How to Make a Leather Sheath for a Knife (Or Anything Else)

The knife you have always wanted. Whether it’s your hunting knife or a kitchen sheath, this guide is for the person who wants to make their own. It takes about an hour and costs less than $5 to complete

“Leather knife sheath patterns pdf” is a PDF file that contains instructions on how to make a leather sheath for a knife. It also includes pictures of the completed product.

Homemade knife and DIY leather sheath.

When you need something, you don’t want it in your pocket; you want it exactly where you need it. A leather sheath is ideal for a pocket watch, compass, knife, mobile phone, or any other thing you don’t want to dig for. You may create something to carry a multi-tool or any other specialized item you wish to have on hand at all times. If you can’t find a case for your widget, just replace widget for knife everywhere it says knife.

This post will not only help you with the knife you (could have) produced, but it will also show you how to wet-shape leather. Leather may be stretched and sculpted to fit various things after it has been wet.

Tools and Materials

  • Medium-weight leather (5 to 6 ounces)
  • X-Acto knife or rotary cutter
  • Pencil
  • From a file folder, cardboard
  • The wheel of the rowel
  • Fid
  • Tool for scouring
  • Artificial sinew or thread that has been waxed
  • Needles for sewing leather
  • Water in a pie pan
  • Clips for springs
  • Wrap in Saran wrap
  • Tape
  • Dishtowel

How to Make a Sheath from Leather

Step 1: Make a Pattern

Vintage Homemade knife placed on table.

Place the knife on your piece of cardboard and draw a rough outline around the blade and as much of the handle as you want your sheath to cover. Because the rear of the sheath includes an extension that will be folded down and sewn in place to create a loop through which your belt will be threaded, the design is not symmetrical. It doesn’t have to be flawless, and it’s better to be too big than too tiny.

Step 2: Cut and Put Together Your Pattern

Vintage Homemade knife and rough cutting paper.

Make a preliminary cut using scissors to see how your design will appear when the knife is put out.

Vintage man Folding the pattern.

Fold the design in half along the line that will make the rear of the blade part of the sheath and trim the overlap to make the pattern symmetrical. To check where the paper fits into the design, press it against the blade. A little fold in the cardboard can be seen in the shot, indicating that there is enough of space between the cardboard’s edge and the blade.

Vintage homemade knife in the folding pattern.

Then, using a little amount of adhesive tape, create a pattern that has the same three-dimensional form as your leather. This permits you to make changes today, while the going is still easy.

Vintage homemade knife in the pattern and scissors placed on table.

As you can see, I chopped back the design to smooth it out and expose the handle a bit more. We’ll be ready to cut out the actual sheath leather after a little more trimming. Cut and flatten the tape that is keeping your design together.

Step 3: Trace and cut your leather piece

Vintage tracing and cutting piece of leather.

Trace your design onto the leather’s backside (the fuzzy suede part). This is because a) it is simpler and b) it positions the belt loop such that the right side faces forward. I usually skip the belt loop area of the pattern and simply use it as a reference to trace a long piece using a ruler to make sure it’s long and straight. Use a rotary cutter to cut out your leather, but avoid cutting into the inner corners where the blade section of the sheath meets the belt loop, as this will result in ugly nicks. Stop short of certain locations and complete the cuts with an X-Acto or a sharp knife.


Step 4: Begin to shape the leather

Vintage knife and forming the leather.

Wrap anything you’re wrapping in plastic wrap, using a lot of it, then tape everything together neatly.

Vintage placing the sheath part of leather in the hot water.

Prepare your dishtowel, sheathing object, a pan of hot tap water, and spring clips. Put your leather’s sheath in the boiling water. As the water penetrates into the leather, it will change color and bubble somewhat. It just takes a few minutes.

Vintage using spring clips, clamp the leather in place.

Place your leather on the dishtowel, fold the towel over it, and press down to dry it and wring out any extra water. Place the knife on the leather and fold it over the handle, shaping it as you go. Clamp the leather in place with spring clips and work it into a natural shape around the blade and handle. You may use your fingers to shape the leather so that it hugs the handle. Set it away to dry, but for the first half hour, I check it every five minutes to make sure the leather is molding the way I want it to.

Vintage cutting board and leather.

After a few hours (depending on the heat and humidity), you may work with your leather again, or let it overnight. Remove the spring clips after the leather is dry, and you’ll be left with a sheath “husk.”

Step 5: Prepare to Stitch the Seam by Trimming the Sheath.

Trim the sheath to size with the rotary cutter by removing the rough edges and following the shape of the blade and handle. You’ll need to use a bit extra pressure since you’re cutting through two layers of water-hardened leather. Slow down and avoid cutting yourself.

Vintage using a leather gouge.

Cut a shallow groove in the leather along the edge of the sheath seam with a leather gouge. This may be done freehand or with the help of a gouge with a built-in guide.

Vintage using a rowel tool.

Using a rowel tool, mark your stitches in the groove. It’s good to have six holes per inch. If you don’t have a rowel tool, you may do it by hand, taking your time and being cautious.

Vintage sheath on a plastic cutting board and using fid for create holes.

Place your sheath on a plastic cutting board and poke holes in the indentations you produced with your rowel tool with your fid. Tap your fiddle softly with a little mallet. Once you’ve poked all of your holes, remove the top layer of the sheath and repeat the process on the lower layer, since your fid will have begun poking holes there as well. If they don’t line up, your stitching will be a chore. If you don’t have a fid, an ice pick or other pointed object will suffice. Fids operate better because they create a narrow slit rather than a hole.

Sew the Belt Loop in Place in Step 6

Before sewing up the sheath, it’s much simpler to sew the belt loop. Adjust the size of your belt flap by folding it over to the front and trimming it to fit. It should be fastened directly below the sheath’s top. If you go any farther, you could have trouble getting the handle to sit properly in the sheath.


Vintage making a row of holes in both the end of the belt loop.

Make a row of holes in both the end of the belt loop and the top of the sheath using your four-prong punch, as indicated. If you don’t have a leather punch, a fid, ice pick, or anything sharp and pointed will suffice. If there is any extra leather at the end of the strap, trim it away. Stitch the loop with your needle and fake sinew, moving in and out until three stitches are visible. Cut your sinew near to the knot and tie off your thread.

Step 7: Finish Sewing the Seam

Vintage using sinew From the bottom of the piece.

Begin stitching from the bottom of the piece towards the top of the sheath using a single needle and sinew. Stitch up through the leather and down through the next hole on the side. You could use a double needle method here, but a single needle approach is perfect for such a short seam.

Turn over and travel up from the bottom, doing the reverse of what you just did, once you reach the tip of your sheath. The result is a stitch that will not unravel, and the thread is covered by the groove in the leather, which lays flush or below the surface of the leather. Tie off your knots, then thread your needle in and out of the end holes a few times before pulling the needle firmly through one layer of leather. The lacing will be concealed if it is cut flush with the seam.

Burnish the seam of your sheath with the wooden end of your fid to level out the stitching and drive the stitches further into the sheath.

Insert Knife or Other Object at Step 8

Vintage insert knife in the leather sheath.

Place your knife in the slot. It should be a touch tight at first, but it will soften up with time. Put it on your waistband. Take pride in the fact that you created something cool.




Watch This Video-

The “how to make a horizontal leather knife sheath” is an easy, yet effective way of making a sheath for your knife. This method can be used with any type of material that you want to use.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best material for a knife sheath?

A: The best material for a knife sheath is leather. Leather has many benefits, such as it being durable, water resistant and able to hold its shape.

What kind of leather do you use to make a sheath?

A: I use a laminated microfiber leather. It is durable, yet supple and doesnt scratch or wear out easily.

How thick should leather be for knife sheath?

A: Most leather sheaths are about 3mm but some might be thicker. You should also take into account the width of your knife.

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