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  1. #11
    Join Date
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    Couldn't agree more, hylander. Making your own is not about cash value, but it is about intrinsic value. I made my first sporran without even the correct tools. I took my time and it turned out rather well (well enough that a friend wanted it as her clutch purse). A very strong second on Tandy or similar reputable shop. The staff are almost always leather workers themselves (met a sporran maker, even) and can provide excellent advice to aid in value purchases. Leather sources can vary. I had some very odd looks from my spouse arriving home with used purses. But now I'm happy to have my very own "Fossil" lining sporran. I've added tools incrementally as I move on to other wants in the final product. And third, yes it is true; you can't just make one or two. There is always some little thing you want to do better next time or some design just waiting to become real.

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  3. #12
    Join Date
    26th August 07
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    Westminster, MD (Carroll County)
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    Tandy is where I get most of my veg tan tooling leather. I have also used buffalo hide for the bags.

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  5. #13
    Join Date
    25th September 11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmcogar View Post
    I am still researching the Kilt I am going to buy, but I am also researching Sporrans. There is a lot of variations out there! Since I will be wearing my kilt to the renaissance festival I wanted to get a more hand made looking one like the Rob Roy. I actually found this one (https://www.etsy.com/listing/2161642...f=user_profile) I was thinking about getting, but my wife is giving me a hard time about spending money. The kilt I am looking at should cost me about $80, the belt and buckle will run me up another $30, then with the sporran being $72 (without straps), and straps for another $10-20....this is really adding up. This doesnt even include, socks, shoes, and all that other stuff. So all said and done, it is getting up their in cost.

    Anyhow...I had a few questions about making a sporran. Where can I get a Rob Roy sporran pattern?

    Where should I buy the leather?

    And is there any youtube video tutorials you all would recommend?

    OR should i just skip all the work and buy the sporran without the wife's consent lol.

    Also, I'm up to buy used ones people have for sale!
    Like you, when I started out in this "Scottish business," I had to look very hard at the cost of everything required to get outfitted. One item I wanted very badly to be neat and useful was the sporran. Fortunately I had a friend who was very handy at most everything and a product designer by profession. He took the pattern in Charles Thompson's book, "So You Are Going to Wear the Kilt," and simplified it. From the modified pattern we made sporrans for ourselves and I later made one for my son, who was a toddler when I made the first one, and a friend. I also shared the pattern with the Appin Regiment reenactment group and it can still be found on their web site at www.appins.org. It is the second pattern in their sporran section. One of the best things about this pattern is that properly made it is very secure and very roomy as well. While I now have six sporrans, four made by other folks, I still wear my homemade sporran from time to time.

    Leather is best secured from a shop where you can look at what you are getting...and it is not cheap! Plus you will have to have a certain number of tools to get the job done as well as leather dye and finishing supplies. In short, you are not going to truly save much, if any, money by making your own. Aside from the fact that you can reuse the tools and make more leather stuff later - I have made numerous belts and baldrics as well and non-Scottish stuff over the years - pride in what you made is important.

    Another source of very nice and quite inexpensive sporrans is www.vikingleathercrafts.com. Sporrans are found under "pouches." I know the owner and he does very neat work at very reasonable prices. However, he is often out of stock.

    As far as the kilt goes, I did not scrimp on my first kilt. In fact I paid close to $300 for it and that was thirty-five years ago. In order to spend that much on the kilt, my wife and I made most of the rest, flashes, sporran, belt, Jacobite shirt, etc. Had to buy a bonnet and hose. But, I am still wearing that kilt, which has survived some significant weight fluctuations over the thirty-five years I have had it. I also have bought two more kilts.

    Anyway, best of luck with your first outfit and keep us informed on it.

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  7. #14
    Join Date
    16th September 10
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    I will join with those who advise more money on the kilt. Spend enough to get one you'll wear enough to warrant spending. I have a semi
    traditional from Rocky (USA) that dresses up well enough for my needs, but is tough enough to handle a lot of wear. I have two of his casuals
    and a five yard wool. The semi traditional gets more use than all the others combined, though they each get more use than many posters here wear theirs. I started with a nylon sporran from Stillwater. It's still good; he has an updated version for about $37.00. I added from What Price Glory a leather reproduction of military issue, $35.00 with belt. Much wear, still good. Good enough to put with tie and sweater (jumper) for our Burns supper. Don't have anything dressier,or real need for it.

    Making your own sporran can cost as much as buying, but YOU made it. Added value. I'm working on that myself. More in materials than either of mine cost. But I think worth it. As you see above, much help available here.

    A main point is the difference between cheap and inexpensive. Cheap won't last long enough to learn much. Inexpensive is a little more up front, enough quality to enjoy. Then there's the advice of many here: save up, buy the highest quality once, enjoy forever. On my budget, inexpensive is the best I can do at present, and I definitely enjoy. Better some day.

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  9. #15
    Join Date
    27th December 16
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    Colorado, USA
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    The Rob Roy style is a fairly simple sporran to make. One suggestion is that the main pouch be made with a soft flexible leather. From experience, softer leathers work better for a draw string Rob Roy and stiffer leathers work better for hunting sporrans. With something you would wear at a renaissance festival you might want to look at various mid evil belt pouches for some style inspiration.

    For tools I have found a hammer, bot of wire or box nails for punching sewing holes, sewing needle, thread, sharp knife for cutting the leather, and a leather punch for the bigger holes is about all you need. I have found that the inexpensive and more expensive leather punches both seem to break with about the same usage (especially with saddle skirting and armor leathers) and nails hold up better over time then most leather punches I have used.

    The basics of making the pattern and pictures of making the first Rob Roy style sporran (far from my first sporran) can be found at:
    http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f...utorial-91923/

    A note about making your own sporran; after you make one you are likely to make more.

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  11. #16
    Join Date
    5th August 14
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    Oxford, Mississippi
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    Quote Originally Posted by LKM View Post
    A note about making your own sporran; after you make one you are likely to make more.
    When you first joined us, Mike S and I (and others) watched with great interest in your exploration of sporran making. Your advise to others was exactly what I anticipated and is surely appreciated. I still learn from others, even though I have made my own sporrans and have plans for more.

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  13. #17
    Join Date
    6th August 18
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    I decided I am going to make my own sporran. With all the helpful comments from you all and some research on my own, I think I will only be satisfied if I do it myself. I dont want to spend $30-$40 on a "cheap" sporran. It will drive me crazy thinking I could have put that money towards something of better quality or something I made myself. Thanks to 'Madadh' I found a great pattern to start with. The only thing I need to do is pick out my leather and pick up a few extra tools. Currently I am looking for used ones on ebay. I am also finding the leather on ebay. I think for the main pouch I will be using a 2.5 ounce leather and for the flap I will use a heavier 5 ounce leather. A ebayer by the name of 'theleatherguyofmn' seems to have an abundance of leather supplies at a reasonable cost. It may be a little while before I finish my project but I will be sure to post photos once im done.

    Wish me luck!

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  15. #18
    Join Date
    14th December 06
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    the leather guy is a good resource, I've regularly bought some nice leather from him.

    Good luck and enjoy!

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  17. #19
    Join Date
    14th July 12
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    St. Paul, Minnesota
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    A note about making your own sporran; after you make one you are likely to make more.
    Couldn't agree more; it is addictive. You've gotten some great advice, so just a few notes: The Rob Roy is probably the easiest style sporran for a first-timer. Tandy often has a scrap bin at their stores where you can find enough heavier leather to make your top flap and front piece. Supple leather for the front, back and gusset will probably require the purchase of a larger piece of leather. The most useful tools to start with are a good rotary cutter, cutting mat and set of punches. For just one sporran, the mat and cutter aren't really necessary, but make the job much easier and become invaluable if you go on to other leather projects—which you probably will. Good luck and enjoy.
    " Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly." - Mae West -

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  19. #20
    Join Date
    25th September 11
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    A small "stitching horse" is also helpful. It frees up both hands to do the necessary sewing. Tandy has a very simple one but be advised that it is not as easy to use as the more expensive versions.

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