I build a holster for my everyday carry items last year. I love the thing, but it’s a bit bulky, heavy, and flashy. I’ve been wanting to make a much more simple holster for some time now, but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to design it. Then last week, a redditor contacted me asking if I could build them a simple phone and wallet holster. Also, Uncharted 4 was finally released! These two things inspired me and I ended up coming up with a design based on a few things I’ve seen online and on TV. Unfortunately the price of such a piece is too steep for the redditor, but I built the thing anyway because I wanted one for myself. I didn’t take any photos of the process, but I do have some of the final product.
This was my first leather project using the Eugene Maker Space laser cutter. I first designed the phone pouch in Sketchup. Then I used my typical method of printing a paper template and cutting it out by hand. Once I built one pouch and was sure it would fit the phone properly, I exported it as DXF and then brought it to EMS to try out on the laser. After a few test cuts and engravings, I was able to get it working no problem. I added my initials, RCO, for some extra flair. This was engraved with the laser. The only downside to using the laser is that sometimes it can flare up and scorch the leather, but after dying this is not really noticeable. Also, the edges end up all black and charred and they smell terrible, but after sanding you can’t even tell.
The pockets are stitched on two sides using wax thread and saddle stitching. Each pocket as two, three inch straps riveted onto the back. The rivets allow the tabs to rotate so the straps can stay straight regardless of how you adjust the holster. Stitching would likely be stronger but it wouldn’t allow for the rotation. Each pocket also has a single snap to hold it closed. The straps are fixed using four Chicago screws. Since I designed this holster to fit my body, it doesn’t really require adjustment. However if I ever needed to adjust it I could just punch a few more holes and then move the Chicago screws.
I think this holster turned out perfect. It’s “minimalist” as much as a shoulder holster can be while still having just a bit of flair. I used ~3mm leather for this project, which cut down on cost, weight, and bulk. My last holster was much thicker and more durable, but it was very heavy and bulky.
The next step is to design and build a wallet to fit inside the holster. My own wallet is too bulky to fit, but I’ve seen some minimalist wallets on the leathercraft subreddit that would be a perfect starting point for my own design. I intend to design the pieces in Sketchup and then cut them all out on the EMS laser cutter to cut down on the overall time investment. I’ll probably find something to engrave into the wallet too. The laser cutter is my new favorite toy!
This design is very simple so there are really only three different templates. The phone and wallet pockets are basically identical. The only difference is the orientation, so be sure to mirror the image as needed. The pocket template is exactly 13 inches long. It was designed to fit my 2013 MotoX and it fits it with just exactly enough space. It’s almost too tight. You’ll have to adjust the template to fit anything larger than that. The EMS laser will cut any red lines and engrave anything in black. This template allowed me to have the overall shape cut out, but only engrave my initials and also the hole locations.
The small tabs that attach to the pockets are 1.25″ wide but only 3 inches long.
The straps are both 38.5 inches long and 1.25 inches wide.