Making Rawhide Rattles
To make a rawhide rattle, you will need:
2 pieces of rawhide
Nylon thread or an artificial sinew
1 wooded stick
BB's small rocks or pony beads
1. Draw your turtle shape on some
grid paper (to ensure some symmetry in your design). Be sure to extend the bottom piece (tail end) about
an inch in length and at least a half-inch in width. This piece will become your funnel for the sand,
and will connect with the wooden handle. 2. Cut out your grid paper turtle. 3. Trace this pattern onto a dry piece of rawhide (cow,
elk, or deer). Cut it out using a pair of tin snips. 4. Repeat process with another piece of dry rawhide. 5. Soak the two pieces of rawhide for at least twenty-four hours,
forty-eight may be better. 6. While still wet, poke holes in the rawhide 1/4 inch from
the edge. 7. Whipstitch through the holes with needle and thread. Start at
one end of your funnel and end up at the other end. This will create a pocket. 8. Put sand into the cavity that now exists. You may need to pack
turtle legs and head with wet sand to fully extend these areas. 9. Using wooden stick (handle) plug the hole in the funnel.
10. Secure with a piece of leather lacing wrapped
around the rawhide and stick. This allows the opening to form fit around the stick when it dries.
11. Once the leather is fully dried, pour out the sand and replace
with small rocks, bb's, pony beads, etc. 12. Next, glue your handle to the rawhide funnel, and
decorate as you wish.
If this doesn't come out perfectly, don't let it rattle you. Practice helps.