First inlay holster

Tried my hand at an alligator inlay. The inlay is burgundy and used walnut dye. Perfect for my Springfield 1911.


Looks great Bob, I just picked up some Caiman tails and I’ve been wanting to figure out inlays. Never done one before, any tips?

This particular holster is 2 layers of leather, glued back to back, so the interior is smooth as well. I cut a design out of the exterior piece, then sized the alligator piece to the cut out, making sure I had the alligator inlay positioned to best show its pattern. I then marked the location of the inlay on the interior piece and glued down the alligator (you will want to affix the inlay to leather to give it rigidity). I then skived the edges of the pattern on the exterior piece so there would be less of an “edge” or lip where the inlay meets the exterior piece.

This holster is for my use only and works fine, but when I try this again, I will make some modifications to the size / location of the inlay. Where it is, I could not add the stitch line that would normally run next to the trigger guard, giving it better retention, as I did not want to stitch through the alligator.

Because the inlay was sandwiched between the two layers of leather, I was able to leave plenty of edge of the alligator, just make sure you cut your inlay pattern at least .25" larger than your top layer of leather so you can stitch it without missing part of it. I had just gotten 3mm stitching irons and used them around the inlay portion. I used 5mm for the stitching around the belt loop.

Thanks for the details Bob. So basically you cut a “window” out of the top most layer for the inlay adding .25" and then glued and stitched in place? Seems pretty straightforward but I imagine it’s one of those things you have to do a few times to get the hang of it.

Yep, but don’t forget to skive down the outer leather around the cutout. It helps it lay a little flatter.

Just wow. The color of the main piece is beautiful, and the light in the photo great. The horizontal orientation of the inlay texture is awesome. And the logo stamp, not visible while wearing, very classy looking and well-placed.

I am, impressed, nicely done! Thanks for sharing, it is inspiring

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Looks wonderful! Enjoy using it. Must feel great to holster your fav. firearm in something you made yourself. I look forward to making my first holster…still working on carving projects.

The way you positioned the gator hide inlay is gorgeous! Don’t take this as a critique, just curiosity - I wonder how that holster would look with a different color thread. Something like a dark or even golden brown, maybe.

Either way, you did a fantastic job on it.

Thanks Josh! The lighting didn’t do it justice. The thread is actually a tannish color (although it looks white in the photo). That’s a good call on the darker thread though.

That’s a gorgeous, deep color for main body. Wow!