Intro: Leather Eyeglass Case
I have always wanted a leather eyeglass case but had no luck finding one that I liked, so I decided to make my own.....that was about 10 years ago! I simply took an existing case made from imitation materials and used that as a pattern.
I am able to recreate the process to show how to make a leather eyeglass case that is similar to mine. Unfortunately I am not able to show the stitching and fastener installation, but there are plenty of online guides that will show you how to do it.
Step 1: Getting Started
Start by obtaining a used eyeglass case. Ensure that your eyeglasses or sunglasses fit well inside, (Photo 1) and carefully rip apart the seams that hold the case cover together as seen in Photo 2. Remove the plastic protector, shown in Photo 3, and save it for later.
Smooth out the case cover and trace it onto a piece of paper, as seen in Photo 4. I traced mine onto a thin piece of cardboard to make a stronger pattern. A pattern is useful if one needs to make alterations to ensure the best fit. It is also useful if one desires to make additional cases later on. Cut out the pattern and then trace onto a piece of leather. The leather should be about 1/16th of an inch (2-3 mm) in thickness for a good strong case.
Alternatively, skip the pattern making and place the case cover directly onto a piece of leather and trace the outline onto the leather as seen in Photo 5.
Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut out the leather.
Step 2: Sewing the Case Together
There is not much sewing that is needed for this project. Looking back at the paper pattern, the red lines show the areas to stitch together once the leather is folded together. Please see the following instructible for a tutorial on how to sew leather and then proceed to sewing the leather together.
TIP: Start sewing from the middle part of the case and sew your way down to the bottom of the case. Looking at Photo 2, that would translate to starting from the right and sewing in a direction to the left until you reach the bottom. This keeps the final knots at the very bottom of the case where they can be tucked away out of sight.
Be sure to finish your stitching so that the final knots are inside the case as seen in Photo 2.
Your finished seam should look something like my stitching in Photo 3.
Step 3: Adding the Fastener
Now that you have sewn both sides, take the plastic protector (Photo 1) and insert it into the leather case cover. It should fit snugly.
If the fit is too tight, moisten the leather from the inside with a damp sponge or paper towel and fit the plastic protector in place. Leave the plastic protector in place and let it dry overnight.
Adding the fastener is the last step. Be sure to purchase a quality solid brass or stainless steel fastner. This type of fastener is also known as a "Sam Browne Button".
Make a mark on the leather at the location where you want the fastener to be. Remove the plastic protector and punch a hole through the leather. A leather punch works the best to make the hole but an awl or nail would work as well.
Insert the back part of the fastener through the hole in the leather (Photo 3) and mount the front round piece on top of the back piece and hammer the two pieces together using a setting tool available in leathercraft stores (Photo 4).
Fold the upper flap over the fastener and mark the location on where to punch the final hole. Adjust the hole size so that it fits snugly over the fastener as seen in Photos 5 and 6.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
I chose not to apply a stain to the leather. In time the leather darkens, on its own, to a beautiful glossy brown color. One could apply a light or heavy stain to achieve a particular look.
As I noted earlier, I have had my leather eyeglass case for about 10 years now and it still performs wonderfully and has aged beautifully. Your new case should do the same for you and last a lifetime!