Introduction: Fire Hose Craft

About: Hello, i'am Hans, living in the south east of the netherlands. And i like to making al sort of things with leather, firehose, innertube, braiding stuf and many more. Normaly i work with used materials to give …
A few months a go, a friend gave me a some fire hose. I was very thankfull, but i didn’t know how to handle this stiff material. Because fire hose is not really easy to work with. But after a while, with a lot of try outs, i found a way to make different things.
In this tutorial i explain to you, some techniques and tools you need, to craft with fire hose.
Important to know, the firehose that i used in this tutorial, was a red coloured one with a thickness of 2 and 3mm.
I prefer a 2 mm thickness, especially for making small things. The 3mm you can use for bigger projects!
The photo’s you see above, are the things i made from the thin and thicker fire hose.

In this tutorial i show you, how to make a matchboxholder from one piece of fire hose!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Fire hose is a stiff but also a durable material. You need sharp tools, a good worktable and not to forget, a little patience.

Usefull tools are:
- cutting mat
- utility knife or rotary knife
- a iron ruler for measuring and cutting
- stitching groover ( to make a groove on the inside of the fire hose, for bending it)
- hammer
- to make holes a rotary punch, hand sewing punch, nail, scratching awl or something else.
- common plier
- spacing wheel
- a piece of soft wood.
- clamps
- all purpose cement/ glue

- fire hose 2 or 3 mm thick
- rivets, long enough to hold the pieces fire hose together
- polyester cord, polyester sewing thread
- several stiching needles with a blunt point
- some hardware, like 0 rings, D ring, buckle from an old belt etc.
- snaps and a snap setter.
If you have an old treadle sewingmachine at home, you can try to use it for sewing fire hose. Use leather sewing needles and strong thin nylon thread!
Never use a modern machine, the electric moter is not strong enough for this work! Old treadle sewingmachines are stronger because of the footpedal.

I listed a whole list of tools and materials, but you don’t need them at once it depends on what you want to make.
In the beginning you can start with a good cutting mat, hammer, pliers, sharp knife, rotary punch or sharp nail, rivets, sewing needles and sewing thread.

Step 2: How to Start

The first thing to know, is how big is the matchbox, because it has to fit in the matchboxholder. The matchbox i used, is 53 mm long, 35 mm width and 15 mm thick. The pattern i made a little bit bigger, because of the thickness of the fire hose.( see photo for the sizes,) Cut the fire hose long enough to fit your pattern. Cut with a sharp knife one side open, for drawing the pattern on the inside.
After you draw the pattern on the inside, you can cut it out very precies. The round corners are easy made with a coin as you can see.
Now take the stitch groover and the metal ruler to make some shallow cuttings, don’t cut to deep! These cuttings makes it possible to bend the stiff fire hose.
Now you can try to fold it to a nice box, to see if there are some shape cuts neccesary. Always be careful to make some adjustments on your work!

Step 3: Punching Holes, Setting Rivets and More

Now you can make the holes for the rivets, on both side ends i made 2 holes. Always take a piece of leather when you punch the holes with the rotary punch, this is to protect your punch and anvill. ( see photo) Now fold the matchboxholder together and make a some holes, with a scratch awl. Work very precies, because this is a critcal point of no return!
Use rivets which are 2 layers long, mine where a little bit to long, that is why i had to use a small piece of extra fire hose on each hole.
With a hammer i fasten the rivets, please look for a piece of hardwood to put in the holder, for a firm pounding surface!
The last thing is to make the loop for closing this little box. Measure the circumference where the loop is going to be. Very lose because of closing the lid!
After cutting the loop, punch 2 small holes and connect with a staple. The legs of the staple, you can bend with a plier. Now move this spot to the back of the holder! If you want, you can glue a lightning surface on the inside of the lid.

I hope you have a lot of fun with this project. There are so many things you can do with this material. Maybe for the next time!