How to Make Your Own Leather Sporrans

Written by nikola goddard
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How to Make Your Own Leather Sporrans
A sporran is part of traditional Scottish attire. (A Scottish Piper image by Ray Carpenter from

Sporrans are small pouches that are worn as part of traditional Scottish attire. The sporran hangs from the kilt strap to rest in front of the wearer's groin and can be used to store small objects as traditional kilts do not have pockets. Sporrans can be classed as daywear, semi-dress or full dress depending on how plain or ornate they are. Daywear sporrans are generally made from basic materials such as leather and are completely plain, whereas full dress sporrans can be made from expensive furs such as mink with a silver or gold cantle.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Squared paper with 1-inch squares
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Leather
  • Leather punch
  • Leather thong
  • Darning needle
  • Snap fastener

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  1. 1

    Cut out a rectangular section of squared paper 10 inches long by 8 inches wide. Fold the paper in half lengthwise and place it on a flat surface with the fold to the left. Mark the rows from 1 to 10, with 1 being at the top, and the columns from 1 to 4, with 1 being closest to the fold.

  2. 2

    Draw dots on the paper: at the top of the fold in the first square in row 1; in the centre of the fourth square in row 2; in the middle of the line between the third and fourth squares in row 4; in the centre of the fourth square in row 7; in the centre of the fourth square in row 9; and at the bottom of the fold in the first square in row 10.

  3. 3

    Join the dots with a pencil, freehand, ensuring that the edges are rounded and not straight. Cut out the shape and unfold the paper.

  4. 4

    Place the shape onto another sheet of squared paper and draw around it. Cut out the duplicate shape, then cut straight across the top from where it indents on either side (approximately one quarter of the shape should be cut away).

  5. 5

    Pin the shapes to the underside of your leather and cut around them.

  6. 6

    Fold the smaller shape in half lengthwise and pin in place. Use a leather punch to punch holes along the rounded edge from top to bottom, approximately half an inch apart, leaving half an inch between the last hole and the folded edge.

  7. 7

    Unpin the piece and position it flat against the bottom three quarters of the larger piece so that the two line up precisely, undersides together. Pin them in place with the smaller piece facing up.

  8. 8

    Mark the position of the holes from the smaller piece onto the larger piece by poking a pencil through each hole onto the leather underneath. Unpin the pieces and punch holes through the larger piece of leather at each mark before pinning them back together in the same position as before.

  9. 9

    Thread the darning needle with the leather thong. Tie a knot at the end of the thong, then sew the two pieces of leather together using a running stitch through the holes. Tie a knot in the thong just after where it passes through the last hole to secure it, then cut away any excess.

  10. 10

    Fold the flap section at the top of the piece down and add a snap fastening to the centre of the point, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Tips and warnings

  • Use leather shoelaces or cut strips of leather from your spare material in place of leather thong.
  • Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for safety guidelines when using the leather punch.

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