This is an instructable on how to make an easy leather knife sheath. It will only take a 3-5 hours to make and yet the result is a sturdy and nice looking sheath!
You will need only a few special tools; a stitch marker (rotating wheel with spikes on it-its a leather working special tool) ; and a vertical drill press (in order to drill straight).
Step 1: Cutting the Leather
This sheath does not call for an elaborate design. Simply trace the outline of the blade. Add another outline appr. 6 mm outside of the actual blade size. This will give plenty of space for the stiched seam. Cut out four (4) equal pieces like this. Take the forth piece an cut away the inner section corresponding to the actual size of the blade which leaves a thin strip of leather (to the far right in the picture). This piece/layer will help protect the thread from being cut by the blade when inserting it in the sheath.
Why not only two layers of leather? Firstly, the sheath will not be strong enough to withstand a fall and this may result in the blade cutting through and injuring you. Secondly, the thickness of the handle in relation to the blade (in my case) calls for two extra layers of leather under the blade to be inserted easily withouth snagging the leather with the tip of the blade.
Finally, cut out a fifth piece where you simply add 5-10 centimeters of leather. This layer of leather will, depending on you knife handle, hold a leather band and a snap metal button to hold the knife in the sheath.
Step 2: Gluing the Layers
Put the pieces of leather together using glue between each layer. It can be done without glue, but that makes the drilling of thread holes so much more difficult later on.
Do NOT fill the space for the blade (layer three) with glue. If you do, it will be very difficult to put your knife into the sheath later.
I used epoxi glue but a more flexible 1 component glue suitable for leather should should work. Be careful not to get glue on your blade, which you dont need in this step. I just put it there to more clearly show the layers.
Add a weight to your sheath and let it dry.
Step 3: Take a Break
To keep focused you need a well deserved break! Alternatively you can sit and watch the glue dry...
Step 4: Let It Dry
This is what it should look like after it has dried. The blade enters into the third layer from the bottom.
Step 5: Trim the Edges
Trim the edges of the sheath using, for example, a drum sander.
Step 6: Marking the Thread Holes
Use a stitch roller to make indentations for the thread holes just inside the edge of the sheath. Remember to keep the same distance from the edge, otherwise your sheet it will come out less pretty.
(This picture unfortunately shows the sheath after I drilled the holes. But please imagine the holes as only indentations...)
Step 7: Drill the Threadholes
In this step I recommend to use a vertical drill press in order to drill straight through. If you drill manually, be prepared that the placement of your holes on the back side of the sheath will come out less pretty than on the the frontside....
Step 8: Sew It Like You Mean It!
Here we will be using what is commonly known as the shoemaker stitch. Please see photos for an explanation. If you have two needles you can go from opposite sides simultanously.
(what happens in the third picture is that you take the lower thread up through the second hole. You have now made one stich.)
Step 9: Fastening the End Threads
Fasten the end threads by making a knot and then stitch the remaining thread through 2-3 of your previous stitches as shown in picture 4.
Step 10: Make a Snap Metal Button Strap
Cut out a strip of leather long enough to reach around the knife's handle including the snap metal button.
Drill four holes in the upper section of the sheath and cut two vertical lines as in the picture. And there! You know have a holder for your snap metal button band.
Step 11: Oil or Wax and Behold Your Creation!
Wax or oil your sheath. Done!
I really hope you enjoyed this instructable. If you liked it you may want to vote for it in the leathercraft competition!
Participated in the
Leather Goods Contest