Here is a quick and easy idea. If you love to thrift store shop as much as I do you have no doubt seen a ton of these types of belts on the rack.
You may see a belt, but what I see is a good source of cheap leather laces. You can easily examine the belt for dry rot. If the leather is in decent condition and is real leather I'd grab it. There are a lot of 70's style belts made of fake leather so watch out. I got this belt for one dollar at Goodwill.
I dismantle the belt. I have a plastic bag filled with buckles and belt ends for future use. I do all sorts of costuming so I generally keep everything just in case.
After a brief soak in warm water I stretched the leather laces around a baseball bat. Any round object will do. I left the leather on the bat for a day to fully dry and straighten out all the kinks it had from the braiding.
End result is very usable and very cheap leather laces. This was a very wide belt and very long. It produced over a dozen yards of leather laces.