By learning this technique, you can make a holster for your replica of Han Solo's blaster, your own pistol for competitions such as IDPA, or whatever you want to have at your side at all times. By using a combination of heat-formed kydex and leather, you end up with a holster that will grip your item well, but not need precise tensioning like an all-kydex holster.
The most innovative part of this instructable is how to do the kydex molding without a vacuum former or other difficult or expensive press. I discovered this technique on Old Faithful Holster's website: http://www.oldfaithfulholsters.com. My holster design is different from theirs, but I learned the technique for forming from their videos.
Safety: Unload and clear any weapon. Because you will need to use the gun as a mold and will be unable to maintain a safe direction of the muzzle, more stringent safety requirements are needed. Remove any and all live ammunition from your work area and completely relocate ammunition to a locked drawer, safe, or other place it cannot be accidentally combined with the gun in any manner. If possible, render the gun inert. If there is a magazine safety, remove the magazine. If possible, remove the firing pin. Do not remove the barrel as it can change the gun's profile and the holster may not fit once it is replaced.
1 sheet of Kydex - either .060" or .093" thick. The example holster is made with .093", but I have made holsters with .060" and it works just fine.
1 piece of leather - You need something fairly stiff and thick. 5-6 oz or thicker is best, and stiff leather will work better than more supple leather. You can stiffen leather if it comes too soft by either wetting it in warm water and letting it dry in the sun, or using a leather thickener, either commercial or a 5-1 mix of water and Elmer's glue (the intarwebs describe this process well).
Eyelets or Rivets - I use Tandy Double Cap Rivets. I have also used eyelets, but they don't have as much surface area after they are expanded and may allow the leather to pull out.
Rivet/Eyelet Setter - just get it when and where you get your rivets or eyelets so that the tool will match your attachment pieces.
Scroll Saw - You may be able to do this with other tools, but this is the one tool that seems to be a must for me. I use a Ryobi Variable Speed Scroll Saw. Variable speed is a must for working in Kydex.
Sharp Knife - used to cut leather
Drill - used to make the holes for the rivets. A drill press would work even better.
Scrap wood and closed cell foam.
Heat gun or hair dryer.
Leather Beveling Tool
CNC Router, or Plunge Router, or dremel
Kydex press (from knifekits.com)
Rivet Press (I prefer the hand set tools)
The steps to make this holster are:
1. Cut the template
2. Cut off a piece of Kydex
3. Form the kydex
4. Shape the kydex
5. Rough-cut the leather
6. Attach the leather
7. Trim the leather
8. Bend the wings
9. Cut the belt slots
If you make this holster, please take a picture and post it in the comments.
The pictured holster is a high-ride pancake design that secures the item above the belt line for easy concealment. You can use the same techniques with just a different cut to create inside the waistband designs (see Old Faithful Holsters above for a great tutorial on how to do that). You can also just raise the wings and belt slots to make an outside-the-waistband holster that doesn't ride as high.