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Sheath Making: A Written Workshop

I love the descriptions of weapons and sheaths in fantasy books, and I love to make practical objects.

Sheath making is the perfect intersection of those two interests!

Here is my process (at the moment, as a beginner) informed by Weaver Leathercraft.


  1. Stylus

  2. Compas or wing divider

  3. Watercolor paper (pattern)

  4. Scissors (paper and leather)

  5. Boxcutters

  6. Tracing paper

  7. Pencil

  8. Swivel knife and tooling stamps

  9. Edge beveler

  10. Strop and jeweler's rouge

  11. Edge smoother

  12. Water and sponge

  13. Two needles

  14. 1 mm cord (I couldn't find my sinew)

  15. Sewing horse

  16. Dye

  17. Clean rags

  18. Four hole punch and drill with small bit

  19. 7-8 oz leather

  20. Leather cement (not ideal, but it's what I have)

Step 1: Trace out a design for tooling.

I used an intertwining wolf pattern from Lora Irish's Great Book of Celtic Patterns.

Step 2: Use the watercolor paper to make a pattern.

Trace around the knife first then use a compass or wing divider to make a 5/8" seam allowance.

Make a back, front, and welt (not pictured).

Layout your patterns on your leather (make sure one faces up and the other down) and carefully cut out using box cutters.

Step 3. Glue your pieces together, making sure that your knife fits.

Pictured: back of sheath and welt

Step 4: Transfer your design to the front of the sheath and tool it (other tutorials to follow).

I probably should have done this part before cutting out the sheath to keep from stretching the leather.

Step 5: Dye the piece. I used gel antique: medium brown

Step 6: Punch out starter holes. I used a drill to go through all the leather. This isn't necessary.

Step 7: Stitch the piece together. After, slick the edges and make sure all the dye looks good.

At some point, I beveled the edges. I'm not sure when that happened.

After this, rivet the strap into place and add a strap around the knife hilt (I haven't done this yet).

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