Introduction: Any Size Multitool Pouch Using Recycled Seatbelt!
A few months ago, I had my multitool stolen.
It got taken out of my car when some youngsters broke into it and long story short, I had to order a new one because they're simply too useful for me to live without.
So I ordered a Leatherman OHT.
When it arrived, it came with a molle sheath which wore through in less than a week.
I tried searching online to find a leather pouch which would fit the OHT (It is a large tool) but they were all out of stock at the time or out of my budget.
So I decided to invest in a piece of 50mm leather strap and try to build my own pouch.
Overall, this pouch cost me less than $50 with the biggest cost being the leather at $31.
Today, you have the chance to read through my journey of making my first multitool pouch from scratch, see the difficulties I faced and learn how I worked around and through them!
First of all, you are going to need to gather your supplies.
I used the following:
- Fire Lighter of sorts
- Leather Strap
- Re-Purposed Seatbelt Webbing
- Snap Fasteners
- Hole Punch and Eyelet Pliers
- Brass Eyelets (The same size as the thickness of your paracord)
- Awl (Or metal spike)
- Hole Punch (The width of your paracord, and one for your press stud
And last but not least, you will need your multitool on hand.
Step 1: Measure Your Strap.
First things first, you will need to measure your multitool to decide what size strap you will need.
For the Leatherman OHT, I used 50mm leather I purchased from eBay, there were plenty of sizes and colours to choose from but I chose a light brown - I bought a 1 metre length to be sure I had enough.
When you have your strap, lay your multitool on top of it to see where you will make your folds.
Mark the length of the closing tab/flap first, if your leather has an end which is cut on an angle like mine does, you can cut it square to simplify this process.
You want to make the flap long enough to put a press stud about 2/3 of the way down your tool and leave a little extra so you have a tab to open the pouch with.
Mark a line across where the multitool sits, making sure to mark what will be the inside of the pouch - or the marks will be visible.
Next, mark the width of the multitool from the line you just made, this will be the top of the pouch.
Laying the multitool along the leather strap again, on the last mark you made, draw a third line across the leather, this will be a bottom corner of the pouch.
Then you will need to mark the width one more time, this will create the width of the base.
Lastly, mark the length again, as you did before, but laying the end of the tool on the last mark you made.
Your strap should look similar to mine in the last photo.
You can measure the length and width of the multitool and transfer the measurements to the strap, but that leaves room for error in many ways, if you have the multitool with you, it is best to use it as a gauge.
Step 2: Cut to Size.
When you have all your marks in the correct places, go ahead and cut the strap to length at the last mark you made.
If your strap was like mine with an angle cut on one end, you can go ahead and trim this piece off, leaving enough room for the press stud and a small tab to open the pouch with.
I tried cutting the leather with the scissors but it didn't work - so I used my multitool instead.
Step 3: More Trimming.
Wrap your leather strap around your multitool the way it would sit as a finished pouch to make sure there is nothing you missed or anything out of place.
I made a mark on the strap where I will be cutting my opening tab, I marked diagonal lines to "round" off the corners of the tab for cosmetic purposes.
I intend on putting my press stud into the leather just over halfway up the length of the pouch, this will leave enough room for an opening tab of 10mm without sticking below the end of the pouch so it does not catch on things when I sit down.
Step 4: Applying the Press Studs.
For this step, I mutilated a press stud and couldn't remove it from the strap without ruining it, so I got a fresh piece of strapping and prepared it up to where we are at now.
I haven't yet cut the corners on this piece (As you can see).
Mark out where your studs will go, making sure they line up when the multitool is inside the pouch, I wrapped it around the tool like shown in the first photo and put a press stud between the layers where I wanted it.
I then squeezed it in my hand to put a small dent into the leather (It doesn't take a lot of force to mark leather) and then unwrapped the pouch.
I centered the marks and punched the holes using the hole punch which came with my press stud kit.
Insert the studs and crimp them into place.
Make sure you orientate the studs correctly so they snap together when you close the pouch, take your time and double check it if you need to.
It is difficult to explain the orientation - but you want to have the smooth cosmetic cap on the outside of the flap part and the rougher looking piece on the inside of the pouch part.
Once they are fitted, wrap it around the multitool again and make sure they work, if they need to be flipped around, now is your time to do it - you will probably need a pair of side cutters to break apart the clips for removal, being very careful not to damage the leather.
Step 5: Making the Sides.
To make the sides, I used seatbelt webbing which somebody brought into my workplace to throw away - I retrieved it from the bin with this project in mind and proceeded to bring it home and put it to use.
Start by checking the length of your pouch.
Mine is about 115mm long.
You need to have enough room for your fingers to grab the top of the multitool for removal, but not enough room for your multitool to turn inside the pouch and fall out.
I decided to make my sides about 75mm long, which left me with about 25mm on the top of the pouch to grasp the multitool.
Cut both pieces to length using either the scissors or a sharp knife, most scissors should cut seatbelt.
When it is cut, lightly burn the ends to prevent further fraying.
Step 6: Preparing the Sides for Installation.
Now you are going to be installing the brass eyelets into the seatbelt webbing.
I used a hot metal spike to melt holes into the seatbelt webbing because my hold punch wasn't strong enough to go through it.
Because I had to use both hands for that process, I have no pictures of it sorry.
Make 7 holes on one edge of the webbing and 6 holes along the other edge, as evenly spaced as possible.
My mistake: I punched 7 holes in three sides and accidentally mis-counted and only punched 6 holes in one. side of the webbing... Ah, why is counting difficult!
Anyhow, I originally intended on having 7 on all sides and I used all my eyelets up so I couldn't start with fresh webbing, so I worked out a compromise.
With your pouch in the closed position, place your sides where they will sit and make marks on the leather which correspond with the eyelets on the seatbelt.
Make 6 marks at the back of the pouch, but 7 on the front of the pouch, this will be for attaching the pieces together.
When all your eyelet locations are transferred to the leather pouch, you can go ahead and move to the next step.
Step 7: Cutting Belt Loop
In between your eyelet marks, you need to cut 2 parallel lines into your leather to make the belt loop.
Measure the width of your belt and make the cuts between 5mm and 7mm longer than the width of your belt to allow for the thickness of the leather.
I made my belt loop 12mm wide, do not make it less than 10mm wide for a large multitool or you run the risk of it tearing off.
Step 8: Punching Holes in the Leather.
Punch out your holes where you marked them, I used the punch which came with the press stud kit but you can use any hole punch you have available, making sure it is the right width for your paracord.
Now weave a length of paracord through the holes in your leather and your seatbelt webbing, "Sewing" the two pieces together.
On the back of the pouch, tie a simple overhand stopper knot and trim the end of the cord, melting it so there is no fraying.
Make sure the knot is on the outside of the pouch, starting with the 6-hole back side of the pouch, weave the cord in and out like a shoelace through the holes until you reach the top.
Tie another overhand stopper knot but when you tie it, work it along the cord so it sits tightly against the leather, cut the end off and melt it again to prevent fraying.
I had to skip a hole in my webbing on one side to match the 6 holes the other side had.
Repeat this with the second piece of webbing so it looks like your leather strap has wings.
Make sure all 4 knots on the back of your pouch are tied on the outside, if they are on the inside, they will cause issues when you try and put your multitool into the pouch.
For the front, you will be using the 7 holes, Weave the paracord through the lower holes like a shoelace, with an even amount on each side.
From there, make your way up the holes in the same way you would weave a shoelace, I made two crosses and then went straight on the last 2 holes, you don't have to make the crosses, but I find it looks better and is easier to tighten.
When you get to the top, your ends should be on the inside of the pouch.
Tie an overhand stopper knot in each end, making sure the cord is fully tightened and the webbing is secured well.
Work the stopper knot as far towards the leather as you can and trim the ends, melting each end to prevent fraying.
I used a hot awl to cut through the ends, I found my scissors were blunted too much after cutting the seatbelt webbing...
Step 9: Finished!
Now you are done!!!
You have successfully made your own multitool pouch, go ahead and give it a test!
I have been using my pouch for the last month and have had no issues with it whatsoever, I work in a rough environment with heavy machinery and I use my multitool everyday - so my pouch sees a lot of use.
If you make your own pouch, please share a picture of it in the comments :)
Thankyou for reading the whole way through these instructions, they were fun to write and I hope they can be of use to somebody.
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