The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 20, 2010, 04:06 PM   #1
Join Date: September 26, 2009
Location: Tampa area
Posts: 29
Homemade Holsters

I would like to make my own holster for my SP101. I have no experience with leather craft, but I think it would be fun to attempt to make my own holster.

Does anyone have any tips?

I found a book at Tandy Leather Factory that looks like it might get me started on the right path. Has anyone else here read it by chance?

Other suggestions for resources?

Last edited by SP101; February 20, 2010 at 04:21 PM.
SP101 is offline  
Old February 20, 2010, 04:52 PM   #2
Jim March
Senior Member
Join Date: February 14, 1999
Location: Pittsburg, CA, USA
Posts: 7,413
This is THE Internet hangout for homebrew holstermakers:,57.0.html

The FAQ section is particularly useful:,13207.0.html

A lot of it is geared to the CAS/SASS crowd but it's not at all limited to that.
Jim March
Jim March is offline  
Old February 20, 2010, 06:19 PM   #3
Join Date: September 26, 2009
Location: Tampa area
Posts: 29
Homemade Holsters

Thanks for those links.

I found a couple of others this afternoon also:
SP101 is offline  
Old February 21, 2010, 10:59 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: January 1, 2000
Location: Roanoke, Virginia
Posts: 2,678
Homenade Holsters

I had been making holsters since the 70's. When Tandy Leather shut down all their local stores I refused to buy leather products through the mail.
The odd shape holsters I made in the 70's seem to be what is selling today.
Go on e-bay and see if you can find a holster you like.
MADISON is offline  
Old February 21, 2010, 12:17 PM   #5
Join Date: December 31, 2009
Location: Sedro-Woolley, WA
Posts: 64
I've been making holsters for 10-12 years. With a little practice it's not that hard to make a nice holster. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. Here's a link to the best site I've found with information on making holsters.

swcr is offline  
Old February 21, 2010, 09:05 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: June 18, 2004
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 2,566
While not as long as swcr, I too have been making leather holsters for a number of years. It is a part of my income stream, . . . and I have a lot of fun with my leather work.

If you have time, . . . want to have some fun, . . . go to, . . . there are enough videos on there doing leather work, . . . you can watch until your eyes dry up, . . . or at least it seems that way.

You don't say what kind of holster you want to make, . . . let me suggest that the first one you make is a pancake, . . . it is the easiest holster of all to make, . . . and even your first one should turn out looking fairly good. Since most of them are also worn outside the waist band, . . . they offer a place to be creative in decoration. Go see and scroll down his front page, . . . Bruce does some excellent work in pancakes.

The website mentioned above,, is excellent as well for a first time making. That is a pancake.

Here in central Ohio, . . . we have a good Tandy store, . . . knowledgeable people, . . . good service, . . . makes a difference. You might Google the name Tandy, . . . see where the nearest store is for you.

Oh, . . . and pm me if you get stuck and need help. More than happy to assist. I've probably got that book, . . . or at least have access to it, . . . some of their patterns are good ones, . . . some are a waste of good leather (IMHO).

May God bless,
If you can breathe, . . . thank God!
If you can read, . . . thank a teacher!
If you are reading this in English, . . . thank a Veteran!

Last edited by Dwight55; February 21, 2010 at 09:18 PM.
Dwight55 is offline  
Old February 22, 2010, 08:30 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: January 22, 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 2,456
If you've got a Tandy store near you, they usually have classes on the basics. I've made my own holsters and tack for our horses since the 70's. It's not brain surgery and you can make any type that suits you.

I make a paper pattern to fit the gun + 3/4" all around. Then cut the leather using heavy shears or a utility knife. I use heavy, 8-9 oz. tooling leather.

I glue the belt loop down with Barge Cement...from Tandy's...and stitch it, using the old two needle technique. I space the holes out using a spur type of device, then drill the holes for the needles with a 1/16" drill or a cut off nail.

Once the flap is stitched, I cut a piece of leather to form a welt, along the lower barrel up to the trigger guard. This is glued in place, then marked, drilled and stitched as well.

For finishing, I bevel all cut edges, then burnish with a sanding drum on an electric drill. An older drum is best. The edges are wet before burnishing allowing the leather to round over and get a hardened edge.

I wet the entire holster, the use my fingers to fit it to the gun. Wrap the gun in a baggie first, form the leather to it, then remove the gun and let the leather dry...24 hours.

I use Snowproof boot waterproofing on all my work, but if you want a darker color, Tandy's sells stain and the sealer necessary to keep it from bleeding into your clothes.

Here are a cpl of my efforts, and some of the tools necessary to make them. Get with the people at Tandy's...they'll be glad to help.

Best Regards, Rodfac

The tools...

Two useful books on lacing and stitching.

Close up of the grooving tool etc used to sink stitching below the surrounding leather to keep wear to a minimum. The fork tool is for beveling the edges. The spur lays out the hole spacing for stitching.

The welts on a Tom Threepersons holster.

Some finished work. The belt is my version of the Duke's rig...rough-out money-gunbelt.
Cherish our flag, honor it, defend what it stands for or get the hell out. Our Freedoms are not free, they've been paid for many times over by heros in uniform. Far better men than I, died that we could be FREE.

USAF FAC, 5th Spl Forces, An Loc, lll Corps, RVN, 69-70, Vietnam Vet '69-'73

Last edited by rodfac; February 23, 2010 at 11:30 PM.
rodfac is offline  
Old February 22, 2010, 08:39 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: December 1, 2009
Location: Stillwater, OKlahoma
Posts: 8,213
That book is a good place to start,,,

Almost every thing you could need (knowledge-wise) is in that book.

There is a pattern in it for a simple belt holster that fits a S&W Model 36 perfectly,,,
There should not be too much of a size difference between it and your SP101.

Buy that book and the Art of Hand Sewing Leather,,,
Tandy used to market that book and the tools as a kit,,,
If they still do it would save you a bit of coin in the long run.

Have fun,,,
Nothing like showing off something you made yourself at the range.
Caje: The coward dies a thousand times, the brave only once.
Kirby: That's about all it takes, ain't it?
Combat: "A Silent Cry"
Aarond is good,,, Aarond is wise,,, Always trust Aarond! (most of the time)
aarondhgraham is offline  
Old February 23, 2010, 05:32 PM   #9
Join Date: September 26, 2009
Location: Tampa area
Posts: 29

Thanks for the suggestions. I appreciate you allowing me to benefit from your experiences. That's the great thing about discussion forums.
SP101 is offline  
Old February 23, 2010, 06:20 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: November 29, 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 5,999
I'd be interested in making a "canvas" holster to replace the GI holster I use when I'm walking in the woods or camping.
I put the canvas in quotes because I'm sure one of the modern wonder fabrics would be better than heavy duck cloth.
Buzzcook is offline  
Old February 27, 2010, 04:57 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: February 22, 1999
Location: Texas
Posts: 564
Thanks for those links.

I found a couple of others this afternoon also:
That first link you posted is mine. The second link there was the only online leather holster tutorial I could find when I started out.

I think a basic pancake or a fold-over IWB would be a perfect first attempt for you SP101. If you've looked at my gallery, you might notice my bias toward OWB carry.

I've made a few holsters over the past three years or so, and I'm still learning. The last GP100 pancake I did a few months ago, I've got the stitch line laid out wrong on the trigger guard side of the holster. Got in a rush and didn't pay enough attention to detail when setting everything up. Other than that, it turned out okay.

Just a disclaimer - The tutorial I wrote up was done mainly for those who ask me "how do you do it?" whenever I post a pic of a holster I've made. It is by no means a definitive guide, and I make no claims that the way I do it is the best way or the worst way... It's just the way I do it, and that's what people wanted to know. Maybe the lazy man's way.

Like the other guys said, you can find many tips and techniques by checking out various topics at,, and any number of other websites you can dig up.

I say if you've got the desire, go for it! Don't be upset if your first attempt doesn't turn out all pretty and professional. Pretty comes with time and practice. Once you get a nice holster, you'll realize "hey, I can make something nice!", and you may just want to make some more stuff. My desire for one holster eventually turned into a full-blown hobby making holsters and knife sheaths. And now... I'm playing around with kydex.
DIY Gunleather
Bulldog is offline  
Old March 6, 2010, 10:42 AM   #12
Junior Member
Join Date: January 25, 2007
Location: Northwest Florida
Posts: 13
Thank you for the mention, and the kind words Dwight55. Much appreciated!
"He who is silent is deemed to consent."
BruceGibson is offline  

holster , how to make a holster

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:40 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07771 seconds with 7 queries