Making Your Own Frog

What, they don’t have what you want?  Make it.

So, at some point a few years ago, I bought a dagger from The Pirate Ship at the Georgia Renaissance Festival.  It had the little chains and hooks to connect it to my belt.  They were kind enough to peace tie it for me and I decided to hook it to my belt as I roamed around the rest of the day.  Those hooks and little chains almost drove me to drink (which would not have been that hard, I was carrying a glass of mead at the time).  The hooks kept coming off my belt, the dagger didn’t hang right and soon after buying it, I took it off my belt and dropped in the backpack of one my traveling companions.  This did not however dissuade me from wanting to carry this beautiful piece of cutlery at the next faire I attended.

leather kitOnce I got it home I spent sometime contemplating where I wanted to carry this particular piece.  I didn’t want to invest in another frog from a leather shop that wouldn’t put the dagger exactly where I wanted it so I became determined to make my own. After a few modifications to the daggers sheath ( I cut off those stupid little chains), here was my process:

  1. I decided where I wanted to wear the dagger – in case at my back right behind where my baldric sits.  Thus, if I were going to actually be using it, I could draw it very easily with my left hand even though it was on my left side at my back.
  2. I took a piece of paper and a tape measure to figure out what the piece of leather I was going to be using would have o look like and what size it would need to be.
  3. I bought a piece of leather from a local hobby shop, just plan black sued-y leather in a plastic bag.  This didn’t match all of the other leather gear that I had but it was close enough and let’s face it, I wasn’t wanting people to look at the frog but to look at the dagger.
  4. I then made my pattern on paper, cut it out and made sure that it would work.  I added a little to the edges so that when I sewed it up, I would have plenty of room to sew, knowing that I could trim some of it off if I needed to.
  5. I took my piece of leather and cut out the pattern.  I made sure I cut it out in such a way that I would have enough leather to make a second one if I screwed it up.
  6. I took my trust leather punch tool and placed holes in the pieces that needed to be sewed up – basically a loop to go around my belt and a piece that was sewed up to form a loop around the dagger itself.
  7. I had purchased some black leather lacing when I first started going in garb to faires, ’cause face it, you know somebody with you is going to break a lacing while you are traveling to the faire or getting ready in the parking lot.  I used the leather lacing to make the two loops in such a way that I could tighten to hold the dagger in place.
  8. I know had the frog ready to use.  I put it on my ring belt and tightened the pieces of leather around the dagger and my belt and it was perfect.
  9. I know had a frog, that held my dagger exactly the way that I wanted it.

This is my long way of saying, if you don’t find what you want for your garb, make it yourself or… maybe the better bet is to find a crafter at a faire, tell them what you want and let them make it for you.  Either way you go, there are options, don’t settle for what you find, get the pieces you want to make your garb look the way that you want it to look, there is no reason with sources on the internet and the crafters at the faire for you to settle for something that doesn’t work.  Ask questions find people that do custom work or… figure it out for yourself.  Trust me, working with your hands and making something for yourself is a great feeling and if you have to replace it with something that actually looks good later, then that is ok too.