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Make a Knife Sheath for your book making knife

Paul has started rebinding books and is kind enough to share what he has learned with us. One of the things he discovered is that your bookbinding (paring) knife really should be covered in a sheath. His knife didn't have a sheath so he decided to make one. And he uses a lot of the same materials and tools you would use for book binding.

This tutorial shows you how to do it.

And a big thank you to Paul Hughes for this terrific tutorial.


Materials Needed:

  • The knife you need a sheath for
  • A piece of leather
  • A piece of felt
  • An awl or something suitable to make the holes
  • PVA Glue
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Waxed leather thread
  • A clamp jig for holding your work (optional) (Paul has written us a tutorial on how to do this right here: Make a Bookbinding clamp)


A) take some scrap leather in this case from an old chair.

A scrap piece of leather

Get some craft felt and using PVA glue stick it to your leather.

glue felt to the leather

mark out a rough shape that will hold the knife. Fold it over and trim it to size.

Mark out a rough shape

Also turn over the lip to provide a bit of strength and guide blade into center of sheath.

Turn the lip over

D) use an awl to mark out stitch holes around the edge.

Punch holes with an awl

E) using two needles ( I find this an easy and quick method of sewing) thread can either be waxed or linen and the needles were size 18.

Tapestry Hand Needles -Size 18 6/Pkg


Stitch it

F) the completed press can be used to securely hold the sheath while you sew it. Holding it between your knees. I have a tutorial on how to make this press right here

Continue stitching

G) as you secure each side stitch you pull it tight.

H) final stitch goes over the lip and make both tails come out the top side to be fastened in a knot. 

I) VOILA! One safe and secure little sheath. 

The sheath is done


Here is a paring knife for bookmaking/leather work


Schmedt German Leather-Paring Knife - Left Hand - Rigid Blade 21Cm



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