how to make leather knife sheath
When you carry a knife with you, the blade should remain in a sheath when not in use. Instead of buying a sheath from a dealer, it’s better if you design and make a custom leather knife sheath to wear on your belt. Crafting a slipcover by hand gives you control over the pattern, materials, and quality of the product.
Prepare to do the project
Find and prepare the workspace. Before beginning this project, set up a large workspace. Locate a space with plenty of natural light or strong artificial lighting. Make sure your workspace has a large flat surface and enough space to place all the materials and tools needed for this project. 
Gather the materials. To make a knife sheath, you will need to gather the following materials:
- 8 or 9 ounces of leather
- Graph paper
- cardboard or cardboard
- Scotch tape
- leather dye
- waxed thread
- bull’s foot oil
Gather the tools. If you want to make a sheath for the knife, you will need to gather the following tools:
- thin blade utility knife
- awl (a pointed tool used to prick leather) 
- overcasting wheel (a sharp-tipped wheel used to even score stitching holes) 
- drill and 1.5 mm (1/16 inch) drill bit
- wood rasp (a file used to shape and remove wood) 
- belt sander
- two needles
- spray bottle filled with water
- contact cement for bonding
- cotton stick or dauber (a stick with a cotton ball attached to one end used to apply dye)
- 220 grit sandpaper
- fine sandpaper
- clean cloths
Design, trace and cut the cover pattern
Position and draw the outline of the knife. Place the knife on the graph paper to the left of the center line. Position the top of the blade about ⅛ inch (0.3 cm) from the center line, with the sharp side facing away from the center line.
- Use a pencil to trace the sharp side of the knife. Start on the center line about ⅛ inch (0.3 cm) from the tip of the blade. Following the curve of the blade, draw a line up and around the sharp side of the knife. Continue the line ⅔ of the way up the handle. Do not trace directly along the length of the handle. Since this is thicker than the blade, you will need additional material to cover it. 
- Measure and draw the trim. The welt is an additional piece of leather placed inside the sheath. It goes along the sharp side of the knife to prevent it from going through the sheath. Make a second curved line that is 9/16 to ⅝ inch (1.4 to 1.6 cm) away from the first curved line. 
- Design a smooth top line to connect the curved outer line of the pattern to the straight center line. Locate and mark a point on the center line that is approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the top of the outer curved line. Connect this point with the top of the second curved line, this connecting line should gradually rise from the bottom horizontal line to the top horizontal line. 
- Make the belt loop. Move the center line to the left ¼ inch (0.6 cm) and extend it from the top of the handle 4 ½ inches (11.5 cm). Connect the original center line to the displaced center line in the form of a slight curve. Draw a straight horizontal line ¾ inch (2 cm) from the offset center line to the left. Connect the second curved line of the holster to the top horizontal line of the belt loop at a 45° angle. 
Place the pattern of the cover on the leather. When making a sheath for your knife, 8 to 9 ounces of leather is ideal.
- Lay the leather on your work surface so that the smooth side is facing up.
- Determine if you are going to wear the holster on the right or the left. If you are right handed, you can use the holster to the right of the belt. Flip the pattern so that the belt loop is on the right side of the pattern. If you are left handed, you may want to use the holster on the left of the belt. Flip the pattern so that the belt loop is on the left side of the pattern. [eleven]
- Place the pattern on the leather and secure it with masking tape.
- Use a pencil to trace the pattern onto the leather directly onto the masking tape.
- Use a thin bladed knife to cut out the pattern. 
Create a pattern for the trim in the pattern of the original cover. The area between the two curved lines in the original pattern represents the edging.
- When making the edging pattern, you need to cut along the inside curved line of the original pattern. Cut ¼ inch (0.5 cm) past the center line.
- Place the edging on the leather and secure it with masking tape.
- Trace the welt pattern onto the leather with a pencil and cut it out with the blade. 
Prepare and place the belt loop
Draw the dotted lines on the belt loop in the shape of a square. A dotted line will allow you to keep the points straight. To make the dotted lines, you will need a pencil and a ruler.
- Use a ruler to draw a straight horizontal line 1 ¾ inches (4.5 cm) from the top of the belt loop, beginning and ending the line ¼ inch (0.5 cm) from each side. This will be the bottom dotted line.
- Place the pencil at the far right of the horizontal line. Moving your pencil to the top of the belt loop, draw a 1 1/2-inch (3.8 cm) straight vertical line. Repeat the same step on the left side.
- Connect the vertical lines with a straight horizontal line. [fifteen]
Mark the stitches with an awl and an overcasting wheel. To ensure even stitches, it is best to mark the stitches before puncturing the leather.
- Run a damp rag over the dotted line to lightly wet the leather.
- Use an awl, a sharp-tipped tool, to mark the first point in the lower left corner of the seam line. 
- Place one point of the overcasting wheel, a sharp-tipped wheel used to mark stitching holes, into the hole you created with the awl.  Turn the wheel along the stitching line to make a series of evenly spaced stitches along the stitching lines. 
Place the dot holes with a drill bit or punch. Place the sleeve on a piece of wood, this will prevent the drill or punch from going through the work surface. Individually poke each hole with a drill bit or punch by inserting the tool through the leather and into the wood.
- When using a drill, drill the holes with a 1/16-inch (1.5 mm) drill bit. 
Mark and scratch fixing places. The belt sits directly on the soft side of the leather. You will attach the belt loop with glue and dots. In order for the glue to stick to the leather, you need to scratch the leather at the bond points.
- Hold the belt 2 inches (5.1 cm) from the top of the leather strap and fold the belt loop ½ inch (1.2 cm) above the base toward the smooth side of the leather.
- Use a pencil to trace the top 2 inches (5 cm) of the leather strap to indicate where the belt will sit on the holster.
Roughen the attachment site with sandpaper, a utility knife, or a wood rasp. Using the tool of your choice, carefully score the top 2 inches (5 cm) of the belt loop and the area inside the pencil marks on the holster. [twenty]
Apply glue to the fixing places. Cover the attachment sites with a thin layer of contact cement. Set the sleeve aside and allow the glue to dry. When it’s dry to the touch, you can continue. Moisten the leather at the belt fold with a spray bottle. Fold the belt loop and align the fastening places. Press these places firmly. [twenty-one]
Sew the belt loop onto the sheath. To attach the belt loop to the holster, you’ll need waxed thread and two needles.
- Cut a length of waxed thread that is 5 times as long as the stitching line. Thread a needle into each end of the thread. To prevent the thread from coming out, pull an inch (2.5 cm) of thread through the needle hole and double over.
- Insert a needle (needle A) into the hole in the upper left corner. Thread the needle through the hole until you have an even amount of thread on each side of the cover. The other needle (B needle) will remain on the opposite side.
- Insert needle A through the next hole (move to the right) and pull it through. Needle A is now on the same side as needle B. Insert needle B into the same hole and pull it out. Needles A and B are now on opposite sides. Pull firmly on the thread to make a tight stitch. Repeat this process until you return to the first hole.  Make a point later. Insert the needles individually into opposite sides of the first hole and pull through.
- Do 2 back stitches. Reverse the direction of the points. Insert the needles individually on opposite sides of the last stitch, continue through the second to last hole.
- Insert the needle into the inside of the sheath (leather side) through the third hole. Needles A and B are both on the outside of the sleeve. Cut the ends close to the leather. Use a lighter to melt the threads in the second and third holes all the way down. 
Place the trim on one side. Place the top edge of the trim along the top edge of the slipcover. Working from top to bottom, carefully place the edging along the edge of the slipcover. When you get to the bottom, force the edging, which was intentionally cut lengthwise, through the slit. 
Moisten, fold, and press the cover and edges. Accuracy is the key to folding the sleeve and aligning the edges.
- Moisten the leather. When the leather is dry, it is difficult to shape and the risk of splitting increases. Use a spray bottle to moisten the edges of the cover. Also, moisten the center line of the holster. Wipe away excess water with a damp cloth.
- Fold the cover along the center line. Align the top corners of the cover. Hold the edges with your fingers to bring the corners together.
- After lining up a small section of the sleeve’s edges, press down firmly with your fingers to secure it in place. Repeat the same process until you reach the end. 
Make the main seam. The main seam is long and thick, the needle must go through three layers of leather. Cut the thread extra long and have a pair of needle nose pliers handy to thread the needles through the holes.
- Cut a length of waxed thread 6 to 7 times as long as your stitch line. Thread each end of the waxed thread through the separate needles.
- Insert a needle (needle A) into the hole at the top of the cover. Pull the needle through the hole until there is an even amount of thread on each side of the cover. The other needle (B needle) will remain on the opposite side.
- Insert needle A into the next hole and through it. Needle A is now on the same side as needle B. Insert needle B into the same hole and pull it out. Needles A and B are now on opposite sides. Pull the thread to create a tight stitch. Repeat this process until you reach the last hole. [3. 4]
- backstitch Reverse the direction of the points. Insert the needles individually into opposite sides of the last stitch, followed by the second and then the third hole to the last. Insert a needle through the fourth hole so that both needles are on the same side of the sheath.
- Cut the ends close to the leather.
- Use a lighter to melt the threads in the second and third holes all the way down. 
Shape the leather. To ensure that the knife fits securely in the sheath, you must mold or shape the leather into a knife.
- Moisten the leather. To knife-shape leather, it must be wet. Use a spray bottle to moisten both sides of the cover. Let the water soak into the leather. Continue wetting the leather until it is easy to shape. Wipe away excess water with a damp cloth. 
- Shape the leather around the knife. Insert the knife into the wet sheath, making sure the tip of the knife reaches the bottom. Use your fingers to press the leather around the blade and handle. Pull the knife back and reinsert it 5-6 times to make sure it is seated correctly. Once the leather is shaped, remove the knife and hang the sheath to dry.