Creating a leathergrip

You can shoot your bow with a pure wooden handle. Anyway a leathergrip gives some more character, is nice to touch and may even serve as arrow rest. I start by holding the bow such that it really feel comfortable when pulling it. Afterwards I use a sharp knife to carv the position where the lower part of the arrow passes just above my hand.

Carving the arrow rest position
Carving the arrow rest position.

In the following one has to measure the length of the handle and its diameter where it is the biggest as well as the smallest.

Taking measures for the leathergrip
Taking measures for the leathergrip.

Now you can either directly draw theses measures on leather or use a template from paper. Make it 0.5 cm (1/5 ") smaller on both sides to make the grip sit really tight in the end. If your leather is quite thin e.g. 1 mm make it a bit thicker such that it can serve as an arrow rest. Therefore add 1 cm (2/5 ") to top and bottom. Draw the outlines in the shape of your handle afterwards.

Paper template
Paper template.

Cut out your template with scissors and transfer the measures to any leather. I recommend using a pencil or waterproof ballpoints instead of markers as the latter ones tend to blur.

Transfering measures to leather
Transfering measures to leather.

For cutting the leather I use a cutter knife and board as you can buy in craft supply stores. In principle you can also use a board from hard wood like bamboo or a breakfast board from plastics. Sharp scissors are also applicable for thin leather.

Knife and board for cutting
Knife and board for cutting.

A ruler can help you to keep track on straight lines.

Ruler for cutting straight lines
Ruler for cutting straight lines.

The cut leather is now put into a cup full of water for ten minuts. It has to be completely wet in the and. This makes it extremely flexible. Now you have to precut the holes for your string. I use a hole punch for this job. Make sure the holes on both sides are on the same level. Otherwise the leathe will purse in the end. Don't spend too little money on the punch. Cheap ones are uncomfortable to handle and may cause blisters in your hands.

Hole punch

The trick is to stretch the leather around the handle before you tie it. Take an about 60 cm (24 ") string and pull its ends only very light. This can be done without force when your pull the leather in shape in advance. Otherwise the string will cut its way through the leather.

Finished leathergrip
Finished leathergrip.