Hey everyone! Here is a quick guide to help you make a good looking leather eyepatch from minimal materials. I'm going to take you through the process step by step on how to make a flat minimalist eyepatch. It can be used as a long term eyepatch, a temporary eyepatch for some medical reasons or even a costume.
Making a minimal flat leather eyepatch
Ok so here is the final product. It’s pretty simple to make. It requires some leather, a sharp knife like a box cutter or exacto knife, a sharp pointy thing(or better yet an owl), a long flat edge like a ruler and two double cap rivets.
Total time to make this is around 15 minutes.
First we are going to start by making a cardboard template to help us with cutting the actual. leather. I will include a printable template that you can use to transfer onto cardboard HERE.
You will be transferring the printed template onto something a bit more sturdy than the printer paper. I’d recommend using something like a cereal box. The material should be firm enough that you can use it to guide your blade when cutting the leather. So I'd recommend cutting out a few and gluing them together if a single layer is too flimsy.
Once you have a solid cutout you are going to place the paper template over the cardboard cutout and poke the two holes where the dots are. These will be your placement guides for the strap holes. It's also a good idea to trace the lines next to the holes so that you have a guide for where the straps will go. The angle of the straps helps make the eyepatch sit comfortably on your face.
You are now ready to cut some leather!
Find a piece of leather that is somewhat sturdy. You want the patch to have some integrity to it. Something that will hold its shape. We are using a piece that is 3 mm thick.
Grab the piece of leather that you want to use as the patch and place the cardboard template over it. Make sure that the outside face of the leather is facing up.The side people will see. Carefully start cutting into the leather with the blade. Start with minimal pressure and work your way up until you begin to actually cut through the leather. Careful with finger placement. You always want to keep your fingers out of the cutting path of the blade.
You should now have an eyepatch shaped piece of leather. Now we will begin to make the straps and the holes for the straps.
Our eyepatch has a 1cm(⅜”) wide strap. We suggest using something similar but you customize this to your liking. Just know that if you choose to use a leather rope instead of a flat strap then you will need to find a different way to attach the strap. The rivets we are using require a strap that is at least 9mm wide.
We offer pre cut straps that you can find here
But you can also find some pre cut leather straps on amazon. Just make sure that they are about 10mm wide and about 1.5mm thick.
We will now begin to cut the hole out for the strap. Be sure to make the hole at least 4-5mm away from the side so that it does not rip prematurely. We used a wide punch but you can use a blade and carefully cut the hole out.
The final step here is pretty simple. Feed the strap through the hole making sure that the face of the strap and face of the eyepatch are both facing the same way. Provide enough room for the rivet cap to seat. Then make your hole in the center of the strap. We used some punch pliers that made a hole just wide enough for the riven to pass through but if you do not have a punch you can get creative. You can use a drill bit or carefully use your blade to make the holes.
I would highly recommend using a punch for this though. They are cheap and can be found on amazon.
Now all there is to do is to put your cap rivets in. Place them through the holes and use a hammer to smash them securely in place. Do this slowly with small taps until your rivets are secure. We are using a cap rivet tool. It's basically a metal punch with a contoured end that sits flush with the cap rivets. If you don't want to buy one you can use a piece of scrap leather to place on top of the rivet to protect it from getting damaged by your hammer. Take your time with this. Rivets are cheap but taking them off is not easy so you want to try and get it done right the first time.
You now have your very own eyepatch!
At this point you are done. You can tie the straps by hand at the back of your head with a double knot or you can experiment with some fancy knots if you are so inclined.
Alternatively you can cut some velcro out and glue it onto the straps or sew it on, but that may be difficult to do.
If you are curious about anything else or want to know more about the process feel free to send me a message. I’d be glad to answer any questions and make some clarifications.