Water Bottle Sheath (Klean Kanteen)




I don't know about you, but I don't drink enough water. I also know that carrying a water bottle isn't for everyone. But you have to admit, if you do carry one, you are likely to drink more water than someone who doesn't. Pretty obvious right? These days, we are lucky, anyone who is reading this is likely to have running water at their convenience, yet we still manage to stay mildly dehydrated.

So to solve this quandary, we go back in time when their wasn't water out of every tap and people had to carry their water with them. People would use the bladder of animals, hardened leather, clay and a myriad of other materials. I have a solution... Carry a water with you, BUT LOOK AWESOME DOING IT!!!!

I can't tell you how many compliments I have gotten for my water bottle sheaths. Strangers come up to me and ask me about it all the time.

In this Instructable, I will show you and give you patterns for different sizes and techniques. All of the ones I have in this Instructable are Klean Kanteen brand, mostly because I really like their stuff. I will in the future make patterns for mason jars for those who's budget doesn't jive with the cost of these. Plus, mason jars are great, just not as sturdy.

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Step 1: Patterns

You can use these patterns in three ways.

1. take the measurements and draw them out

2. print it out and use it as your guide (you can use folded over tape to stick the pattern and material together)

3. directly input the Illustrator file into a laser cutter and the machine will cut it out for you (be sure to test your material)

I did mine on a laser cutter but if you have scissors and a leather hole punch, it works great too.

The files I have included do not have the artwork in it since it is not my original work, but it is easy to take a wood burning tool and add your own personal touch to your water bottle sheath. Or add an image to the file for laser cutting.

The following pages include three different patterns and techniques. You can switch up some of the techniques to achieve the look you like.

Step 2: What You Will Need

---- Please read all the sheath instructions because the one before is relevant to the next.-------

Adobe Illustrator to see the patterns (you can download a free 30 day trial of Illustrator)

(click on the link above to see the pattern)

27 oz classic , 20 oz insulated wide mouth, or 64oz wide mouth Klean Kanteen water bottle

bicycle chain

bicycle chain tool

piece of small flat metal with a hole bigger than a 1/4 inch (if using all bike chain without rivets)



scissors (or laser cutter)

leather hole punch (or laser cutter)

2-3- 1 inch "D" rings (depending on the bottle choice)

nylon thread

straps at your desired length

Step 3: 27 Oz Classic (Not Wide Mouth)

You need a bike tool. Its not worth it to try and disassemble them without one.

Step 4: 27 Oz Cont. Disassembling Bike Chain

Once you have all your parts, set aside the hollow round parts. You won't be using them.

Re-assemble them with the leather in between. Be consistent with the parts placement.

Place the pins through the holes to hold them in place.

Place the piece of metal on something hard and stable.

Position the pin in the hole in the metal and hammer down until the pin goes through the other side and clenches the leather tightly.

Do one side...

Step 5: 27oz. Cont.

Repeat on the other side to close it up. Make sure you start from the middle out. It makes it easier.

Before putting the sheath on the water bottle, assemble the "D" rings in the upper and lower holes

Pull the hat over and sew it to the 6 empty holes on the top of the body.

If you don't want a hat on it, you can cut it off and use the holes on the body to strap leather through and around the lower mouth part and through the other holes.

Sew the bottom together with thick nylon thread/cord.

Step 6: 64 Oz Wide Mouth

This bottle sheath is a combination of two of the techniques I use throughout this Instructable.

I bound it up together the same way the 24 oz sheath was, with bicycle chain.

Attach 2 of the 3- 1" "D" rings. For this bottle, I used fancier pieces but "D" rings actually work better because they won't slip off.

Step 7: 64oz Cont.

Around the top, binding the body and hat, I used bicycle chain and rivet combination

Bend the bike parts to fit the curve of the bottle.

Use rivets to connect the parts and the leather

There will be extra material on the hat. Line up the two rows of two holes and connect them with bike chain.

Add the third "D" ring in the little space between the bike chain and the fold of the leather. You can use this "D" ring or the one below it as the strap holder. The one you don't use you can use to hook to a back pack for camping or whatever you like.

Put the sheath on.

Sew the foot and body together. If you don't like the fit you can cut the little flap holding the parts together to adjust it.

Step 8: 20oz Vacuum Insulated

This water bottle sheath is probably the simplest one to do.

Step 9: Riveting

You put this sheath together much like the other three but it is all rivets holding the parts together, so it is a much simpler procedure.

Pliers work great to scrunch the parts together.

Start from the middle out and do one side at a time.

Step 10: 20oz Cont.

Don't forget to attach the"D" rings before putting the sheath on.

Sew the foot onto the body.

Take leather rope and put both ends through two of the holes on one side of the top of the sheath.

Wrap the rope around the bottom part of the mouth and take both ends and put them through the remaining two holes and a bike chain piece.

Tie a box knot up against the bike chain part.

Step 11: Straps

The Straps, I leave up to you to decide the length and width. Do what's comfortable.

If you want something that you can wear over your shoulder, I recommend not going thinner than 1/2 inch .

Step 12: Strap Examples

Step 13: Finish

Finish it with a nice leather oil.

I chose this one just because it was laying around but any brand will do.

Step 14: All Done

Enjoy and drink plenty of water. You have no excuse anymore and you'll look "styley" doing it.

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    20 Discussions


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I've found that you can get a lot of scarp leather from online stores like taobao.com from China. You'll get something like a pound of leather (yes, they sell it by weight!) scraps of different sizes and forms.

    They say that they cooperate with local leather clothes factory so they have plenty of those scraps all the time. If you have such a factory somewhere around you, you may try to ask them for such supply.


    I love this! But one problem: your list of supplies doesn't mention leather! I see you have a roll: where do you get it? How much is it? How much $ do you think one of these sheaths cost to make (assuming you have the tools)?

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I've found that you can get a lot of scarp leather from online stores like taobao.com from China. You'll get something like a pound of leather (yes, they sell it by weight!) scraps of different sizes and forms.

    They say that they cooperate with local leather clothes factory so they have plenty of those scraps all the time. If you have such a factory somewhere around you, you may try to ask them for such supply.


    5 years ago

    Deadly computer,
    Thanks for the comment/questions. I've not had problems with the leather not drying. I've gotten my sheaths pretty wet and they always dry quickly. I wash the inside with a bottle brush and rinse it well. If you do wish to take it out of the sheath you can leave extra length on the bottom stitching and just unstitch and re-stitch when done cleaning the bottle. It's a pretty quick process. Honestly though its not necessary.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I carry a steel water bottle and never thought of this. Good idea!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Good idea, especially for glass bottles. I got concerned about plastic, and didn't like the taste that stainless and aluminum bottles gave to the water, so I went to glass. (My favorite is a 750 ml French swing-top bottle that came with "Limonade" inside, but small vinegar bottles are also good.) Yet I worry about cycling with one of these in my backpack, and have visions of a sharp shard of glass piercing my back if I get in an accident. A leather sheath would help very much.

    1 reply
    Deadly Computerbo88y

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Try Liberty Bottles (http://www.libertybottles.com/Liberty_Shop_Collect...

    They have powdered coated the inside of their bottles and I don't taste anything in the water. They also look pretty ace as is, so there's that.

    Couple of questions I have:

    1. How do you clean the outside of the bottle, inside of the sheath? From the looks of it, the one you're making in step 7 is completely covered and there's no way to slip it out without either removing the bottom stitching, or removing the rivets. Being as this is a water bottle, and you're likely to drink from it, it's easy to see water going down the sides, and then, germs. There should be a way to remove the bottle to clean and dry the sheath in those instances.

    2. How well does this add insulation to a non insulated metal bottle?

    Otherwise, nicely done, I have some extra leather I might try my had at something like this soon.


    5 years ago

    Oops. Contemplatist, you are absolutely right. I completely spaced the material on the list. Thank you. I'll adjust that. As for where I got my leather... I was lucky and able to procure it for free from a friend but it was a one time thing. Cost really depends on the quality of leather. It could be anywhere from 30- 100's of dollars. If you live in a city, there are usually good sources for leather. Even leather dumpsters in the luckier of places. Or you can alway find it on line. Another option is an old jacket or thrift store score. Thanks for the comment and I'd love to see your version of it if you make one.

    2 replies

    If you are not going to tool the leather look for a thrown out leather chair/sofa, no choice in color, over dying doesn't work/or doesn't work well.

    I can tool leather, so I would buy it from Tandy. Tooling leather is vegetable tanned. Other leathers are chrome tanned.

    spark master

    5 years ago on Introduction

    very nice, maybe one day I make one too.

    Tandy Leather is a source for leather, rivets etc.


    5 years ago

    Hi! What kind of water bottle do you have? Or did you want a bottle included?