Step by Step Guide for Leather Sheath Making

Peter Stec
March 11, 2021

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’ll 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’ll need a sheet of leather. Available in both natural and synthetic forms, they can be found in all kinds of textures and colors. You’ll also need a knife to cut the leather sheet into shape. You’ll also need linen thread and a needle to sew in the sheath into place. And you’ll need an awl or a drill to create holes on the leather’s surface where necessary.


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

Getting the sheath’s dimensions

The best way to get the proper fit for your sheath is by accurately getting the sheath’s 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’s space for stitching.

Cutting the leather

Before cutting, mark the edges in which you’ll 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.

Sewing the leather sheath

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.


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.

About The Author
Hey Knife Up gang! I'm Pete, and I'm just another man like you in a small rural town who loves the outdoors as much as the other million internet users that cruise sites like every day. The difference is that I like to share what I know and research what I don't totally know so that YOU can have all the info you need to feel confident and prepared for all things outdoors-related! And, for those who care, I have 42 years of wilderness canoeing and bushcraft experience in Northern Ontario and spend most of my Summers covered in mosquitos and fish slime, but hey, it's a lifestyle choice, eh?

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