I made this holster in preparation for the Humans vs Zombies game at my university. In theory you could use this instructable for just about any small nerf gun. When I start working with webbing for the actual harness I use a sewing machine, but you could easily just sew by hand. I hope to enter this into the Leather contest so PLEASE VOTE FOR THIS INSTRUCTABLE IF YOU LIKE IT its highly appreciated. Most of the leather I bought from Hobby Lobby where I got a big bag of thick scrap leather for under $10. I must emphasize thinking through this process and stopping at different points to make sure that the holster is loose enough to insert the nerf gun but tight enough so it doesn't fall out. Hope you guys find this helpful.
Step 1: Gather Materials and Tools
Lets start by gathering all the materials and tools that we need to make this holster. The nerf gun that I am using for this instructable is a Nerf StrongArm. I got it for a fairly reasonable price and it doesn't have a motor so it will quiet when I sneak up on zombies.
- Scrap Leather (I got mine from Hobby Lobby)
- 2 buckles (Michael's)
- ~2.5 yards of black webbing
- Nerf Gun
- Rubber Hammer
- 4 Hole Leather Punch
- Leather Sewing Awl
- Stamping Swivel Knife (optional)
- Leather Stamp (optional)
- Leather Bevel (optional)
Step 2: Punching Holes for the Holster
I made this holster in 3 pieces. The first piece was that long black piece seen in the first picture. I determined its dimensions simply by folding it around my nerf gun close to the trigger part and marked where I would sew it, making sure that it wasn't too tight or loose.
Next I made those 2 other pieces seen in the second picture (the brown and black smaller pieces). The brown piece was too short to wrap all the way around the gun like the bigger black piece so I used the small black piece to connect both brown edges. The small black piece only has holes on 2 sides while the brown on all three sides. Make sure that the holes line up with the corresponding side or piece that it will be sewn to with.
So in summation, The big black piece is punched so it can be sewn to itself on its shorter 2 sides. The big black piece is punched so it can be sewn to the long edge of the brown piece. The small black piece is punched so it can be sewn by its 2 long sides to the 2 short sides of the brown piece. Since I used scrap in this instructable it might be difficult to find the same sized pieces as I did, because every scrap bag is different so just be creative. If you pull out the punch and see that it didn't make it all the way through, simply use the non-sewing awl (its basically a metal spike, mine is the pinkish-purple tool) and push it through.
Step 3: Stamping a Design Into It (Optional)
This step is completely optional I just did it to give the holster a little flair. Technically you are not suppose to stamp this kind of leather because it's already been dyed and given a protective layer. But I, making this for a pretend Zombie Apocalypse and if it was real I wouldn't be worried about that, bent the rules just a bit. So I found a picture of some Roman victory leaves and stamped it on there along with some of my Roman slogan as it were and some encouraging words in latin.
- Trace over it with the bead end of that beveling tool
- Use the Swivel Knife to cut the desired design
- Use the Bevel to pull out the design more
- Use the Stamp you choose and Rubber Hammer to deepen whatever you don't want to be showcased
There are many other how-to tutorials on the web and even Instructables on leather stamping so I'm not going to go too far into it. It mostly just comes with practice.
Step 4: Sewing the Holster Together
At this point the holster starts to actually look like something. First, I sewed one long side of the small black piece to the short side of the brown piece and then I connected the other black long side to the other short brown side. After this I had one finished leather loop. Second, I sewed the long side of the brown piece to the long side of the big black piece. Lastly, I sewed the 2 short ends of the big black piece together finishing the business of the holster. Try sliding the nerf gun in and out to make sure it's just right.
When I was sewing this I was using wax thread and my sewing awl. When tying off at the end of a stitching I like to make 2 simple knots then cut off the excess so there is about an inch remaining from the knots. I twist the two ends together and then with matches burn them down together so they cannot come undone.
When I was sewing the small black piece to the brown piece I used a simple sewing style overlapping the 2 pieces. I do the same when sewing the large black piece to itself. When sewing the large black piece to the brown piece however I used a square back and forth technique as seen in the second photo.
Lastly I cut a small rectangular piece out of the top of the holster so that the sliding back piece doesn't make it difficult to insert and remove the nerf gun. See photo 4
Step 5: Connecting the Harness
First I cut out a piece of leather to connect all the webbing to to form the harness. This is the new black piece shown in the first picture with my hand for reference size. I cut out a small rounded part to make it more comfortable and so it adheres to the shoulders better. The back piece should rest on the upper back on the shoulder blades.
On the back side of the holster sew a piece of webbing then connect it to the innie part of the buckle. This is where I start using a sewing machine, Another helpful note, try to double up on the webbing when you sew it, that is to say fold it on itself and then sew it so that there is two layers of webbing to a layer of leather. Also once you cut the webbing burn the cut edge with matches so it doesn't unravel.
Be sure to punch holes in the back piece which correspond to where you intend to connect the webbing to it. I punched 2 lines of 4 holes right next to each other and then sewed the webbing to it with a zig-zag technique. You will also want 2 sets of 4 holes on either end of the back of the holster so you can sew the webbing to it.
Now feed a stretch of webbing through the outie part of the buckle. Make sure to leave a bit so you can tighten or loosen it. When measuring how long to make it I simply draped it over my shoulder and had someone else cut it to get the right length. So try it on and by that sew it. Now sew the stretch of webbing to the upper left backing of the back piece. Next sew another piece of webbing from the bottom left of the back piece to the bottom back of the holster. After this you should be finished sewing for the left side of the holster harness. Remember to routinely check to see that the harness is sewn right and that pieces are sewn so there is minimal stress on the stitches.
To make the right side of the harness simply mirror what you did on the right taking out the length from the holster, otherwise it is exactly the same.
Step 6: Adjust and Enjoy
The holster is now completed Congratulations! All that's left is to make sure it is tight enough by adjusting the buckles.
I hope you have found this instructable helpful and or inspirational. If you like this Instructable PLEASE VOTE FOR ME IN THE TANDY LEATHER CONTEST. I have to be approved first so you may have to check back in a day or two. Thank you so much for your support have fun and Happy Nerfing!