How to Make a Concealed-Carry Holster

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Concealed carry holsters come in many varieties. The most popular are IWB (inside the waistband) holsters for full-size or compact pistols, and pocket holsters for sub-compact guns. The simplest method for constructing a homemade holster is to use kydex plastic, which becomes soft when exposed to heat but firms as it cools. The design below is for a pocket holster. This can be modified into an IWB holster simply by attaching a belt clip to the outside.

Cut the manila folder into the shape of your holster. Fold the folder around your gun so that it covers the pistol. Then cut away sections of the folder until the paper is a shape that covers the gun and resembles a standard holster.

Trace the manila folder shape onto the kydex. Place masking tape over the kydex, and then trace an outline of your holster design onto the tape.

Cut the kydex. Use a jigsaw to cut precisely around the traced image. Remove the masking tape. You now have a piece of kydex which is the exact dimensions of the manila folder prototype.

Heat the kydex above the toaster. In order to shape the kydex, you must heat it. Use heat-resistant gloves and hold the kydex above the toaster until it goes somewhat limp. A hair dryer might also work to apply the heat.

Mold the holster around your gun. Stick the gun inside a thin sock to protect it from direct contact to the kydex. Wrap the kydex around the pistol in the same way the folder was wrapped around earlier. Hold the kydex firmly with your gloves until the plastic cools and holds its shape. If the shape is not what you wanted, you may have to heat it again.

Rivet the holster together. Drill a small hole where the two ends of the kydex meet after it is folded around the gun. This is usually below the barrel, in front of the trigger guard. Insert the pop rivet into the whole and apply the rivet lever. More than one rivet may be required depending on your gun and design.


  • Unload your gun before molding the kydex around it.
  • Always follow universal gun safety rules.
  • Improperly designed holsters may depress the trigger of your gun when it is holstered, causing it to fire. Be mindful of this possibility and always try your holster with the gun unloaded first.


  • "How to Make Holsters"; Al Stohlman; 1953

About the Author

Jacob Buckenmeyer began writing professionally in 2005. His work has been published in "The Western Front," "Klipsun" magazine, "The Planet" magazine, "Catholic News Service" and various other websites and newspapers. Buckenmeyer has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Western Washington University.

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