Today was the first day sporting my new handmade leather holster. I started with a flat piece of 6/7oz Single Shoulder Craftsman Veg-Tan leather and cut it using a craft blade and ruler.
Once I cut the leather to make two rectangles, I used hot water to help me shape and form the leather. Be careful though, because I ended up boiling and damaging some of my leather which caused it to curl, bubble, and even turn dark and brittle in some places.
Using both leather and ceramics tools, press the leather into the shape that you need. In this case, I made sure to fully unload my handgun and wrapped it in a plastic bag before putting the leather over top to shape. That protected my gun and the light attachment from any moisture or other damage and helped me to get a smoother shape.
Leather which is damaged can often be restored using proprietary leather restoration formulas or common petroleum jelly. I used a significant amount on this project, and was still unable to salvage some of the leather that got too hot.
I took a break from the leather-working portion to work on embroidery for the strap. At first I had trouble with embroidery on the webbing/strap material, so I switched to the monogram and special built-in stitches that did not require a hoop.
The next step that I took was to smooth the edges and punch stitching holes, but it would have been better to glue the straps and inner lining fabric at this stage. I also wish that I had used a leather tool to create an indentation for the thread to lay in.
In order to be sure that this would hold, I glued the straps with leather cement and also sewed through them to give them extra strength.
The inner lining was glued using EcoWeld water soluble fabric glue and finished with a few dabs of superglue on key areas like the trigger-guard, knots tied in the thread to hold it together, and a few cosmetic spots that just looked better glued a little bit tighter.
One of the special features of this holster is the special trigger discipline cut-away. I used a craft knife to cut this out and re-glued the lining fabric. Although I still have additional work to do on the home-made belt and want to add some elastic to the leg band, the holster is now ready to wear while I continue on these details.
Have you ever made yourself your own holster or bag?
Tell us about it in the comments!