Make your own holster?


May 23, 2008, 04:01 PM
I have been perusing over there at and have seen some images of holsters people have made. I find the idea quite intreaging and am interested in trying to do this myself.

How many of you out there make your own holsters? And remember... this thread is useless without pictures!:neener:

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May 24, 2008, 04:52 PM
Well, since no one wants to start this thread out, I made my first holster last night...

It's a tuckable IWB for a Kahr PM-9.

May 25, 2008, 02:29 AM
Please reduce the size of your pictures. A dial up user will be loading this page until Tuesday.
Yes, I make my own holsters, belts and mag pouches. (No pictures without having the camera.) Couldn't imagine doing anything else. Started with a Tandy's book with patterns. One of 'em tells you how to make your own patterns. Forget which one though. Art Stohlman, I think.
Blossomed into making my own dye(Fiebings dye runs nearly $10 for a 4 oz bottle, up here). Vinegar and black walnut bark or vinegar and steel wool steeped until the wool is gone.(gives a good, durable, black dye. Finish with regular shoe polish) Do not wet form without lining the holster with garment suede. The vinegar eats bluing.
Made a hip holster for my GP 100 and had to run out and get some cold bluing. Vinegar eating bluing never occured to me.
Cut the leather, dye(inside and out) and let it dry for an hour or so, then use rubber cement(contact cement isn't as forgiving) to hold the pieces together while whacking the sewing holes, sew and use regular shoe polish to waterproof and put a shine on the leather(spit shine just like your Army parade boots). Shoe polish is cheap and it has waxes in it that protects the leather. No dye will give you any shine.
.45 mag pouches sell like hot dam. Cost me about $5 each. Sold 'em for $15 each. Not recently though.
Don't tool leather much. Not my cup of tea. I do make leather clothing for me. I used to play regularly with a medieval recreationist bunch. Made all my own archery kit too. My last thing was a knee length, melton cloth(wool), lined jerkin out of moose hide. Cost me a fortune for the whole hide though and without the belt it's heavy.

May 26, 2008, 09:17 AM
I posted these pictures in another thread, but I'll show them here too.


Made this one yesterday and gave it to a good friend for his birthday.
Gave it an antique effect by dying the leather black and wiping with a damp sponge before it had fully penetrated the leather.

May 26, 2008, 01:35 PM
Those look nice, lucas!

The Bushmaster
May 26, 2008, 02:21 PM
You don't happen to have an afliction for oak leaves do you Lucas?? Nice work. Ol' Colt SAA?

May 26, 2008, 08:08 PM
Ruger New Vaquero. Yeah, for some odd reason I like to tool oak leaves and flowers.

The Janitor
May 27, 2008, 02:06 AM
I've made a couple. I made a vaquero-style holster rig for my 686, and Im working on a IWB for a M&P compact for a friend. It's turning out very well. Just to stitch up a foot of thread by hand takes an hour at the least.

It's sort of like one of those Galco NSA holsters. It has a clip where the NSA does, and a snap belt loop up near the top. They are held by chicago screws so they are adjustable, and will stay that way until I get the right adjustment to make them permanent. I've been debating stabbing a hole in the top so you can see the M&P's chamber indicator through the holster. I've only built a handful of holsters, so Im still in the phase of experimenting with different attachment systems and shapes.

the naked prophet
May 27, 2008, 11:53 AM
About three or four years ago now, I bought myself a pistol and got my CCW license, which was new for Missouri. Not many people made holsters for the Kel-Tec P11, so I decided to make my own. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

The first two attempts were... well, bad. Third try, I had a workable tuckable holster, which I wore for about a year til I could afford a better gun. Then I made some holsters for my new Browning Hi-Power. Some folks liked the holsters I made, and I sold a couple to friends for about $30 or so.

I kept trying to improve my holsters. Pretty soon, they looked fairly nice. I bought a Glock 19 and made myself a holster. Sold a couple more holsters, managing to pay for leather and supplies.

Now, I'm almost finished with grad school and there seem to be no jobs in the area, so the wife and I decided to make it a business.

Kellogg Custom Leather (

The wife designed some holsters for women, I design others, and we make them all by hand, sitting on our couch in the evenings. I still make my own holsters, I just make them for some other people too. I wonder if the THR archives go back far enough to bring up my first questions about leatherworking?

June 6, 2008, 10:23 AM
Here's the IWB holster I made for my Sig X5 All-Around:

It's really not that difficult, it just takes time. I modeled it after a Milt Sparks VMII I have for a 229.

June 12, 2008, 11:29 PM
OK, here's my third attempt. Getting better!

June 13, 2008, 09:45 AM
I have made 5 holsters now. Three military style with a fold over flap and a Sam Browne button (GP100, Ruger Blackhawk 45, and my M&P 45). I made an IWB for my 642 and am making a pancake for my Glock 17.

If you are skilled at woodworking or metal working, with practice, you will find much to apply to leather working. You can make wonderful holsters for a fraction of the price of the pros.

I don't have any pics but mine look much like the ones I see above. These posted here look very professional. Leatherworking, IMHO, is a skill very useful to the shooter.

June 14, 2008, 07:40 PM
I started rolling my own when I couldn't find anything I liked for a particular wheelgun I have. The hobby just kind of took off from there. It's a pretty fun hobby, but I wouldn't want to do it for a living. I just enjoy making stuff for myself and trying to improve on the last holster with each new one I make. Here's a DIY write-up I did a couple months ago. (

June 14, 2008, 10:49 PM
WOW! Bulldog, those holsters are on another level! I have seen $100 holsters that didn't look that good.

June 15, 2008, 04:56 PM
Wow, some nice stuff here. MUCH better than anything Crossbreed could ever produce. :rolleyes:

June 16, 2008, 11:16 AM
+1 on that.

Bulldog, I am getting ready to do a pancake for my M&P. How did you get the molding so crisp? Those are more professional than the professionals! You are an artist!

June 17, 2008, 09:48 PM
Bulldog, if you decide to start selling or taking orders, shoot me a PM. Those mag pouches and speed loader case look great.


October 28, 2008, 09:30 PM
Instead of boning the leather to mold it to your gun, has anybody tried a vacume press? I'm concidering buying one and this would be just one more reason to buy one.


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