Easy leather-style card wallet for Father’s Day

Category : Blog, Events, Father's Day, Featured, Projects, Sewing

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Rating: Beginner / Intermediate Time: 1 hour

I have multiple wallets.  There’s the formal one I use that my wife bought me at the Coach store.  It’s a great looking men’s wallet.  Then there was my regular everyday wallet I used to use, it had place for cards, cash and coins.  But it was bulky!  I don’t like a bulky wallet, so I had this other little thing that basically just held credit cards, and I guess you could fold bills up in it too.  The thing was that it broke, well the plastic covering the cards broke and so it now had these sharp plastic jagged edges and the cards tended to get stuck in the torn plastic.  After using the card-wallet like this for a while I finally had enough and I could not find anything as a suitable replacement.  I studied the existing card-wallet to see how it was made.  It looked fairly simple and I figured I could make one.  Easy, right?  ;-)

My first attempt was using real leather. The problem with the leather I bought at the craft store was it was just too thick to put through the sewing machine.  The heavy-duty nylon used for sewing the leather kept getting stuck in the leather and the leather folded over didn’t really go through the sewing machine.  Hmmmm, what to do?

One day while walking through Jo-Ann’s I took a look at what they had and found this great leather-looking vinyl.  It was perfect, because the inside was like a felt and it was thin and plyable enough that it’d fit through the sewing machine folded over.   I bought about 2 – 3 yards of it!!!  Way too much, but it was SO cheap and I then had enough should I ever need to remake my wallet.

For this wallet I used regular cotton thread because sewing with the heavy-duty nylon was just painful!  I’m not expert when it comes to sewing machine, and this I think was my first attempt at the sewing machine!  It’s my wife’s machine, that she’s used once to sew a halloween costume for my daughter a couple years back.  I needed a plastic to cover where the cards go.  But what to use?  In the stationery section of another store I found those plastic folders used for covering pages when filing.  I have no idea what they’re called, I’m a guy!  :-)   I see what I think will work and buy it.  If it works, great!  If not, try something else!  Luckily these sheets worked perfectly!

The next steps was to closely examing the existing broken card-wallet, get the dimensions, etc.  I found that the cards fitted really tightly into the existing wallet so I made mine about 1/8″ bigger all round, so 1/4″ wider in total.

First thing to do is to cut the plastic sheets.  Cut this basically 1/4″ bigger than your credit card size. LEAVE THE PLASTIC DOUBLED UP!  Yes, don’t separate the plastic.  You want 2 layers so that the plastic has a good feel to it, else it’ll be too thin and flimsy feeling.  Cut out 2 double layers like this, one for each side of the wallet.

Next step is to lay this out on your vinyl fabric, exactly the same way it’d go in the wallet.  Use a scissors to cut the fabric, but CUT IT ABOUT 2″ OR MORE WIDER ALL ROUND.  Yes, cut it way bigger than it needs to be.  Trust me!  :-)

Cut another 2 strips as long as the plastic and about as wide as the plastic too.

Now get your machine all tensioned up and ready to go by practicing on an off-cut of the fabric.

Now fold 1 of the strips over the long edge of the plastic, so that it’s basically folded in half and overlapping on the plastic.  You could use paper-clips to hold things together, because the plastic will most likely be slippery.  Sew this as you see in my completed wallet.  You can cut any over-hang off and then use a scissors to trim close to the stitching, making sure to cut straight and the same length on either side of the plastic.  Do this whole process again for the other side / piece of plastic and vinyl.

You see why you cut things bigger than needed?  Because you get to trim it down later, and it makes it WAY easier to sew with a big overlap instead of trying to fold over a little flap of vinyl that wants to straighten out all the time.

Basically you have to repeat this technique above for the same 3 sides of the plastic and then trim down the over-hang.

When you done, BAM!  You’ve got yourself, or Dad, a VERY nice wallet!!!  I use mine all the time!  When I told my wife I was going to be making a wallet, I got the eye-rolls, and the look of “yeah!”  Once I was done though my wife was pretty impressed, and said it turned out really well, and way better than she thought it would!  What I like about my new wallet is that doesn’t look home-made.  I can whip it out places and pay without people looking at my wallet thinking, WTF is that?  It looks and feels like a regular wallet.

If you’re one of the ladies following my blog, I’m sure a vinyl in a pink, purple or floral print would really turn this into a cool ladies card wallet!

Hope you enjoy this tutorial.  Unfortunately I did not take any photos during the process of making the wallet, but I’m sure that if you follow the steps above and with photos of the final product below you’ll see exactly what I mean and how things are to be done.

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