Introduction: Leather Lighter Holster
You buy them and they always disappear. If you catch the culprit in the act they just say. "Oh sorry.. my bad". And it's forgotten. But if you don't know it's gone, you are like a mad man running around looking for a light when you need it the most.
This leather lighter holster seems to keep them around a little longer. It will hook to a key chain easily and its a good way to display your handy work.
About 45 minutes of leather work and of course the dreadful drying times. No sewing, a few rivets and some scrap leather and its done.
I designed this for a co- worker as a gift on a slow night with a piece of paper. Then worked out the fine details with chrome tan then used 3-4 oz veg tan for the final product.
Step 1: Tools and Supplies
3-4 oz veg tan leather
Rapid rivets and setter
Various leather stamps
Swivel or craft knife.
Optional... Pc of leather lace
Step 2: The Template
Im going to give basic dimensions on this one since there is not too much room for adjustment of sizes.
A bic is a bic. if you use the rectangle shaped lighter you can adjust to fit it. And it won't hurt my feelings.
The case is 3-1/2 wide x 2-5/8 tall
The bottom stopper is 5/8 x 2-3/8
Use a square and measure out the main dimensions on card stock
On one side mark off 1-1/2 inches down.
From the bottom corner mark off 3/4 inches in
Fold the card in 1/2 and make a small radius line between those 2 points
This is where your finger will sit while striking the lighter.
Folding will give you even sides when cutting the leather
Cut the radius out carefully rounding the ends and also round off the top corner
Cut out the bottom stopper and and round off the edges the same way
This may all seem a little big for the lighter at this point but the leather is much thicker and you can make adjustments later since tooling will alter the shape somewhat.
Step 3: The Cut Out
Lay out the template onto your leather and carefully trace it with a scribe. I drew out several on a larger piece since I plan to make several of these.
I cut these with the Ginsu shears
Don't make the hole marks just yet.
Step 4: The Layout
Before tooling we have to note some points where the bottom stopper overlaps and where the bend around the lighter will be.
Wrap your leather around the lighter and do a basic assembly, then discretely make a mark to define these areas, mine is about 5/8 inch from the rivet edge. It don't need to be perfect the tooling will move stuff around a little.
Step 5: Casing and Tooling
Casing leather is the process of getting it wet. Not wet rag wet, but applying enough water to wet the leather somewhat then letting it absorb evenly throughout over a period of time. Usually until it begins to return to its normal color. If it's too dry it won't stamp well if it's too wet the tooling won't be very crisp once totally dried out
This is fairly thin leather so just run it under water for a few seconds then allow it to case for about 10 minutes or so. Casing takes practice. Don't be in a rush here.
I'm going to put a lip along the top a frame around the edges and an initial in the center on both sides with some light designs.
My lip will be 1/4 inch wide so I start that far down and start my 5/8 inch border, I'm going to leave about an inch in the middle of it all to put a design on the bend, so I mark 1/2 inch on either side from the center to stop at and use a straight edge to connect the top and bottom. Then trace the border with a craft knife or swivel knife about 1/2 way through the leather use a textured beveler with the beveled angle facing away from the lip along that line to give the border a raised effect. Tap in some designs then let it all dry. I also do the stopper at this time.
I'm sure you are thinking the same thing. Why in the heck did he put that big flower in there. It's because I'm an idiot. Get over it.. And make your favorite designs. Ask yourself how will that look before just stamping trying to fill a void. Yeah that's it. It was all part of my style of teaching. I'm sticking with that reasoning.
Next up. Dyeing.
Step 6: Dyeing - Cleaning
There are many different dyes and stains and antiquing gels to choose from. I'm going to use dye for this one. Light mahogany.
There are countless books and articles on how to dye leather so I'm not going to go too much into technique. But.. What works for me doing solid colors is,
with a small dauber(small project, large dauber or a rag larger projects) apply in a circular motion all over, then straight lines from side to side to give even coverage,
allow to soak in for 2-3 mins and give a second coat the same way. That should be sufficient. If you think it needs another then a 3rd light coat is always enough. You can do the inside lightly if you want. I usually use the unseen parts to get excess dye off of my dauber so it don't leak all over stuff while drying.
When this dries usually 4-5 good hours you will notice a chalky film all over. This is pigment that wasn't absorbed into the leather. You are going to rub this off with a cloth until no more comes off. Use this time to burnish the edged with your rag.
Burnishing- this is a compressing process that takes place when you are stamping or rubbing the leather. When stamping this gives the leather a permanent darkened look where the indentation is and is one of the main reason for stamping except for the design of course. When rubbing the same effect takes place, this is usually around the edges. So go ahead lay your project flat and rub your edges a little harder and even using your fingernail inside the rag to soften/round off the edges. This is usually done with a special tool but an abrasive rag works well on thinner leather. If you skip the de-pigmenting step your dye will bleed through all sealants and waxes you apply and get onto your clothes, couch, car seats. Etc...
This will give your project a great luster. But it still needs to be sealed and waxed.
Step 7: Seal and Wax
We are going to use super shene acrylic sealer. It's a good sealer. It dries tough and I've never had any problems with it being too thick and streaky.
With a small brush I apply it all over on both sides in a thin layer. If you want another layer later go ahead and let it dry again completely
It will pick up a little color during application but that won't effect the results. Just don't play with it too much during application.
I usually dye and seal and glue before going to work or bed so I don't have the urge to mess with stuff before it had sufficient time to cure.
So let this dry completely.
Give it a light buffing. Not enough to rub off the finish but enough to smooth everything down.
Apply a layer of your wax of choice. I'm using tandys carnauba creme it works pretty good. All their stuff works great for me. They have high volume and its a fresh product. Let it dry completely and buff it to a nice shine. I use a toothbrush to get the dried particles out of the tooling.
Step 8: Time for Holes
We'll start with the stopper
Make a hole appropriate sized for your rivet on each end about 1/4 inch in. As close to center as possible. I use extra small single cap rivets here and double cap on the side part.
Wrap the holster around the lighter and hold the stopper in place. You will want it flush with the lighter base. Be sure the ends are even on each side. Make a mark inside the holes to designate where to punch the accepting holes.
Now the side.
You will be dividing the side into 3 holes. 2 lower holes for double cap rivets and the top hole for a small grommet for a key ring or a piece of lacing.
With the holster still wrapped around the lighter mark just above the bend at that 1-1/2 inch mark about 1/4 inch up and in enough to hold the lighter snug. Then go up about 2/3 way and mark there too. Leaving about 3/8 inch or so on top for the grommets.
Choose a grommet big enough to accept a small key ring and punch the appropriate sized hole leaving about an 1/8 inch on top for durability purposes.
Go ahead and punch the holes for the rivets at this time.
Step 9: Setting Rivets and Grommets
Since the grommets will be installed separately we'll do them first. Install one on each side in the top holes, you won't be able to get in there later.
Now the stopper. Lay the holster flat with the design side facing up and put a rivet base in each hole you made for the stopper. Lay your stopper on top of that and set one rivet(note don't set it 100% tight you need adjusting room next) then set the other side the same way. Fold the holster into its proper position and pull the stopper around into its proper position. Now you see why you didn't want it vise tight. You can set them tighter if you need to now.
Go ahead and install your double cap rivets into the sides
Step 10: Done
Thank you for checking this one out. If you have any questions or comments about this or general leatherwork please shoot me a note. I'm no expert but I might be able to help or point you in the right direction. Thanks G.