several of her pieces and the craftsmanship is awesome.

  • Jim
    Jim
    12/10/2009 7:57 PM

    Bought the fused-glass coaster set -- each a different bicycle. Tasty.

  • Kimber
    Kimber
    7/21/2010 11:04 PM

    Hey Laurie, these are the coolest belt buckles I've ever seen. I'm just curious how do you attach the buckle to the belt? And, is there a class I can take to learn how to fuse glass together? Where can I get that info from? I'd like to start making my own glass pendants. I make and design jewerly, but I think I'm leaning more toward making the actual beads now. Feel free to visit my website at www.staceykdesigns.com. Thanks for the info and keep up the amazing work!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    7/21/2010 11:33 PM

    @Kimber - these belts are snap belts that will snap around the buckle to hold it in place. You should check with your local art community to see what glass classes are offered. It's a wonderful medium for a creative outlet, have fun!

  • Wesley
    Wesley
    10/19/2010 4:10 AM

    Laurie, this is fantastic! I really get into buckles. Just one really huge request/question. Can you make the bicycle in purple? I have a sister that has a "signature" on a lot of personal fun stuff and her nickname is "Purple Bicycle". What would it take for you to do one like that, Please?!?!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    10/19/2010 6:45 PM

    @Wesley Ayers: This sounds perfect for your sister, what a great brother! I will be in touch with you directly with more information.

  • KS
    KS
    11/14/2010 1:57 PM

    Are these buckles sturdy? They seem like they would be easy to chip or break. Considering for a 14-year-old... Thanks.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/14/2010 3:22 PM

    @KS: Your 14-year old would love it! Durability is the top question that Laurie gets and they are very durable within limits! A four foot fall to a hard surface probably will crack it.

  • Carin
    Carin
    11/15/2010 12:59 PM

    I thought I saw a belt with peace signs on it?? My sister just passed away last month and was a HUGE "peace" freak. I would love to get a few with the peace sign(s) on them for her special girlfriends. We even did a "Peace Tour" last March in Savannah- we all wore Peace Tee shirts everyday. This would be a great way to remember her and our trip!

    Thanks, beautiful work!

    Carin

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/15/2010 2:50 PM

    @Carin: I am so sorry for your loss. One of these beautiful belt buckles with a peace sign would be a wonderful remembrance. I don't recall seeing one with a peace sign but I have a message out to Laurie and will let you know!

  • Denise
    Denise
    11/20/2010 9:43 AM

    Would you do a custom order?

    My daughter does competitive cheerleading and every mom on every team has some unique way of showing their support for their kids!

    I would love to get the cheer logo on a buckle.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/20/2010 1:01 PM

    @Denise: I will contact you directly with more information, what a great idea!

  • jen
    jen
    11/24/2010 12:54 PM

    Hi. I saw a picture of a belt with kind of a millefiore-look (may be wrong spelling) buckle. Does that sound familiar? Do you still make belts in this design? Thanks!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/24/2010 1:33 PM

    @jen: That was MnM Jada and we love that belt too! She is overwhelmed with orders for the holidays and we had to take the feature down. If it was going to be a gift for a friend, consider giving a Gift Certificate and she will be able to order it again in January!

  • Lance J
    Lance J
    11/16/2011 9:21 PM

    This is special! I love glass too!

    Since Laurie has made glass her craft, I was wondering if she knew of the 4,000 or so replica glass plant specimens made by a father and son team for Harvard University, which are on display at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. They are incredibly life like - they look like they would grow if planted - even cacti with hundreds of spines, and orchids!

    I thought if she were to contact the Museum and get some pictures...it might inspire her.

    I was fascinated by them!

    Lance

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/17/2011 12:33 AM

    @Lance J Konover: That sounds amazing and I bet you're right that one glass artist would be inspired by another. I will pass your note along!

  • Laurie
    Laurie
    11/17/2011 11:21 AM

    @Lance J Konover: I will have to look that up! It's amazing what glass blowers can do, I love watching them work. I actually signed up for a glass blowing class in my hometown and am anxiously waiting to find the time to take it! Fusing is a little more mundane, but I love it.

    Thanks for the tip!

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

 

Kiku

Fused Glass Belt Buckles

Belt it Out

Buckle up and prepare to steer your wardrobe in a fun direction. These glass belt buckles from Kiku Handmade can add a jolt of color and style to any outfit. They’re the handiwork of Laurie Freivogel, who etches her designs into glass, colors them, then fuses the pieces together in a kiln she fires up in her home studio. Laurie taught herself how to fuse glass after getting inspired by the beautiful glass work she saw at an indie craft fair in 2004.

Our favorite buckles include a graphic red bike on a blue background and an orange Mehndi pattern on lavender. The black and white camera lens has a vintage, hipster vibe, and the yarn buckle beckons to that DIYer in all of us. Laurie has a keen eye for color and a restrained approach to design that keep these buckles modern and chic, never overwrought. It’s just the thing for transforming your favorite jeans and T-shirt into a hip outfit, or, in the spirit of the season, making you the best gift-giver around.
Read More Read Less
Kiku Handmade - Modern Fused Glass Belt Buckles
No longer available

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Laurie
    Laurie

    My name is Laurie Freivogel and I'm super excited to be today's Grommet! My little company (just l'il ole me), Kiku Handmade, is located in my basement studio in Oak Park, IL just outside Chicago. While I have been creating ever since I was very small (remember latch-hook rugs?), I started fusing glass in 2004. I quit my "real" job in 2001 when my second child was born, but by the time she was two I was going crazy with both an art background and nothing to do or make. In March of 2004, my friend took me to an indie-craft fair and I was so inspired by the beautiful work I saw that I went and bought a kiln and taught myself how to fuse glass. I love glass - it has so many possibilities and directions one can take it. Over time, with a lot of research and experimentation, I've developed my own unique style incorporating my silkscreening background and emphasizing color, simplicity and design.

    So what do I make? I started off with jewelry and one day had a brain storm to make buckles. They are far and away my biggest seller, and I love coming up with new designs (one of which is featured today - mehndi). I, personally, tend to dress very simply but love to accessorize and find that a smashing buckle does the trick every time.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/10/2009 12:00 PM

    Laurie forwarded a picture of the cute package these belts and buckles come in. The top box is if you purchase the buckle alone. And of course each is wrapped to ensure it has a safe journey to your home.

  • Emily
    Emily
    12/10/2009 12:16 PM

    I am in love with these buckles! Awesome hip designs for both me and my guy. Sure to make a statement every time we wear one! :)

  • Laurie
    Laurie – Special Guest
    12/10/2009 12:19 PM

    Well thanks Emily! And good afternoon everyone, hope you're all warm, it's frigid here in Chicago. Glad my kilns keep my studio warm...

  • Angela V
    Angela V
    12/10/2009 12:32 PM

    Laurie's glasswork is GORGEOUS. I've bought earrings, necklaces, coasters, platters, .... I'm never disappointed!

  • Melissa
    Melissa
    12/10/2009 12:34 PM

    These are gorgeous!!! What a nifty gift idea. Love seeing how they are made.

  • Laurie
    Laurie – Special Guest
    12/10/2009 1:05 PM

    I just wanted to add some details about the belts. I don't make them myself, but they are handcrafted right here in Illinois. As far as sizing, the 32" belt fits sizes from 29-33", the 36" fits sizes from 33-37" and the 40" fits sizes from 37-41".

    You do need a snap belt for these buckles - many belts are fitted with snaps, but if you have a belt that you love that doesn't have snaps, you can take it to a cobbler and have him/her put snaps on it for around $5.

  • evan
    evan
    12/10/2009 1:22 PM

    love love love these. i get comments one mine whenever i wear it, which is all the time. with jeans and a t-shirt or a simple skirt and cashmere hoodie. goes with everything.

  • Robin Luke
    Robin Luke
    12/10/2009 1:42 PM

    I own 3 of Laurie's buckles and can't say how much I love them. Everytime I wear one I get a lot of compliments. I have 2 skull(1 red and one frosted/etched glass)and one dandelion(when I am feeling fun). The only thing I don't like is: having to decide which one to wear. Believe me when I say, sometimes I plan what I am wearing around the buckle. These buckles are beyond cool and ordinary.

  • Laurie
    Laurie – Special Guest
    12/10/2009 1:46 PM

    Thanks so much everyone. The top question I get about my buckle is "how durable are they?". They are 1/4" thick (by about 2 1/4" tall and 3 1/3" wide), which makes them pretty sturdy. The designs are made of glass and fused, so there is no worry of them wearing off. I would advise not to drop them, but a fall to a carpeted or even wood floor probably won't hurt them - I've even dropped them on concrete (I'm fumble fingered) and had them survive, but I wouldn't recommend it.

  • JenQ
    JenQ
    12/10/2009 1:51 PM

    One of a kind, unique, special gifts. Sometimes I buy something from Kiku

    just for me!

  • christine rosa
    christine rosa
    12/10/2009 1:56 PM

    Laurie's designs will surely kick any outfit up a notch. Her pieces feature gorgeous designs and an equally stunning color palette. You can justify buying yourself one by buying another for a loved one. :)

  • Zan
    Zan
    12/10/2009 2:40 PM

    These buckles make the perfect gift item. I gave one to my sister (the ball of yarn) who knits and crochets. Ordering and shipping was hassle-free and she LOVES it! I own several of her pieces and the craftsmanship is awesome.

  • Jim
    Jim
    12/10/2009 7:57 PM

    Bought the fused-glass coaster set -- each a different bicycle. Tasty.

  • Kimber
    Kimber
    7/21/2010 11:04 PM

    Hey Laurie, these are the coolest belt buckles I've ever seen. I'm just curious how do you attach the buckle to the belt? And, is there a class I can take to learn how to fuse glass together? Where can I get that info from? I'd like to start making my own glass pendants. I make and design jewerly, but I think I'm leaning more toward making the actual beads now. Feel free to visit my website at www.staceykdesigns.com. Thanks for the info and keep up the amazing work!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    7/21/2010 11:33 PM

    @Kimber - these belts are snap belts that will snap around the buckle to hold it in place. You should check with your local art community to see what glass classes are offered. It's a wonderful medium for a creative outlet, have fun!

  • Wesley
    Wesley
    10/19/2010 4:10 AM

    Laurie, this is fantastic! I really get into buckles. Just one really huge request/question. Can you make the bicycle in purple? I have a sister that has a "signature" on a lot of personal fun stuff and her nickname is "Purple Bicycle". What would it take for you to do one like that, Please?!?!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    10/19/2010 6:45 PM

    @Wesley Ayers: This sounds perfect for your sister, what a great brother! I will be in touch with you directly with more information.

  • KS
    KS
    11/14/2010 1:57 PM

    Are these buckles sturdy? They seem like they would be easy to chip or break. Considering for a 14-year-old... Thanks.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/14/2010 3:22 PM

    @KS: Your 14-year old would love it! Durability is the top question that Laurie gets and they are very durable within limits! A four foot fall to a hard surface probably will crack it.

  • Carin
    Carin
    11/15/2010 12:59 PM

    I thought I saw a belt with peace signs on it?? My sister just passed away last month and was a HUGE "peace" freak. I would love to get a few with the peace sign(s) on them for her special girlfriends. We even did a "Peace Tour" last March in Savannah- we all wore Peace Tee shirts everyday. This would be a great way to remember her and our trip!

    Thanks, beautiful work!

    Carin

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/15/2010 2:50 PM

    @Carin: I am so sorry for your loss. One of these beautiful belt buckles with a peace sign would be a wonderful remembrance. I don't recall seeing one with a peace sign but I have a message out to Laurie and will let you know!

  • Denise
    Denise
    11/20/2010 9:43 AM

    Would you do a custom order?

    My daughter does competitive cheerleading and every mom on every team has some unique way of showing their support for their kids!

    I would love to get the cheer logo on a buckle.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/20/2010 1:01 PM

    @Denise: I will contact you directly with more information, what a great idea!

  • jen
    jen
    11/24/2010 12:54 PM

    Hi. I saw a picture of a belt with kind of a millefiore-look (may be wrong spelling) buckle. Does that sound familiar? Do you still make belts in this design? Thanks!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/24/2010 1:33 PM

    @jen: That was MnM Jada and we love that belt too! She is overwhelmed with orders for the holidays and we had to take the feature down. If it was going to be a gift for a friend, consider giving a Gift Certificate and she will be able to order it again in January!

  • Lance J
    Lance J
    11/16/2011 9:21 PM

    This is special! I love glass too!

    Since Laurie has made glass her craft, I was wondering if she knew of the 4,000 or so replica glass plant specimens made by a father and son team for Harvard University, which are on display at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. They are incredibly life like - they look like they would grow if planted - even cacti with hundreds of spines, and orchids!

    I thought if she were to contact the Museum and get some pictures...it might inspire her.

    I was fascinated by them!

    Lance

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/17/2011 12:33 AM

    @Lance J Konover: That sounds amazing and I bet you're right that one glass artist would be inspired by another. I will pass your note along!

  • Laurie
    Laurie
    11/17/2011 11:21 AM

    @Lance J Konover: I will have to look that up! It's amazing what glass blowers can do, I love watching them work. I actually signed up for a glass blowing class in my hometown and am anxiously waiting to find the time to take it! Fusing is a little more mundane, but I love it.

    Thanks for the tip!

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.