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How to Make a Knife Sheath

Welcome to another installment of our series of blacksmithing tutorials. Here we use a knife from one of our previous tutorials to make a sheath that is a great functional and decorative piece to cover your knife.

Will has a youtube channel with over 600 videos on projects you can make. Check it out right here



The completed knife sheath

Tools and materials Here's what you'll need:
  • Large piece of leather, medium thickness, about 2 feet in length
  • A sewing awl
  • Leather thread
  • Scissors
  • An X-acto knife
  • A vise
  • A dagger or small knife

Start the pattern

First, lay out the leather texture side down and put the knife on top. Here you are going to outline your knife to make sure that it is the right shape and that it fits snuggly. Trace one side and then flip it over to trace the other side so you have a mirror image of the knife traced out. Remember to leave 1/4" of space around the edges for a margin. This makes it much easier to stitch your sheath.

Note: this is a pretty unique shaped knife. I do have a tutorial on how to forge this exact knife right here


Finish the patternNext, cut out the design you just traced. Remember to take your time and be patient! Leather is very thick and you may have to go over your outline several times so that it is cut all the way through.

Now, cut a piece of identical shape and size. Hold them next to each other to make sure they line up perfectly. You are going to be sewing these two pieces together to make on thick piece of leather.



Place the two pieces in you vise and sew them together on all sides. We suggest you pre punch the holes with your awl as this will make the sewing process much easier. If you do not have a vise we strongly recommend against doing this project for safety reasons. The awl is very sharp and can easily hurt someone.

Thread the awlNow it's time to thread up your awl and get ready to lock stitch the pieces together through every hole. If you don't know how to lock stitch see the photos below for step by step instructions.












Continue stitching








loop the stitch







fold in half

Now you have a double-layered piece of leather in the shape of your sheath. Fold the pieces in half, so that the outside of the sheath is textured and the inside is smooth. Load the folded sheath into the vise and tighten until the leather is firmly in place. Repeat steps four and five, but only pre-puncturing and sewing the open side of the leather.




dye the sheathFinally, you've completed your project and you now have a durable sheath for your knife. If it does not fit as well as you would like you can always make a new one. As an optional step you can also dye your sheath as is shown in the completed picture.




A Little Bit about The Colors of the Knife Sheath


The dyed pieces

Here is a look at the dyed leather pieces.






Leather dye

You can buy leather dye in all kinds of different colors. It comes in a bottle with a little swabbing tool.








Applying dye

Its just a matter of swabbing it onto the leather in even strokes.

Make sure your leather surface is clean (or as clean as possible) before application. Giving it a quick brushing with a dry cloth will help remove any lint or dust from the surface. This brand of dye will condition your leather as it dries, so there is no need to treat the material prior to dying. It is also highly toxic so of course avoid contact with mouth or eyes. Do not over-saturate. It is better to do several thin layers than one thick coat. Applying a few thin layers will also help ensure the color is even throughout. Be careful, as this dye will stain your garments and surfaces and spreads very easily. When you're done and the dye is still wet, take a wet cloth or paper towel (if you like) and wipe off any excess dye. This decreases the drying time and further ensures an even coat.


This dye is only for adult use. You must have adult supervision when using this leather dye. Here is the warning on the label: Flammable, harmful or fatal if swallowed. Eye irritant.




Leather Side Piece Veg Tan Split Medium Weight 12 X 24 Inches 2 Square Feet

This is the leather that we use for this tutorial. You can double the layers just like we did.



Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl 120

  • Sews any heavy material. Great for repairing tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, upholstery, saddles, harnesses and much more!
    Includes sewing awl, high tensile waxed thread, 2 customer diamond point needles and easy to follow instructions.



Tandy Leather Fiebings Red Leather Dye 2100-13






Knife Sheath Kit 4105

Fits up to 5" long blades. Kit includes pre-punched tooling leather parts, pre-attached snap, patterns, thread, needle, hardware and instructions. (Rivet Setter #8100-00 needed to complete.)



Making Leather Knife Sheaths

Protect that beautiful hand-forged knife you've just completed or keep your favorite piece of cutlery close for daily use with a leather sheath. From basic leather working techniques to a completed sheath, this how-to book will walk you through the steps to produce your own fixed-blade knife sheath. Choose from four different designs, each presented in detail, including a sheath with folded belt loop, a scabbard with leather lining and riveted belt loop, a sheath with safety strap and attached belt loop, and a scabbard with belt clip. Complete with illustrated tips on sketching the sheath design and treating the leather, as well as four complete sheath patterns and a supply list, this guide will provide you with the know-how and tools to make sheaths of your own design.


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