I have made an effort over the past year or so to always have a pen and notepad on me at all times, and it's been great. But, sometimes a pen is not enough, I often find myself shouting to the heavens, 'My kingdom for a sharpie!'. When an idea or a task comes to pass, it's nice to have what you need to hand, without having a backpack containing all of your worldly possessions.
And Thus, the pocket tool roll was born! Now I have everything I need to draft ideas fully in my jacket pocket, without having to fish around for them. It's simple, effective, and has some flexibility. What else could you ask for?
Step 1: Tools and Materials
A sharp knife or a cutting wheel
A steel rule
A sharpie (other brands are available)
A piece of chalk
A leather needle ( I used an easy-stitch)
A cutting board
A burnisher (optional)
leather 1mm thick (mine came from an abandoned sofa)
Step 2: The Paper Draft
Theres no point in cutting a piece of leather and hoping for the best, a cow died for our right to organised pockets so it's worth doing right first time.
Start off by drawing a straight line down the middle of an A4 sheet of paper, then lay all of the utensils on the paper, spread them evenly down the page with about an inch of space between each tool, mark lines either side of the tools where you want to make your slits. I made the slit lines 2cm long.
Next, mark the tops and bottoms of the tools, you want the roll to be taller than the tool so it will need to be as wide as the tallest tool. mark out the outside shape of the roll and round the corners by placing something round in the corner and drawing round it.
Cut this template out.
Step 4: Cutting the Roll
Place the template on the leather and draw on the outline using chalk if available, or a pen. take your leather needle or sharp knife and mark the end points of the lines that will be the slits in the middle of the roll.
Place the piece on a chopping board, cutting mat etc, and carefully cut out the outline. You can use a steel rule to make the cuts nice and straight.
Line the slit marks on the leather up with the steel rule and carefully and cut the slits. If you have a leather punch, it's a good idea to punch holes at the ends of the slots before cutting them as it stops the leather tearing in the future but if not, it wont make a huge difference.
Now cut a 2cm wide strip of leather, 2x the length of the roll.
Step 5: Adding the Wrap
Now decide which side of the leather will be the inside of the roll and lay the strip on top of it. make sure that the strip lays over all of the slits and attach the fixed end to the end of the roll with a bull-grip.
Using the leather needle, sew the strip to the roll in a rectangle pattern, you can do this using a few different stitches, I have an easystich needle so I did a lock stitch.
Trim the excess so the roll and end of the wrap are flush.
Step 6: Finishing
You can now burnish the leather by coating the edge with a small amount of wax and rubbing it with a piece of hardwood or bone. this will leave a smooth edge and stop the leather getting tattered.
Thread the strap through the slits going over-under to create loops to hold the utensils, then put your pens pencils etc in the loops roll them up and wrap them in the strap, you may want to trim the end of the strip to make it easier to wrap up but I recommend leaving a little extra as it means you can put thicker tools in if you need to.
Step 7: Go on Your Merry Way!
The good thing about the little rolls it their simplicity, you aren't limited to pens an pencils, the roll is great for Keeping headphones, power banks and cables together and organised.
One mistake, I made the roll before I found my 15cm ruler, so the rule is a little proud of the roll.
One improvement, at the moment, I just wrap the strip round the roll and tuck it behind itself and this works fine, it's sleek and doesn't catch anything or come undone but i'd like to add some kind of adjustable fastening, mainly for aesthetics.
I hope you make this and look forward to seeing different takes on it. It's a super simple project and a great gateway to leather-work.