Intro: Custom Graphic Leather Knife Sheath
When out in the bush a knife like this Buck Knife is one of the most important items you can have. Not only does a knife come in handy for cutting and keeping you safe but a single blade like this one can be used as a hatchet as well buy striking it with a solid stick when its pressed up against a tree or fire wood.
Having said that a loose knife is bad for for everyone. If a knife is not covered it runs the risk of becoming dull as well as becoming dangerous as the blade can slide across anything in a bag or pocket.
After loosing the sheath for this knife I decided I would make another one from some scrap leather and do a custom burned graphic into the leather to give it a personal feel to it and stay in the outdoors-men theme
To make a sheath like this its very simple all you need is:
1 - A Knife that needs a sheath
2 - Scrap Leather
3 - Razor blade
4 - Pencil
5 - Leather Punch/working tools - rivets and rivet setter / buttons and button setter (very cheap)
6 - wood mallet
7 - wood burner
8 - paper
Step 1: Designing the Shape
2 weeks ago while out in the bush using this knife the sheath fell out of my bag so to come home I wrapped it in a paper towel and taped it secure
Once back home I removed the knife, grabbed my scrap leather and go to work.
When designing the shape its important to decide what kind of sheath you want; do you want a seam on both sides of the blade like this or just a single seam folded design.
For this knife I wanted a single seam folded snug fitting sheath.
1 - Find a piece of leather that fits almost the entire knife front and back
2- With a pencil lightly trace the knife then flip it over and trace it again giving you both traced sides of the knife.
3 - Draw a line around the traced knife outline leaving at least 1/2" extra to allow for cut offs and to attach the rivets.
4 - Cut out the traced line leaving a "Tag" end at the middle front point or tip. This will stop the tip of the blade being exposed when the sheath is complete.
5 - Fold over the piece down the middle over the knife and firmly press down helping to make the leather conform to the shape of the knife. ***Be sure to tuck the tag end on the inside of the knife***
Step 2: Adding the Rivets
With the Knife inside the folded leather make small marks with a pencil of where you want to place your rivets. Begin with the rivet closest to the tip of the sheath to secure the tag end in place and then work up from there.
To attach a rivet first use a leather punch to create a hole in the front and back sides of the leather. Next take the bottom end of the rivet and slip it through the holes and top with the top piece. Using a rivet punch and a wood mallet, place the rivet punch on top of the rivet and strike with the wood mallet while on a hard surface.
Constantly slip the knife into the sheath to make sure everything is still fitting snug.
** make sure the NICE top of the rivet will be on the top of the sheath so it will looks professional once complete**
Step 3: Trim & Button Strap
Now that the rivets are done I wanted to expose more of the handle of the knife. With a pencil I made a light line I wished to cut off. With a sharp blade I trimmed the leather to make the sheath look a little better. I also trimmed the edge with the rivets to clean it up a little.
**** I placed the rivets in such a way that the blade is stopped and held in place by the leather and not the rivets which would dull the blade. The blade does not come into contact with the rivets what so ever in this sheath design****
Now to add the Button Strap grab a thin long piece of scrap leather and cut it into a strip that will wrap around the handle easily, with at least 1" over lap to allow for a button.
secure the strap with a rivet to the back of the sheath behind where the handle will rest. Fold the strap over and determine the best location for a button
*** Leather will stretch so a snug button placement is best ***
To attached a button - determine the female end from the male end and secure them to the leather the same way as a rivet but with a button setter.
***At this point you can also attach a belt loop or strap I did not want a belt loop in this knife as this knife is kept in a specific pocket in my hunting bag and not on my belt***
Step 4: Design & Burn
Now the sheath is completely functional but lacks character and a custom look, so lets take it from cool to amazing with some hand drawn and burned in design.
I drew a few different concepts of different things on paper then refined my design to the correct size and shape for the sheath.
Cut out a square around your final chosen design and place it on the blank sheath. Firmly press down and trace the design creating a slight " In-dent" in the leather. It will be very hard to see but you can go over it slightly after.
After you have the general outline of what ever it is your are going to burn on its time to plug in the burner.
Allow the wood burner to get very hot.
*** This takes a steady hand***
With the wood burner ready to go begin tracing the design and effectively burning the image into the leather. Start slow and then add to the outline making lines bigger and darker where they need to be.
A simple drawing rule for perspective is that objects closer to you are larger so for my example I made sure that the bears back (back ground) legs were lighter lines then the front or foreground legs. I also added some shading to the background legs to add to the perspective of the design.
I drew the Bear first then added the pond then the grasses and then the shadow to add more depth. From there I switched the end of the wood burner to a hexagonal star patterned tip and finished the mid to top of the sheath with it creating a very cool design. I repeated the hexagonal star design in a few different areas of the sheath to keep things consistent.
Step 5: All Done
After completing the leather burning you are done and now have a very impressive custom made leather knife sheath that anyone would be jealous of.
I hope you liked this instructable this entire process was about 4 hours of working on it here and there.