Making your own knife sheath is easy, cost effective and allows you to learn a new trade. Nothing is more rewarding than making something with your own hands. Of course you can tan your own deer, elk, or cow hide for a good leather product, but if you are just starting off you should just go to a leather store. Leathers can come natural, pre-stained, with texture, with fur, etc. Leathers also come in many different weights, which determine the thickness of the leather. Its up to your imagination how you would like your finished product to look. For this basic taco style knife sheath, I chose a natural veg tanned shoulder of a cow hide. The leather was cheap, only 20 dollars, and gives you a chance to make more than one sheath, or mess up a couple times in most cases lol.
By getting a natural piece I can also pick what color I want to stain my sheath and personalize your work of art with stamps and stitching.
Knife Sheath 101
– Cow hide leather 7oz-10oz (Recommended) The thickness helps hold the knife ridged, deer and other hides are usually to thin.
– Box cutter or Leather scissors
– 1/16″ round drive hole punch
– Large needles
– Thick waxed nylon thread 4 oz (personal size or color desired)
– 2 small sponges, 1 used to stain the leather and 1 used for water before stamping
– Pen or pencil to trace knife
– Desired leather stain color
– Mallet or Hammer
– Stamps, Stamp handle, Ram foot (Not Necessary)
STEP 1: Draw a straight line centered on a piece of paper or on your leather and place your blade facing up on the center line.
STEP 2: Lay your knife on its side and trace your knife a 1/2″ outside the knife edge.
STEP 3: Repeat step 2 on the other side.
STEP 4: Cut out your piece of leather, and a 1/8″ strip insert to protect the stitching from the knife edge. Remember to add a 7″ strip to the top for the belt loop. (Orientate the belt loop for a left or right hand pull. )
STEP 5: Punch your holes around the edge of the leather, on the 1/8′ strip and for the belt loop, you can eye them evenly on both sides or use a spacing tool.
STEP 6: Stain your leather. Place stain on sponge and lightly apply to desired color. I used Tan here.
STEP 7: After Stain has dried, Stamp leather if desired. Gently wet leather with sponge but don’t soak. Place stamp face down and place stamp handle with ram foot on back, hit hard with mallet straight down, then in a slow circular motion, repeat until desired texture is complete.
STEP 8: Sew 1/8″ strip to one side of leather using an overcast stitch or desired stitch.
STEP 9: Sew both sides together using overcast stitch. I went opposite ways in order to get a nice crossed stitched look.
STEP 10: Fold top strip down and stitch the belt loop using a running stitch. I went over the stitch 3 times in order to make it strong.
Remember to add your own personal touches by using different colored stains, stitching techniques, stitching colors and stamps. Have fun enjoying your new skill with family and friends. Nothing makes you feel more alive than making something with your own hands. Personalized leather works also make great gifts.