How to Make Leather Sheaths for Hunting Knives

by Quinn Marshall

Every fixed-blade knife should have a sheath: a piece of wood, metal or fabric that encases the blade and prevents accidental cuts. Leather has been used by hunters, both modern and primal, to craft durable, yet light and flexible, knife sheaths. You can make a sheath for your hunting knives using either purchased or salvaged leather and basic leather-working tools. The sheath can be as simple as a small sock-like sleeve or as complex as a belt or thigh sheath with metal clasps.

Items you will need

  • Piece of leather
  • Knife
  • Pen or pencil
  • Razor blade
  • Stitch marking wheel
  • Awl
  • Leather string or thread
  • Leather needle
Step 1

Spread a large piece of leather onto a flat workbench or table. Smooth it out using your hands.

Step 2

Place your knife onto the leather and trace around the blade and handle using a pen or pencil. Remove the knife. Draw a new shape around the current pen or pencil mark, increasing the traced image's size by 1/8 inch on all sides. This excess material will provide room for stitching the pieces together.

Step 3

Cut out the stencil using a razor blade. Place it over a different section of leather and trace around it. Cut out the second shape using a razor blade. Trim the handle portion off one of the stencils. Place the pieces together so that they line up perfectly.

Step 4

Mark the sheath edges with a stitch marking wheel, using the sharp spokes to indicate evenly spaced holes for stitching.

Step 5

Place a sharp awl over one of the stitch marking wheel's holes and press downward through both leather layers. Repeat with each hole.

Step 6

Thread a strand of leather string into a leather needle. Loop it through the first stitch hole several times to fix it in place, then stitch it through each hole one at a time, joining the two leather pieces together. Stitch the leather a second time if the thread is thin; this will increase its durability.

Step 7

Cut two vertical slits through the handle portion of the leather. Thread your belt through the two slits, then put the belt on. Insert the knife into the sheath.

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