Handcrafted Leather Tool Roll

Turn a tanned hide into a roll-up deerskin pouch with pockets to keep your preferred tools organized for service and storage.


In these pages, I’ve published a series of articles on making useful, beautiful items out of home-tanned hides. In this article, I’ll continue that series by describing how to make a versatile tool roll from a leather deer hide. (To try your hand at my other projects, see “How to Tan a Deer Hide,” October/November 2016; “How to Make Your Own Moccasins,” February/March 2017; “Craft Your Own Coonskin Cap,” October/November 2017; and “Craft a Better Leather Apron,” December 2018/January 2019.)

For this project, use the middle portion of the deer hide, from the neck to the hips. The dimensions for the tool roll are 20-1/2 inches tall by as wide as possible. When choosing a hide, pick one that gives you a lot of hole-free leather so you can get the largest tool roll possible.

If this is your first leatherworking project, you’ll need to learn a couple of terms: The “grain side” of the leather is the smooth side that held the hair before tanning. The “membrane side” is rough or sanded, and was the inside of the hide. Most finished leather projects, including this one, are grain-side out. Make any marks on the leather’s membrane side so they aren’t visible on your finished project.

Materials and Tools

  • Leather
  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Utility knife
  • Binder clips
  • Permanent marker
  • Rotary leather punch or awl
  • Four-hole leather punch and hammer
  • Artificial sinew
  • 2 leather-stitching needles
  • Beeswax
  • Scissors
  • Lighter or matches
  • Ruler

Cut the Deer Hide


Lay the hide out on a large, flat surface, and determine where you can get the largest 20-1/2-inch-tall piece of hole-free leather. Using the square and the utility knife, cut out the piece for the tool roll.



Fall 2021!

Put your DIY skills to the test throughout November. We’re mixing full meal recipes in jars, crafting with flowers, backyard composting, cultivating mushrooms, and more!


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