When I began building floggers, I didn’t have the benefit of learning from anyone how to do it. I spent time searching out various tutorials, print and video, and got frustrated. What I had in my head wasn’t what I was seeing anywhere. Much like when I cook, I had to take what I saw as the best parts of lots of different recipes, keeping the necessary ingredients while making the taste my own.
Locals in our community have opportunities to craft implements with me on occasion, when I’ve offered a course, complete with leather, tools and guidance. I always promise them their first will turn out light years better than mine did – some goodwill sweatpants cut into strips and glued on a piece of dowel.
How I build
I start by deciding what I want my flogger to feel like (see my prior articles for more information about that). Suffice to say, the amount and texture of the leather I use will depend greatly on what I’ve decided.
Once I’ve decided what the feel should be, I examine my larger piece of leather to determine where the size piece I have chosen will best fit. Sometimes the size of the larger piece will force my hand, if it has limitations.
Once I have cut my piece or pieces away from the larger hide, I often switch my focus to the handle. Braiding works best in multiples of four, so if I’m going to braid the handle I need to find leather scrap long enough to cut into strips that will braid well. If I’m stitching, I measure with a great deal more exactness, cutting a rectangle the precise size I will need to fully cover my handle. Waxed thread works best with leather, though I will occasionally wax my own so I can customize my options a little better.
Handle complete, I create the section of falls. I know some people will use a piece of leather the length of their handle, then split falls off, but I prefer about an inch of overlap from the base of the handle rather than wrapping the full length. I measure twice down the row, marking my future cuts with tailor’s chalk. It turns out chalk works well on most leathers, since it just rubs off easily. I advise students to measure from the same side when they mark, to avoid slanted cuts if the body of their piece is uneven.
Once falls are marked and cut, I use glue on the band of the fall section and wrap it around the base of the handle. For most, upholstery tacks finish that portion. Some may want to upgrade to knotwork over their fall section, but that’s done more easily with a video tutorial. There are some excellent ones on YouTube, though I personally find Viper’s video tutorial to be the best out there. I believe he has them for sale in his etsy shop.
The handle strap is next, and I often cut the strap, end cap circle and covering wrap all at once. Some people think the end strap is for your wrist. I’ll agree to disagree with those folks. I build mine shorter, clearly hanging straps, though I can make them longer for those who request that. This top section can also be covered with knotwork for those who prefer, or finished with tacks as well.
The one thing I emphasize is that the devil is in the details. My wraps start from the same side of the handle. I position hanging loop straps equidistant from what I determine is a centerline on the handle. I make sure diamonds in braided handles line up, and stitching is in a straight line rather than wandering.
When my students finish, I warn them about set times for their glue. Test swings are one thing, but attempting a full scene with an implement whose glue hasn’t finished curing can lead to things shifting or even coming apart. They don’t always listen, but at least I gave them the information.
I believe building implements for one’s own bag is a skill everyone can learn. What I have noticed, however, is that those who spend the time to try it once begin to appreciate the pricing of handcrafted implements a little more. They come to understand the time and effort which goes into the creation of each piece.
Christmas bunny has been exploring kink since she was legal to do so. Her serious writing started in college, where she accidently got some of her papers published in educational journals. She has recently expanded her writing to include her kink journey. She began writing in the physical realm, but shed some of her inhibitions and began sharing those entries with others. She now keeps an active blog of her personal growth and her relationship with her Master / Daddy Dominant and writes helpful educational posts on a variety of subjects.