Introduction: Cocktail Quiver

About: Costume and experimental fashion designer and artist. Maker of clothing and accessories for time traveling cyborg superheroes, and lucid dreamers. Interested in fusing couture design and leatherwork with weara…

Want to add clever clandestine cocktail concealment to your costume? I've got you covered.

Dressing up as Katniss, Hawkeye, or an Elven archer this Halloween? Add this disguised drink dispenser to your costume for an extra festive night of dress-up. I designed this quiver to hold a re-fillable hydration pouch or a wine bag while appearing to be filled with arrows, so you and your backpack of drinks can go under the radar when you're out marauding. Keep your friends hydrated, or tipsy, and don't pay for expensive cocktails or stand in long lines at a Halloween party you're already paying too much to get into. Use the quiver at a summer music festival or renaissance faire, or if you really are of trick-or-treating age, just use it as a classy carrier for your candy stash.

This project is actually fairly easy to make, and could be created with a variety of materials besides leather. I chose to create the whole thing in leather because I love working with leather and I had all the materials I needed already, but you could just use the concept to add drink carrying capabilities to a pre-existing quiver.

To be clear, I am in no way trying to encourage under-age drinking, excessive public intoxication or rampant illegal behavior, simply hoping to provide a whimsical and convenient means of self sufficiency in a world of over priced libations. There are plenty of places where a carrier like this could be used perfectly legally, like a house party or a festival where you are allowed to provide your own beverages (and it could of course be used to transport delicious non-alcoholic drinks anywhere) but if you do happen to find yourself in a legal gray area, it helps to know your rights. In her recent Instructable on Hidden Beer Coolers, my esteemed coworker Paige Russell provided a very succinct description of the Fourth Amendment rights that protect us from unreasonable search and seizure. You can read it here.

Keep yourself informed and always be responsible.

Step 1: Materials

For the Quiver:

  • Thick 10-13oz sole bend leather or saddle weight leather
  • Thinner leather for the straps and details
  • Leather dye and finish if you are working with veg tanned leather
  • Craft foam or any flexible foam about 1/2" thick.
  • One 3/4" center bar buckle
  • One 1" thick metal ring or D ring
  • Two 20 snaps and snap setter
  • Medium and large quick set rivets
  • Leather needle and thick waxed thread
  • Leather glue
  • Double sided tape
  • Exacto knife
  • Awl
  • Rotary and manual hole punch
  • Edge beveler (optional)
  • V-gouge (optional)
  • Stitch punch
  • Hammer
  • Quartz slab and poundo board or other hard surface
  • Mini anvil or other small hard surface
  • Scissors, pencil, paper and ruler
  • A hydration insert pouch. I think 2 liters is as big as you should go, the three liter bags are a bit big and heavy to carry over your back like this. I recommend getting one that has a twist-close valve on the tube so it doesn't leak on your leather.
  • Alternately you can use the bag from inside a Botabox or other wine-in-a-bag and dispense it out of the bottom of the quiver rather than the top.

For the Arrows:

  • 1/4"-3/8" wooden dowels, acrylic rods or something similar for the shafts
  • A hand saw or chop saw
  • Feathers, thin foam, stiff leather, thin plastic or anything else that would look good as the arrow fletches
  • Black 1/2" thick craft foam
  • Superglue

Step 2: Make the Pattern

If you don't want to go to all the work of creating your own quiver body, you could also make this project by finding a pre-existing quiver, modifying it, and adding the fake arrows. I decided to make my own whole quiver because I love working with leather this project was a lot easier than it looks, it only took me about a day with the right supplies.

To create a quiver that would fit my hydration pack, I filled the pouch with water and used cardboard to create a tube shape that fit around it, leaving enough room on top for the false top and arrows. I added a piece to re-enforce the quiver at the bottom and a decorative strip around the top.

I looked at quivers online to see how the straps were usually configured and created patterns for them as well. I patterned one large strap over the shoulder that will hold the camelback tube, and two smaller straps that wrap and buckle around the torso.

I designed the larger strap with two layers that will have foam sandwiched between them to create a channel for the hydration pack tube, and left a hole in the back of the quiver body where the tube would emerge. I also added a hole and a snap flap in the bottom of the quiver for the spout of a wine bag or other pre made drink dispenser.

Step 3: Cut the Leather

When my patterns were done, I traced them onto leather and cut them out. I used a very thick, stiff, sole bend veg tanned leather for the body of the quiver, a slightly thinner veg tanned leather for the small straps and an even thinner pre-treated brown for the two layers of the big shoulder strap. (I actually ended up changing the design of the big strap slightly, so the first version of the pattern shown here is not quite right).

On the piece that rivets around the bottom of the quiver to re-enforce it, I chose to add a leather detailing technique that I learned recently which involves laminating two layers of leather together, so before I cut this piece out, I glued some black and brown leather together with the grain sides out. This was just a personal aesthetic choice, and you could easily use any fairly sturdy leather for this piece of the quiver.

Step 4: Punch and Dye the Leather

Before dying my veg tanned leather pieces I traced sewing lines with an awl 1/4" in from the edges along the back seam. Then I wet the leather along the edges with a sponge and punched sewing holes with a stitch punch and a hammer. I also punched holes for the buckles in the small straps where I had marked them based on my patterns

I waited for the leather to dry and then spread out my pattern pieces on wax paper and dyed both sides of the veg tanned leather with black Waterstain using a sponge.

When the dye had dried I applied a a coat of Satin Shene leather finish to both sides to seal them.

Step 5: Add the Details

When my leather dye had dried, I glued and riveted the brown leather detail strip to the top of the quiver body.

I created the slitted detail in my brown/black leather piece using a simple technique that I learned recently which I describe fully in this Instructable. You could add any kind of detail you like here, or just leave it simple.

There are a few non-aesthetic details that do need to be added to this piece however. I cut a flap which will act as a little access door for the spout of the drink bag. I also punched holes for rivets around the edge, attached a "belt loop" in back for the thin torso strap to run through, and added a snap to the little flap. I set the other corresponding side of the snap to the body of the quiver, right below the spout hole, and, with these snaps connected to give me the proper alignment of the brown piece over the black piece, I marked the placement of the rivet holes on the front side of the quiver base.

Then I used a hole punch to make holes in the black leather and attached the pieces to eachother with rivets and a hammer.

Step 6: Sew and Rivet the Quiver

Then I threaded a leather needle with thick waxed black thread and stitched the back seam of the quiver together, doubling back at the beginning and end to secure my stitches.

With the seam sewed, I folded the back half of the leather base up onto the back of the quiver and marked where to punch holes in the black leather. Then I used my manual hole punch to punch through the leather and set in rivets with a hammer. It was a little tricky to set the rivets here, and I had to slide a metal ruler in between the layers of leather to create a hard base. But I was able to make it work.

Step 7: Sew the Shoulder Strap

I sewed the two thin layers of my shoulder strap together with my sewing machine, though you could easily do it by hand as well. Then I trimmed the edges with scissors so they were even. I added a contrasting strap to the top layer right where it will fold over to conceal the camelback tube, and I put a snap on the underside of the big strap to secure this contrast strap.

Step 8: Add the Foam

Now I needed to add some foam strips to the inside of my leather strap to create a channel for the camelback tube.

My craft foam was only 1/4" thick, so I sandwiched two layers together with double sided tape. I created two 3/4" wide strips, one 10" long, and one 6" long, and then slid them inside the tube of my leather strap. I kept them pressed flush against the side seams of the leather by inserting another piece of foam into the central channel while I punched holes through all the layers of leather and foam and added rivets to hold the foam in place. Then I removed the white foam in the center, freeing up the channel.

Step 9: Attach the Straps

I punched holes in the flaps at the top of the shoulder strap and used them to mark corresponding holes around the opening on the back of the quiver, making sure the opening in the quiver lined up with the mouth of the channel in the strap. Then I riveted the strap to the quiver, using my mini anvil as a base between the layers of leather.

Finally I riveted the bottom of the shoulder strap and the ends of the two torso straps to the ring that will rest on the chest. I also attached the buckle to the other end of the long strap and fed that strap through the loop in the back of the quiver.

Step 10: Create the False Top

With the hydration pouch filled and inserted in the body of the quiver, I measured the length and width of the quiver opening at top of the hydration pouch. I transferred these measurements to paper and drew an oval shape for the false top.

I cut this shape out in foam and then tested it in the quiver, trimming it until it fit snuggly. Then I cut out a second layer of the same shape and glued the two together.

Step 11: Make the Arrows

Using a chop saw, I cut my wooden dowel to an appropriate length for the top of my arrows, in this case I decided on 9". You could also use a hand saw if you don't have access to power tools.

Then I used my feathers to fletch my arrows. All I did was cut 3" lengths from my feathers, trim them to an appropriate shape and then slice each one down the middle with my xacto knife. Then I used super glue to array three feathers around the end of each arrow. I fully acknowledge that these arrow fletches could be a lot better, but I think they look good enough for a costume quiver. If you wanted to make them nicer, you could stain your dowels, add contrasting notches at the ends of the arrow shafts, and wrap the ends of the feathers to the shafts with string.

Step 12: Attach the Arrows

Once my "arrows" were fletched I poked holes in my foam with an awl and stuck the arrows in. I secured them at the bottom with superglue and then glued a piece of leather onto the bottom to hide the ends.

Now I can slide the fake arrow top into the quiver to disguise the pouch full of drinks that is really inside!

Step 13: Get Your Drink On

Now fill your hydration pouch with your favorite drink or dispense a pre-bagged beverage from the bottom opening to share with your friends. There is a lot of quite drinkable wine-in-a-bag-in-a-box on the market these days, so need to stoop to Franzia. Of course, you can also just forget the drinks, and use the quiver as a convenient carrying case thats integrated into your costume.

Leather Contest

Participated in the
Leather Contest

Halloween Props Contest 2015

Participated in the
Halloween Props Contest 2015