I start with a dog chew, these are 10". Brand doesn't matter to me, but i make sure to check the ends to see if it's one rolled piece or a small piece with a bunch of filler shoved in.
After buying what I hope to be good dog chews, i then go home and soak in a bucket of room temp water. Until they are soft enough to pry open and lay flat.
There always seems to be some filler, but these ones were pretty good with just a little filler
Here is what three chews rewarded me with
I then dye them the colors I want, and make sure to put in a zip lock baggie with a damp paper towel, to keep them workable.
If I am going to not get started working with them right away, I will lay them between a couple towels with some weight on them to dry flat.
But, this go around I started on the sheath right away.
Got the patterns all traced on the rawhide and the leather
All cut out and ready to get started, in the zip lock in between steps, as the rawhide will dry out and be like working with cold kydex.
From this point, I follow John Cohea's tutorial. I don't feel I can improve on his at all. So I will just post the link to it:
Here is the finished project:
This one is for an Old Hickory Skinner that is headed to Croatoan.
I used both fake sinew and waxed cotton string for the stitching. Which I played around with and tried to make look old and like it had been repaired The "charms" are a turkey spur, a racoon tooth, deer antler beads and some brass and copper beads. Croatoan plans to add a bear claw from a bear he took.
Any questions on the process let me know, I'll be happy to at least point ya in the right direction.
The reason I like this style so much more then normal leather work, is I can get alittle more creative and if you mess up you just make it part of the sheath and it really doesn't look out of place.