Updated: January 22, 2020

Step by Step Guide for Leather Sheath Making

The knife is one of the most versatile tools in the world. Used for everything ranging from everyday tasks to survival purposes, these tools can be found in all shapes and sizes all over the world. One of the most inseparable companions of a trusty knife is a good-quality knife sheath. Not only does it allow safe transportation of the knife, but it also adds some style points to your prized tool. And when it comes to knife sheaths, those made from leather are still the best for so many reasons. In this leather sheath making guide, you値l learn the basic steps on how to make your own leather knife sheath.

Items Needed

Leather sheaths are beautiful.

Leather sheaths are beautiful.

Here are some of the tools you need to create your own leather sheath. Of course, youツ値l need a sheet of leather. Available in both natural and synthetic forms, they can be found in all kinds of textures and colors. Youツ値l also need a knife to cut the leather sheet into shape. Youツ値l also need linen thread and a needle to sew in the sheath into place. And youツ値l need an awl or a drill to create holes on the leatherツ痴 surface where necessary.


Now that you know the basic tools in leather sheath making, here is the step-by-step process in making them.

  1. Getting the sheathツ痴 dimensions窶 The best way to get the proper fit for your sheath is by accurately getting the sheathツ痴 dimensions. Place the blade on top of the leather sheath. Next, fold the sheet around the back end of the blade. This step ensures a secure fit. Make sure to leave a margin of about a centimeter along the edges and tip so thereツ痴 space for stitching.
  2. Cutting the leather窶 Before cutting, mark the edges in which youツ値l base your cutting on. This ensures cut accuracy. With your markings as a guide, cut the leather up using a knife. For these purposes, people most recommend the use of a utility knife because of its sharpness.
  3. Sewing the leather sheath窶 For some people, this is probably the trickiest part of leather sheath making. Because leather is hard enough to resist puncturing from a needle, the help of an awl is necessary. Use the awl to punch holes along the line where sewing has to be done. Ideally, each hole must be half an inch apart from each other. Once all holes are done, sew the sheath up using your needle and linen thread. Make sure to sew in tightly to ensure a secure and durable fit. After the length of the sheath is covered, tie off the thread at the end.
  4. Shrinking窶 This is essential to ensure perfect fit of the blade. Shrinking is done using a 4-step process. First, the blade is covered with cellophane to ensure no sticking and color migration will occur. Second, the sheath is dampened with water to commence the shrinking process. Third, the blade is placed inside the sheath. The fourth and last step involves pressing the leather sheath around the blade. The pressing lasts for around 2 days, with the shrinking process commencing as the leather dries.


These are the 5 fundamental steps in leather sheath making. By following these relatively simple steps, you can craft your own masterpiece. There are some optional steps you can perform to improve your knife sheath. You can use staining techniques to add customized color to your sheath. You can also add a tab to make it compatible with straps. There are other ways to further customize your knife sheath. Combine these advanced techniques with what you just learned here, and you can create crafty sheaths in no time. Check out cool pink pocket knives, balisong knives, and tactical folding knives.

Peter Stec
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