In this Instructable I will show how to make a primitive quiver from a self tanned red stag hide. This project makes use of the hide as both a resource and as a trophy gift that will last the primitive archer for many years.
Step 1: Select Your Leather
For this project I was wanting to make my friend a primitive quiver from a red stag hide that he had shot earlier in bow season. I prepared the hide myself, acorn tanned it, stretched and cured it until I needed it. Now was the time to finally put a knife to the red stag hide!
Step 2: Measure Arrows to Determine Quiver Length.
It is very important to measure arrow length prior to cutting the leather. Remember this motto: Measure twice, cut once!! My friend said that he wanted a Plains style quiver that came to halfway of the fletching. The arrows were about 31 inches so I decided to go with a 29" length of the main compartment. I allowed for 3 additional inches to form the rolled back leather "collar" in the front.
Step 3: Layout for Your Cuts
I used a scrap piece of flat stainless steel to use as a straight edge. I used a carpenters pencil to make the lines because it leaves a nice dark line.
I wanted the quiver to hold about 6-8 arrows so I estimated that I would need a tube about 3-4 inches in diameter. At first I thought I wanted the hair on the inside so that it would help silence the arrows as they were being carried. This hair inside was how I originally wound up the hide when I finished tanning it so it naturally held this shape. I was going to put the fur collar to the outside.
After much deliberation I decided that the fur needed to be on the outside to show off the red of the stag hide and to aid in it's camouflaging while in use outdoors. Plus the hair on the outside looked more like what a caveman would do. Face it, we all want to be cavemen. Twenty years of the internet cannot wipe out what developed in ourselves for millenia as we foraged around the forests.
Step 5: Reverse the Tube and Tie to Hold Shape
It took much rolling to get the hide to wrap into a tube shape in the opposite direction that it was tanned in. I had to clip it on each end with some clothespin type hand clamps and tie the tube into shape and let it set overnight to hold the desired shape.
Step 6: Hole Punching and Lacing
I used a triangle scale to layout the hole spacing and a Sharpie pen to mark the hole locations. I wanted to make sure that I got the same number of holes per side and that was as simple as counting dots. I used a leather hole punch to pop out the holes. I originally planned on using a running stitch with leather lace but found on the first stitch that 1/8 inch leather lace tends to pull hair into the hole as it is stitched and the lace becomes locked and will not sew at all.
I thought about what I could do to alleviate the locked lace. I had to go with brown polished hemp cordage to sew with that had a diameter about half of the punched holes. This string twisted into the PermaLock leather sewing needles and I used a whip stitch to sew up the tube. I cut two small sections of the leather and matched the hole spacing and sewed them into the main stitch as I went. These tabs were sewn in at both the top and bottom of the quiver. (Sorry I don't have the photos for that.) These tabs were where I would later attach the strap that you would sling over your back.
Step 7: Strap Attachment
I used the straight edge to cut a long 1.5 inch wide strap for the quiver. I got my buddy to put the quiver on his back and I measured for his size. I then sewed the strap onto the previously attached tabs and the quiver was nearly complete. I punched some holes on the lower end of the tube and sewed the bottom shut. I then cut two pieces of foam plastic (like the kind found in life preservers) and pushed the two chunks into the bottom to cushion the bottom and give a place for broadheads to be inserted so that they would not cut the lacing.
Step 8: Fill With Arrows and Go Shooting.
Now that your quiver is finished it's time to go shooting!