Step 5: Finishing
So, now the sheath looks and functions like a sheath. Time to clean up the edges, put a finish on there, and maybe a little something else. For my design, I decided to trace the tooling in gold ink and then sand the leather a bit, to give it a nice antique look.
First, cut off the rough edges with your trusty razor blade. Don't worry about a change in the color, the wax will fix this up later (if you chose to use it--wax could darken the edges of a lighter, non-stained leather too much). The first picture is of the sheath before it's been painted. I used a paint called "Brush 'n Leaf." If you use ink on your leather, always test on a scrap piece first.
I used a normal, small paintbrush and painted (carefully) every tooled line of the design. For the stippled parts, I painted completely over the leather. At first I though this would be fine, but I quickly realized that the gold was overbearing and a little careless looking despite my pains. See picture three. To remedy this I waited until the paint dried and then hit it with a foam sanding block (picture four). This took off some of the excess paint and showed the stippling very nicely, and also wore the leather down in some places to give it a nice aged look. To finish, I rubbed my all-time favorite sealant, Butcher's wax, into the leather. This made the leather a little darker and shinier, as well as darkening up the non-polished parts of the leather where I had sanded, and the sides of the sheath. The last picture is me, proudly holding up my creation. It's ornate, but also very functional.