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How to Make a Leather Sword Sheath - Part 3: Stitching the leather

In this part of the tutorial we fold over the leather and stitch the two pieces together.

Part 1 (the beginning) of this tutorial is here


Stitching together the leather piece is pretty easy. I show you the technique and we use something called a lock-stitch. Having a few leather working tools makes this very easy but you can improvise and get this done with common household items and tools. You don't have to buy an awl or a hole puncher. Unless you think you want to do more leather work. Then you really should get those two tools as a minimum.

Clamp the leather

Clamp fold the leather over so the ends are nice and flush with each other. And clamp it into something like a vise. The clamping isn't necessary but it makes the process a whole lot easier.

You will be putting a series of holes right through both edges of leather. And the holes need to match up so you can get the thread through them. That's why the clamping helps a lot. Nothing will shift as you do your holes.


The holes

Then punch a series of holes right through both layers of leather.

Some guidelines for the series of holes. You might want to use a couple of scraps of leather to practice and test this before you work on the actual sheath.

The holes can be anywhere from 1/8 inch apart to 1/4 inch apart. But keep them uniform. Decide the distance and then keep it uniform for all the holes.

And the distance from the edge should be uniform too. We put our holes about 3/16 of an inch from the edge.

You have a lot of flexibility in where the holes go, how far apart and how far from the edge. The aesthetics are something you can choose. Just don't put them too too close together or too too close to the edge. This can weaken the stitching, causing the thread to break through.


The holes are pierced

Ok, all the holes are punched and it looks good.


Using an awl

Alternative to the red handled hole punch that I am using. You don't need a fancy hole punch. You just need some way to make a series of clean holes. You can use a sharp tool like an awl to do this. Just tapping it with a hammer will pierce it through both layers of the leather.

It is a little slower this way but works quite nicely.


Leather needle

And an alternative to having and using a leatherworking awl is to just get yourself a leather needle. That will work. It is a little more challenging and slower but fine. The whole point is just to get the thread through the holes so improvise something if you don't have an awl.

Lock stitching

So now let's sew it up. I am using leather working thread here. it is stronger than normal thread and it has a wax coating on it which makes it adhere and grip nicely to the leather.

I am doing something called a lock stitch. This is a standard method of sewing leather. I will show you how to do it step by step. I also show this very clearly in the video. The lock stitch explanation starts at 4:38 if you want to skip forward to that part of the video.


Skip forward to 4:38 if you want to see the lock stitching explained.


NextOtherwise, continue with the tutorial and I will show you in pictures how to do this stitching.



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