Introduction: Tooled Leather Grolsch Bottle Holder

I decided to do a remix of the "DIY Glass Water Bottle"by Culturespy ( ).

I'm a beer lover, and wanted to find a way to take my home brews with me when I hang out with friends... but I wanted to make something personal too. With my 100% hand tooled Leather Grolsch Bottle Holder, I can share something special with friends, or BYOB in style!

Throughout this instructable, you'll find a ton of important tips and detailed instructions in the notes on most of the pictures. Be sure to check them out! (In case you're wondering, all of my leather and tools come from Tandy Leather.)

You'll need:

-a grolsch water bottle (resealable glass bottle)
- 4-5 oz Veg tan leather
-Latigo strap (3/4")
-waxed braided chord

-Shotgun rivets w/ setter
-Chicago Screws (1/4")
- 2 D-Rings (3/4")
- 2 trigger snaps (3/4")
-3/4" belt buckle

-a razor knife
-a right angle
-rotary hole punch
-pick tool or scratch awl
- belt end punch
-3/4" oblong punch
-cutting board
-marble slab or large sledgehammer head
-#2 edger
-edge groover
-#5 stitching wheel
-saddle soap
-cheap leather welding gloves (optional)
-piece of denim, or a brown paper bag
-standard screwdriver
-Jewelers rouge
-Swivel knife
-Backgrounding tools
-mini hole punch
-spray leather finish
-hand stitching needles

Step 1: Measure and Cut Your Leather

you will need to make the leather tube that will go around the bottle, as well as the pieces for the bottom, as well as the D-Ring holders. Please check out the pictures for detailed step by step instructions!

Step 2: Groove It

Here we will make a groove along the edge of the leather. We will then use a stitching wheel to make evenly spaced marking along that groove. We will later use a small hand punch to punch holes along the marking in preparation for the stitching.

Making this groove will ensure that the stitching will lie flush with the leather.

Step 3: Edge It

Edging your work is completely optional... but it looks really nice. It smooths the edges, presses down all the little leather fibers, and gives your work a truly finished look.

Using a #2 edger, you will round off the corners of the leather on both front and back sides of the leather.

Then, after wetting the edge with a damp sponge, run Saddle Soap along the edge. The more the merrier.
Finally, use a bit of denim, or brown paper bag, and rub it vigorously along the edge.

The soap, friction, and pressure will leave you with glassy smooth edges!

Step 4: Carve Your Image

This is where you can get creative! We're going to carve an image into the leather, and then tool it. Again, this is optional, but why would you wanna miss out on all the fun?!

This is your chance to really personalize it!

I found an image of a beer barrel online:

In Photoshop, I added a large letter "G" for my last name (Graves). The font is called Fusty Saddle and can be found for free here: (

If you've never used one, here's a nice tutorial on how to use a swivel knife:

Check out the pictures for more detailed instructions!

Step 5: Tool Your Image

Tooling, in this case, is the process of pushing the background of a leather project back to make the image stand out. It also gives depth and dimension to your image. You'll need your beveler, and choice of backgrounding tools.

Step 6: Prepare the Smaler Leather Segments

We're going to punch some holes into our smaller leather pieces so we can secure them to the main tube later.

We'll be using some awesome "shotgun shell rivets" from Tandy Leather to secure the base of the piece.

Step 7: Prepare the Tube

Now we'll get our tube ready for stitching! We don't want too much overlap, so we're going to get rid of some excess on the edge.

Step 8: Dye It!

This is pretty straight forward. Use whatever dye you want.

I love the Mahogany Gel Antique. It's a little different than your typical dye. It comes out thick, and you work it into the leather with a rag. The gel settles into the cuts and creases of your work, and after a moment you wipe off the excess with a clean rag. The dye remains darker in the cuts and grooves, and turns out lighter on the surface when you wipe the rest away, giving the leather an antiqued look featuring varying shades of the dye.

Use a spray-on leather finish to keep the dye from rubbing off with use.

Step 9: Hand Stitch the Tube

You can choose the color and type of thread you would like to use to match your project. I always use waxed braided chord. This is the strongest stuff you can use to stitch your leather together. I chose "Rust" as my color.

Check out the pictures for detailed instructions.

Step 10: Rivet Everything Together.

So close... I can taste the home brew now... Check the pictures for details.

Step 11: The Sling

Finally, we'll be making the leather sling. The sling will attach to the bottle via trigger snaps so you can hang it around your shoulder.

Start with a 3/4" strap of latigo leather. We're going to make two straps out of it. One will be about 18", and the other will be made with the remainder of the strap. It should be around 40-45" in length. Use the belt-end punch on the ends of both straps, and be sure to edge* them for a professional look.

On the small strap, we're going to attach a trigger snap, and a buckle.

On the large strap, we're going to attach a trigger snap on one end, and punch a few holes on the other one to fit into the buckle on the other strap.

When everything is attached, you need to fit the bottle properly for yourself. Attach the straps to the bottle with the short one extending from your hip, across the chest. Bring the longer strap around the back, and over the shoulder, and pull it through the buckle. Pull until the bottle rests on your side comfortably. Mark the leather with your fingernail, and punch a hole or two. Now it's ready to wear!

*This latigo is thick, so instead of using denim to edge it, I use a cheap old pair of rough leather welding gloves. After applying the saddle soap, I simply pull the strap throgh a tightly clenched gloved hand several time. It works great.

Step 12: Show It Off!

That's all folks! BYOB in style! If you like this Instructable, be sure to leave a comment and vote for me.


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