Introduction: Leather Belt Pouch (For a Leatherman Knife)
If you work with your hands, you likely know that a Leatherman is always handy to keep close. Leatherman utility knives typically come with good-quality belt pouches, but I wanted a pouch that matched my brown leather belt. (Plus it was an excuse to start another leatherworking project.)
You don't necessarily need to use this tutorial as a guide for specifically a Leatherman knife pouch. This project can be modified for other purposes. (I recently made a leather phone pouch for my phone.)
It's a super easy build, requiring very little prior knowledge of leatherworking. Let us begin!
Step 1: Tools/Materials
- Strong Cord
- Strong Needle
- Sharp Knife (Utility/X-acto)
- Leather Hole Punching Tool
- Object which you are making a pouch for (In this case, a Leatherman knife)
- Leather Dye (I used Low Voc Dark Brown)
- Leather Conditioner
Step 2: Wet Mold Leather Around Object (Leatherman Knife)
Wet the leather, and stretch it over the object you're making a pouch for. Pretend the leather is a layer of clay; Press around the edges as you stretch, occasionally adding water.
Once the leather has conformed to the shape of the object, use clamps to keep it in shape until it dries, which takes about 24 hours. In 24 hours, the leather will keep that shape.
In order to prevent the clamps from imprinting the leather, place flat objects (I used pieces of wood) between the clamps and the leather, as the leather is pressed against the object for 24 hours.
Step 3: Prepare the Leather Pieces
Place the molded leather on top of a flat piece of leather, with the object still inside.
Because the user needs to be able to pull the object out of the pouch, cut the molded leather so that there is at least 1/2" of the object uncovered, which allows the user to pull it out at will.
Step 4: Hammer Holes & Stitch Around the Edges of the Conformed Leather
Use your hammer and your leather hole punching tool to hammer holes around the edge of the shape which the molded leather makes. Then stick your thick cord through those holes.
This not only works to hold the pieces together, but the stitching being around the edge will ensure that the shape is maintained if the leather gets wet again (perhaps if the user gets caught in rain).
Step 5: Cut Into Shape
Cut the shape of the pouch.
The entire thing is essentially a rectangle, with excess left on the sides for the belt holes.
You want to keep a flap which can go over the top of the knife.
I rounded the edges by tracing a quarter and cutting along the lines.
Remember to sand the edges.
Step 6: Cut Out Belt Holes
Use your X-acto knife to cut out the slits which your belt will loop through.
Drill holes on the ends to make it easier.
Step 7: Epoxy & Stitch the Edges
You'll notice that I modified the pouch shape a little bit on the bottom. I noticed that a rectangle would seem inefficiently excessive in material, since the belt holes are only so long.
Epoxy the unattached edges together (optional, but helpful). Then punch holes and stitch around the edges for your main support.
The stitching increases the durability, especially in the thin areas.
Step 8: Strengthen the Knots in the Back
Superglue the knots in the back of the pouch from the stitching process. This makes those knots indestructible. Also trim the excess string around the knots.
Step 9: Implement a Method of Closing the Flap
Whether you use velcro, or magnets, or buttons, or any other method of holding the flap over the pouch, implement that method.
I attached magnets so that the flap sticks to the front of the pouch, over the object (Leatherman Knife).
Do whatever you see necessary.
Step 10: Optional). Stain and Condition the Leather
Almost finished. You can now stain the leather with whatever color you like. My signature color is dark brown, so I stained it accordingly.
You can also condition the leather to protect it, as well as give it a nice clean look.
Step 11: Wear Your Pouch
You are now finished. You may now wear the pouch on your belt, so that you can keep your Leatherman knife (or whatever object you made a pouch for) handy at all times.