Introduction: Plastic Knife Sheath

Old Hickory makes very good knives from high carbon steel. They hold a razor sharp edge very well, but they are meant for the kitchen and do not come with a sheath.

This Instructable will show you how to make a sheath for any type knife using plastic canvas and thread. Knife sheaths are so much cooler than facial tissue box covers which is what plastic canvas is most commonly used to make. These materials are readily available at your local Wal-Mart. They do not require special tools or skills like working with leather. All you need to do is to be able to sew.

For those who do not know how to sew, just looping the thread over one hole of the plastic canvas and into the next one will teach you the process of sewing a very tight and strong bond with thread.

Step 1: Materials

Knife that needs a sheath. Mine is an Old Hickory Ohio Sticker.


Sharpie pen in a color that will show up. I used silver on the black plastic canvas.

Plastic canvas. This costs about $2 at Wal-Mart and will have enough to make at least 4 sheaths.

Plastic canvas needles. These were $1.50 at Wal-Mart.

Thread or string. This roll was $4.00. I have most of it left for future projects.

Step 2: Measure and Cut

Find the widest part of the knife and leave 3 open holes on each side of that point. We will sew the case in the middle hole, leaving one open hole on each side to protect the string from damage. I was able to get all three strips from one section of the plastic canvas.

Pick one section and trace the knife blade. Carefully cut out the center to make room for the blade. Test fit the blade and then trim the top to length.

Step 3: Remove the Rough Edges

Take time to trim off all of the rough edges inside where the blade will fit and along all of the outside edges. Just follow the lines closely in the plastic canvas with your scissors.

Step 4: Begin Assembly

Line up one side with the interior section. Test fit the knife blade again.

Place your first stitch by bringing the threaded needle from the long outside section through to the short interior section that was cut to fit the knife. Start in the center of the case one open square from the edge as shown in the third picture. Tie a very tight knot on the inside of the case. This will secure the middle and the back together.

The remaining strip of canvas will be the front side of the knife sheath. It will need to be trimmed to match the length of the interior section. Test fit the knife blade again before cutting. Then place the front strip on top of the interior section and begin sewing from the middle to one side leaving one open square from the edge at all times. (As shown in the final picture.)

Continue sewing up the side leaving one open square from the edge. Stop when you get near the top and are ready to make the belt loop in the next step.

Step 5: Belt Loop

Make the belt loop by folding the long back strip to the back side of the case. Do NOT cover the slit needed to insert the knife. Be sure to attach the belt loop to the back side.

Incorporate the belt loop into the side stitching all the way until the last open hole from the top. Start stitching toward the center of the knife sheath. Be sure to only stitch the belt loop to the back side. Be careful not to stitch the knife slit closed. Take some time to fully secure the belt loop to the back side. I created a square shaped pattern that fully secured the belt loop.

Once you stitch to the far side, incorporate the outside edges again ensuring that one open square remains on the outer edge. Stitch all the way down the remaining side and back to the center where you started.

Step 6: Tie Off and Finish

This is the hard part of sewing. Once the entire case has been sewn up tight, it is time to tie off the string and finish. I will try to explain the process for those who did not have a grandmother who taught them to sew. As you are bringing the stitch through, do not pull it tight. Bring the needle back through from the opposite side and wrap the slack thread around it several times then pull it up tight. This type knot always worked well for my grandmother, but I never trusted it.

If you look in the second picture carefully, I created a total of six knots of various types from the center to the outside edge. Perhaps it is overkill, but I do not want my case falling apart, ever.

Slip your knife into its new sheath and enjoy.


Hand Tools Only Contest 2016

Participated in the
Hand Tools Only Contest 2016