Weighing in at 750g…
I made these heavy little guys soon after I started bookbinding. My first bookbinding teacher Rosemarie inspired me to create them one lesson. They are great for holding things down (duh), especially when I am sewing sections together. I also use them when something has to dry under weight. I prefer them to a heavy block of metal or a brick because they are soft and supple, they feel nice, and because the make a cool sound when I toss them from hand to hand; they also double as stress balls. They will not dent your boards or whatever when you drop them either. They are dead easy to make; one just has to find a gun shop that will sell one some lead shot. I forget the size I got. Make sure when you do get some that you put them into a strong container—or several—because man it is heavy for its size.
How to Make a Heavy Leather Bag of Lead Shot
This is pretty easy so I won’t even explain each step, you’ll be able to figure it out.
- Get some lead shot and put about 750g into a separate container.
- Cut yourself a template from some breakfast-cereal-box card according to your desired size. Remember to allow for your seam.
- If you’re using leather and hand sewing, I recommend pre-punching holes. I marked the holes’ positions on the template so I’d get an evenly spaced blanket stitch.
- Cut two pieces of leather, old jeans, or some other heavy fabric according to your template.
- If you’re using leather, use your awl if you have one to pierce holes for sewing. Remember to protect your work surface.
- Start sewing around the outside of the paper weight with some strong thread. In the picture above, the red and the white stitching is linen bookbinding thread, while the blue is a couple of strands of embroidery floss.
- Once you have only about 2–3cm remaining, make a funnel from some heavyish paper (roll it into a cone, then cut a hole at the bottom, and cut the top down so it’s manageable), and pour your shot in. If it all won’t fit, or you need more, that’s cool, just play it by ear.
- Complete the sewing
- Et voila! You have a heavy bag of lead. Use it for peaceful purposes only.
If you want to make it more secure, you can either use a sewing machine, or make an inner bag out of some thin strong fabric—preferably sewn using a machine—and cover that in the leather or your covering material of choice. Also, I wrote this with blanket-stitching in mind. If you wanted to use another stitch you’ll have to mark and pierce holes according to whatever stitch you’re using.
My First Tutorial
That was just it. Please let me know if it needs editing or a bit of clarification. Just let me know.
PS: I wonder how many Higg’s Bosons a little ball of lead-shot has…
Very nice, concise & clear! What is Higg’s Bosons? Are you being a nerd??
Thanks, I’m not too sure, and Yes, of course!
Great idea! They look really nice and easy enough to make, I’ll be trying this when I have time!
Excellent! The hardest bit is to get the lead shot. Let me know how you go.
I totally want to make some of these now. Hmm…a project for my new speedy stitcher and leather scraps! Score!
I’d be very interested to see your finished results if you’ve had time to have a go… good luck!
maybe a fishing store has little lead sinkers. i remember them from when i was a kid. they were about 1/8″ in dia.
They would be about the right size methinks. I don’t think you’d want to go much bigger, but that’s just a thought—larger sized balls might work quite well. I can’t imagine that it would be too hard for you to get some lead shot from your local gun shop though. Depends which is more economical I guess. Good luck!