A few months back I decided I wanted to try making a custom Sporran to wear with my Kilts, and stumbled across this video:
Now, I don't know how to do any Metal Working like he did in this video, but I loved the idea and decided to make a Sporran from a Resin Skull.
I searched all over and found this decent Resin Skull on Amazon:
I had no clue how I was going to accomplish making a Sporran out the Skull, but I was determined to make it work!!!
Follow along as I created my new favorite Sporran...
Step 1: Gathering Supplies
First thing I needed to do after I found and ordered the Skull was to figure what other supplies i needed.
In total I used the following items for the Build aside from the Skull:
- 1/8" Tempered Hardboard (Masonite)
- Black Suede Leather
- Silver D-Rings
- Silver Rivets (Double Cap)
- Contact Cement
- S-Biner: Micro Lock
- Silver Twisted Link Chain
- Large Snap
- Small Spike Rivet
I had the Tempered Hardboard and Black Suede on hand from a past project I worked on. The D-rings, Rivets, Snap, and Contact Cement I had in my Leather Working supplies.
I purchased the Silver Twisted Link Chain and S-Biner Micro Lock (pictured above) from a local Home Improvement Store.
Time for Assembly...
Step 2: Splitting the Skull!
First thing I had to do was decide where I wanted to Split the Skull in half.
I wanted a large holding capacity, but also didn't want the Skull to protrude too far in front of me.
I decided to split the Skull right behind where the "cheek-bone" re-attached to the main Skull.
I used my Rotary Tool with a Cutting-Disk on a low RPM to slowly cut through the skull.
(it almost seemed like I was dissecting an actual skull and was both creepy and cool :) )
Step 3: Creating the Backing
I knew that I would need a fairly firm back for the Sporran and decided to use 1/8" Tempered Hardboard (Masonite) for the backing.
First I placed the Skull on the Hardboard and traced it out. I then cut out the basic shape leaving a little buffer in case I needed to adjust something.
After the rough shape was cut, I sanded as needed to get the exact shape I wanted.
Step 4: Attaching Backing
After I got the Hardboard Cut I started to run into my first of many challenges I had not thought of...
Challenge 1: With the Thickness of the Suede backing, when I wrap it, the back will be bigger than the Skull.
Solution 1: Shave a bit of the Hardboard off to accommodate the thickness off the Suede.
I used Contact Cement to attach the Suede to the Hardboard, and after a night of drying it was on for good!
I then Wrapped the Suede around the sides of the Hardboard to give it a nice clean look. After this was complete I ran into my second challenge...
Challenge 2: How to get the back to pivot open without creating gabs for items to fall through in the bottom.
Solution 2: Trim all of the uneven 'points' off of the bottom of the hardboard to have a clean Pivot Point and I can use the bottom Suede as a 'hinge'.
As you can see in the 4th Picture when I tried to peel the Suede off of the Hardboard, they would not separate, and instead removed a layer of the Hardboard.
I did a Test-Fit and everything seemed as though it was working.
Step 5: Sporran Chain Attachment
I realized that after I got all of the backing items ironed out and was about to move forward again, that I had forgotten to attach the 'loop' for the Sporran Chain to the suede before I glued it to the Hardboard.
Challenge 3: Attaching the 'loop' to the Backing now that it is already glued to the hardboard.
Solution 3: Use Double-Cap Rivets to attach it.
I placed 6 evenly spaced holes into the leather 'loop' and then used a drill to make the same holes in the hardboard backing.
Once this was complete, I attached the upper Rivets, placed the leather strap with D-Rings that I had made under the 'loop', then attached the lower Rivets.
Everything was now secure, and I could create the Belt/Chain...
Step 6: Creating the Belt / Chain
I cut two sections of chain just shy of 1'-0" long knowing that there would be a D-Ring on one side and the Micro-Lock Clips on the other.
I then cut, punched all of the holes, and dyed two leather pieces to use as the back 'Belt'.
After assembly I checked the length against another Sporran Chain/Belt I have to make sure the length was correct.
Step 7: Attaching the Back
Knowing that the Suede was very flexible, I knew that I would be able to press it into all of the nooks and crevices.
I used Contact Cement to attach the Suede at the bottom of the backing into the Skull to act as a 'hinge'.
Once it was dry, it worked even better than I had hoped!
Step 8: Closing It Up!
I decided to use a long strip of Suede about 3" wide to cover part of the back and use as 'sides' when the Sporran is opened (to limit the amount it will open).
I attached that with Contact Cement like all the rest and then got to work on a closure for the backing.
Challenge 4: How to attach a closure device to the Skull and Backing.
Solution 4: Use a decorative small 'spike' rivet for the skull, and a snap on the Backing.
I used a small scrap of Suede that I cut to act as a strap for the closure and to connect the spike-rivet to the snap.
Challenge 5: The stud for the snap was too short to go through the Hardboard backing and still make the attachment.
Solution 5: Use a Rivet Setter and Aluminum Construction Rivet.
Once everything was in place, I was able to close and open the backing with no problem.
I then used Contact Cement again to attach the sides inside the Skull as well as a small piece to cover up the last of the inside of the backing.
Step 9: Finished Product / Final Thoughts
I am very happy with the way this awesome new Skull Sporran turned out!
Three days after I finished the build I attended a Beer Tasting Fundraiser for the National Finals for the US Highland Games:
Celtic Classic (http://celticfest.org/ )
I wore my new Skull Sporran with my Jolly Roger Kilt and got a lot of compliments and it worked great!
- I would sew the 'loop' on the back if I make another.
- I would make the inside cover/sides one piece opposed to the two pieces I used.
- Possibly find another way of keeping the Sporran Closed.