Recently my wife and I decided to re-upholster a couch I restored some 15 years ago. We decided to use leather. While thinking through the tools and steps needed I realised that I do not have a monster needle to do the buttons. I found an old file handle and a piece of steel that did duty as a guide for a router’s fence in a previous life. I drilled a small hole about 30 mm from one end, countersunk it on both sides and sharpened that end. For the purpose of the couch we used this crude tool with a plastic handle.
Once the couch was finished I drilled another hole in the part of the shaft that will end up inside the handle and tapped a small nail through it. Epoxy was used to fix it within the old file handle.