How to Make a Wallet That Will Last the Rest of Your Life

by A Manly Guest Contributor on November 30, 2012 · 95 comments

in Manly Skills, Projects

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Matthew Pisarcik & Sebastian Sandersius, the founders of Bison Made.

Nothing is manlier than making something with your own two hands. It’s a source of pride to build something that you can call your own. However, nothing is more frustrating than purchasing something expensive with your hard-earned dollars and having it fail on you. In this article, we want to address a common problem for men: their wallets don’t hold up.

Your wallet gets more use and abuse than just about any other accessory throughout your daily life. And while most fashion label brands build their wallets to look nice in the store, seeing it a few months later is a different story. From unraveling thread to ripping liners, today’s average wallet is designed to wear out. So before dropping your dime on another department store wallet, consider the following guidelines to make your own that will last the rest of your life.

Click on any image below to see a larger version.

Blueprint for wallet design. Click for full size image/pattern.

The first thing that you need to make a wallet is a well-engineered design. We have provided a basic blueprint that is streamlined with a clean, modern look. All the correct dimensions are accounted for to carry the tender of any world currency. This wallet design is known as an Ambrosian manifold, consisting of four pieces of leather that are folded and stitch-assembled into a bi-fold wallet with a single pocket for bills and six pockets for cards.



You will need about two square feet of material. We recommend vegetable-tanned leather that is of 2oz thickness. Yes, leather thickness is measured in ounces – it is possible to use 1oz of leather if you want your wallet to be extra thin, and 3oz if you don’t mind the extra bulk. It is possible to use other types of leather, but it is important that the leather be relatively rigid to ensure a firm wallet.


Find a color that compliments the color of leather you chose. If unsure, consult the authority on matching in your household: your wife or mom. Using a thread color that is darker than your leather is usually a good start. As for size, we recommend using a thread that is no smaller than TEX138 or larger than TEX270.


  • Scissors
  • Razor blade
  • Straight rule
  • (2) pushpins
  • Awl (or something similar like an ice pick)
  • (2) ball point stitching needles.



Whether you decide to create your own design or use the pattern we have provided, the first thing you will need to do is to print the design and cut out the paper patterns. Next, trace the patterns onto a sheet of leather.


Now you will have to carefully cut the pieces out of the leather. Cutting the leather with clean lines will be made easy by using a rotary blade alongside a straight edge ruler. After the pieces are cut out, you need to punch stitching holes into the leather. Use push pins to tack the paper pattern to the leather piece and use an awl (or something like an ice pick) to punch evenly spaced holes. The holes only need to be big enough for your needles and thread to pass through without too much resistance.


Now you are ready to assemble the components together. The smaller pieces A and B are layered on top of C, which all goes on top of D. Next, fold the leather to see where the holes should line up. Creasing the leather thoroughly will make stitching much easier. We have provided a color-coded illustration showing stitching paths with start and end points for your thread. There are various methods for hand stitching but for this assembly, we recommend you use a method called hand saddle stitching. With saddle stitching, there is one thread and two needles (one at each end of the thread). To bind two pieces together, align the holes together and weave two needles through each aligned hole.


To begin, we recommend starting with the blue stitching path. For this path you need about two feet of thread. Pass one needle through the first hole at the starting point of piece B. Pull through until there are equal amounts of thread on both sides of the leather. Take one needle and start it through the next hole from the same side of the leather. Start the other needle through the same hole from the opposite side. Grasp both needles and pull through until the stitch is good and tight. After the fourth hole, you will need to begin binding piece D to piece B. Once you have reached the end point, you will need to pass both needles to the back side and weave the threads, as shown in the middle image, so they are both sticking out of the back side of B. Take these two needles from the back side of B and add on piece C.


To end the blue path, weave the needles between the two aligned holes of B and C, as shown in the images above. At this point, check that the stitching is good and tight all along the blue path and make any tension adjustments needed. If all is fine, you can tie off the two threads by making three consecutive overhand knots.


The red path is the inverse shape, but same technique as the blue path. Following the same routine, stitch piece A to D and C. Tie off the red path and leave about a quarter-inch of remnant thread.


At this point you are ready to move on to stitching paths green and yellow. The first 18 stitches of these paths will be spent binding A and B to C. Once you get to the corners, you will begin to include piece D into the stitching and close up the side of the wallet.


The end points of the green and yellow stitching paths bring you to the corner fold of part D. At these corners, you can bring the threads through the middle, tie them off with three knots, cut the remaining thread, and tuck the knot into the corner fold. Your wallet is DONE!

Final Thoughts

Now you will have a stylish wallet to slap on the table the next time you are out on the town. Like a well-made pair of shoes, this wallet is designed to be easily disassembled and refurbished to ensure you decades of service. Keep it looking sharp by buffing it with a horsehair brush now and again. When using it, you’ll be reminded of the skills learned while making something with attention to detail and pride. In your great-grandfather’s generation, people often made their own clothes, furniture, and shoes. When you work with your hands to build something that matters, you are making a statement that craftsmanship and pride in what you do are fundamental values still relevant for men today.

Update: Below are three blueprint images that will print to scale on regular 8.5″ x 11″ paper. The first image is parts A and B, the second image part C, and the third image part D. Click the images to bring up the full-size versions.




Bison Made uses these same basic principles when producing quality leather carry goods. Instead of paper patterns and hand cutting, we use high precision cutting dies to create consistent leather components that are hand finished and stitched. We have taken a position that by starting with high-quality raw materials and detailed precision, beautiful and functional works that are designed for life will follow.

{ 95 comments… read them below or add one }

1 David November 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Is it just me, or are there only 4 pockets for cards in this design?

2 Saxon November 30, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Food for thought! Instead of looking for that perfect wallet that somehow never materializes and always has the wrong layout, I could simply make my own. Why didn’t I even think about that before reading this?

3 Connor Rademaker November 30, 2012 at 6:48 pm

This is excellent. I have been leather crafting for years, but it is always hard to find good resources online as most of the old masters are just that, old, and not too tech savvy. I would love to see more of this sort of thing. I will begin working on this tonight, probably modifying it a bit. Hopefully I can post what I end up with.

4 Mike M November 30, 2012 at 7:11 pm

My friend just got a wallet made of black Tyvec. It might not have leather’s class, but it’s thin, lightweight, sturdy, and it’s not a bad conversation starter.

5 Andrew November 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm

where is good place to buy leather material for projects like this?

6 Brett McKay November 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm


According to Sebastian, there are 4 pockets up front and 2 big ones behind those.

7 Jorge November 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm
8 Sebastian Sandersius November 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm


Tandy leather is a common place though it really depends on where you are in the country. Pull up Google or the YellowPages and call up leather shops asking for 2oz leather.

9 Bruce Allan West November 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I remember my dad making his own wallets – well, he only made himself one, because one built like that (using a very heavy Horween leather) was all he would ever need. He made wallets, belts and guitar straps for friends and family members too. He’d obsess over them and keep up us late with the sound of mallet on stamp, making some intricate basket weave pattern – or perfecting his own “poison ivy” pattern.
I didn’t inherit that talent, nor do I desire to cary such a bulky, flashy patterned wallet as my father did – but I am interested in making things myself, just as he did. That’s why I’m so happy to see this pattern! It’s simple, it’s not bulky, and it looks nice. I’m placing this on the “make one this someday” list. But since the leather shop is only 1/2 mile from my house, something tells me I’ll soon be keeping my wife up late one night while I make a wallet.

10 Sebastian Sandersius November 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm


Fantastic! I am happy to hear you will take a crack at this.

As a general note, if you are able to get leather from Horween near you, I really recommend using it for this design.

For the wallets we make at Bison, we primarily us 2oz Horween Chromexcel. It is a fantastic durable leather.

11 Justin November 30, 2012 at 11:09 pm

My Ex made my a wallet years ago, it has lasted for a long time, I use it half the time with my slimmer travel wallet.

12 C.G December 1, 2012 at 12:11 am

This looks good but I’m a Saddleback man; they know what they’re doing.

13 nope December 1, 2012 at 4:44 am

no space for coins?

14 Kurt Birk December 1, 2012 at 4:55 am

What a great idea and thanks for “Art of Manlines”. It’s always a good read.

15 John December 1, 2012 at 7:05 am

This is awesome, thanks for the detailed instructions, blueprints, and pictures. I think I might make one of these for a Christmas present for myself, and if all goes well, maybe next year for my Dad/Brother.

16 Darren December 1, 2012 at 7:13 am

I had no idea they were in Chicago! I wonder if they give factory tours. Road trip!

17 caleb December 1, 2012 at 8:27 am

It sounds like a great idea. If that wallet would fit my needs I would use it. It would throw my back off so bad it would take years to her back to normal. After using a “magic wallet” in my front pocket for a few years I found the all-ett. The nylon version is basically as thick as the cards you put in it. Going on about 7 years so far and finally starting to wear out a bit. I have a friend who’s still using one after much longer even though it is in worse shape. It has saved my back.

18 Saxon December 1, 2012 at 9:29 am

How about camel or yak leather; supposedly very strong leathers for their thicknesses?

19 daniel December 1, 2012 at 11:13 am

awesome! a tutorial for an iphone leather case would be cool aswell! :)

20 Joel December 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm
21 Tristan December 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Is the blueprint just the picture, or am I missing something?

22 Thomas December 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I’m amazed. I’ve just finished a paper version of it and if I could fit a bit of velcro in one of the larger pockets, a few coins would fit there as well without faling out.
I’m brilliant, I know :)
Now I just have to wait for the leather.

Stay manly.

23 NateD December 1, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Can’t beat handmade! I made my Dad a wallet when I was in the 7th grade and he just barely retired it last year. The wallet was 17 years old.

I will definately be making one of these.

24 Sam December 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Tandy Leather is a good resource. I also like Hide and Fur ( ) for heavier leather and, well, furs. This is a wonderfully easy pattern, and I’m going to see if I’ve got enough scrap leather to take a crack at this. My lady has an old sewing machine that stitches lightweight leather (it’s wonderful for repairs to tack, as horses are ever creative in destroying things) that will make this a cinch.

25 Kevin December 1, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Anyone else trying to buy leather? I can seem to only find tooling leather that comes in enormous quantities (Tandy and S&D Trading Co, for example). Anyone know of a place I can get a small quantity of this kind of leather for cheap? Thanks!

26 Ben December 2, 2012 at 7:03 am

Whenever I see some wallets I think of that Seinfield episode where George has a wallet that is basically a filing cabinet. I don’t get it. I carry a debit card, a credit card, my driver’s license and cash in a front-pocket billfold wallet. I don’t have to sit on anything all day and there is less of a chance of losing something that is in my front pocket. Other cards (e.g. grocery savings cards) that are less frequently used stay in an envelope in my house or in my car’s glove compartment. I’ve never had a problem this way. I guess a standard wallet has a lot of history behind them but I detest their bulkiness and awkwardness. But, if I did have one, I’d love to make it by hand.

27 Marc December 2, 2012 at 10:04 am

Hi there, the blue print… how to use this? It’s a picture… I tried to print it 100% size on A3 but it’s too big then. Then I tried printing it on A4 (scaled down) but then it’s too small…

Any hints?


28 Ryan December 2, 2012 at 11:00 am

Kevin, I would check ebay. When I first started doing leatherworking, I found a few suppliers that sell it by the square foot and will give it to you in whatever dimensions you would like (big square, long strip, etc.). You pay more per Sq. Ft., but you won’t have near the waste you would if you were to buy an entire side of leather.

On an unrelated note, did anyone else have problems printing out the pattern? Even at full page and borderless, it’s far too small.

29 Zachary Arnold December 2, 2012 at 11:28 pm

I have tried various wallets, from small back pocket leather chain wallets to big checkbook holding things to aa Nylon ID wallet which made getting my Military ID out every time I passed through the gate easier. I liked skinny jeans (a habit I have outgrown) and my dad had sciatica and I didn’t want to inherit his pain – both meant the same thing – a front pocket wallet was the way to go. I switched to a metal smart clip thing a few years ago (similar to this: and have never been happier. It is small, limits the crap I carry, but everything is accessible and holds cash, cards, and ID. The only flaw is that it is hellish on phones if you leave them in the same pocket – but I tend to keep that in my breast pocket or on my belt.

30 Sebastian Sandersius December 3, 2012 at 1:12 am


The blue print should print on 11″x17″. The scale should be good. If you are limited to print on 8.5″x11″, crop the image up and print the pieces separately. As long as the scale isn’t messed with, you should be good to go. Thanks!

31 Cody D. December 3, 2012 at 10:07 am

For any experienced leather-workers out there, do you think it would be feasible to reclaim leather from old clothing to create one of these wallets?

32 Javier D. December 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I am very much interested in doing this project, however, I’ve recently become a vegan and I would like to avoid using leather. Does anyone know of any good non-leather alternatives? Thanks!

33 Avi Levy-Stevenson December 3, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I’m having trouble printing it to the right scale- how can i get the picture to a 11″17″ scale and ready to print? i have an A4 printer.

34 SteveR December 3, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I’ll stick with my Saddleback wallet. It’s guaranteed for 100yrs and at my age, it’s more than a lifetime.

35 Saxon December 3, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Hard to let this article just pass. It strikes me that a truly manly wallet could be made from the tough leathers of camel, yak or kangaroo, and I would really like to try one of those. Most tempting is undyed camel, but I would rather not get the leather out of morocco, where the tanneries use camel urine, making the leather a permanent smeller (stinker!) in our climates. I found a very modern supplier, but don’t know where to get their camel leather retail: Al Khaznah Tannery – anyone know any retail salespoint for their leather? Or if not, then for kangaroo or yak leather?

36 Saxon December 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm

OK, forget the kangaroo. I found one:

37 Matt December 4, 2012 at 11:30 am

Im having a very hard time printing this to scale… I am limited to a regular letter printer, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

38 Avi Levy-Stevenson December 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Matt- I resized it in word and printed it in bits, but it came out a little off. Had to sew it a bit differently… bit complicated. The wallet turned out pretty damn cool though.

39 Mike December 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Hey for those that would like additional pockets.
I think it’ll probably be to bulky, but you can simply switch pieces A and B. Then instead of stitching A & B all the way through to the Bill pocket (C), simply stitch them through the Card Pockets (A&B). This leaves gap between the card pockets and bill pocket.

I did it this weekend with felt as a dry run and it worked pretty well. I’m not 100% certain of which way I’ll go with leather.

40 Darrell December 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Over the years, I’ve found many articles on this blog very useful. This is now one of them. Thanks for taking the time to write it. I do have a couple questions.

Does all vegetable-tanned leather have the proper rigidity? If not, what characteristics do I look for in order to ensure what I purchase online is rigid enough?

41 George December 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I went to a store and bought enough Leather for 2 wallets and thread for around 20. In all it came out to US$18.20 so I thought it was really cheap seeing as it wasn’t off the internet and I could See the exact color I wanted and feel the material.
At first was looking for a stiff leather, the kind i’m used to feeling in the usual wallets you buy at other places but that wasn’t to be found.. The leather i ended up buying was the same thickness as the material in my current wallet but much, much softer. I told the seller that I was worried this stuff wouldn’t be as rigid as I want but he assured me that the piece I was looking at was the thickest and that it’s that same used for shoes and belts.
Since there really was nothing more rigid I took it and saw what I could do.

It took me a total of 6 hours (with a few breaks) in sizing the pieces just right, tracing, cutting, stitching… In the end I like this wallet more than my current one! AND I have enough leather left to make another perfecting my stitches and customizing my sizes.. The softer leather isn’t a problem at all! once you put your drivers license in it the wallet’s as firm as you need it.. And because I got such a soft leather if I put it in my pocket with a cell phone there is no way it’s gong to scratch..
I’m definitely keeping this for the rest of my life!

42 army wife December 6, 2012 at 8:29 am

this is the amazing Christmas gift idea that I have been searching for! thanks for giving me something thoughtful and fitting I can make for my incredible, manly husband.

43 Jeremy December 6, 2012 at 10:12 am

I second Darrel’s question regarding rigidness of the leather.

@George, any pictures? Did the “soft” leather that you used, even though it was 2 oz also, hold up shape? Does it still end up a rigid, but soft wallet?


44 George December 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm

@Jeramy, I would have to say that my final product came out looking just like the one in the Pictures in this article.
As I said, the wallet itself is not as ridged as any department store wallet you’ll find anywhere else. It is kinda flaccid without anything in it but once you put your photo ID in it, the wallet’s as firm as it needs to be. I think the one used in this article is the same rigidness as mine.

I think the rigidness of more popular wallets come from the oil’s and dye’s used to color and protect the leather. the piece I bought has had no treatment of that sort done to it whatsoever and that’s probably why I think it’s so soft to the touch. It’s like petting a new born calf (and I’ve petted calf’s recently)

45 Cliff December 7, 2012 at 6:35 pm

I purchased the material online and am waiting for it to arrive. That said I was taking a look at the directions again and am having a little trouble understanding the method used for stitching. Does anyone know the technical name of the stitch used, and is there a youtube video on how to perform the stitch?

I sent the link to the online retailer I came accross and she suggested goat hide. I probably got enough to make 20 wallets, thread, and needles all for around 40$. I fig on trying to make a few for Xmas gifts.

They were very helpful if you need supplys

46 Shayne December 8, 2012 at 1:10 am

@Cliff,look up saddle stitching. I think there should be some on youtube but a book explains better. ” The art of hand sewing leather” by Al Stohlman is a great book for this subject,

47 wardo December 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Why would you post a pattern that’s practically unprintable?

48 Travis December 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Or you could make a wallet in 20 seconds using a rubber band. Faster. Better. Manlier.

49 Louise December 11, 2012 at 7:48 am

This is great for men who love DIY things. However, most men would prefer to buy a new one rather than making their own wallet. Got no patience.

50 Jinx December 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm

At the risk if nit picking isn’t that a bill fold? I was taught abet a long time ago that a wallet was made to carry your money without folding, while a bill fold looked like what was made here.

51 Mason Honey December 14, 2012 at 12:31 am

Great inspiration! Unfortunately my printer wouldn’t/couldn’t produce the above pattern in the right scale. Being an individual with basic leather know how I was able to make my own design with this one as a base. Perhaps on the next project article that requires the use of a blue print the designer could put the dimensions on the schematic itself. I’m used to reading aircraft schematics and I was taken for a whirl when I couldn’t draw it out for myself when the printer failed. All in all a great article.

52 Tyler February 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm

does anyone know how i size it correctly it prints out to small for me.

53 Andrei February 11, 2013 at 5:28 am

I’ve created an A3 size PDF document with the parts at 100% scale:

54 Tom February 16, 2013 at 6:55 am

you could also use recycled leather
i made a camera case for my 35mm leica from an old hand bag i got at a carboot sale i used an old belt for the strap.

55 Peter February 20, 2013 at 10:01 am

Some 30 years ago, being a young boy my Grandfather made me a gift. He bought a handmade knife from a local fair and gave it to me. Using the same technique, I took and old leather belt and made a sheath for the knife. Every time I lay my eyes on it pleasant feeling comes to my heart. Childhood memories.

56 Dustin February 21, 2013 at 7:06 pm

I’m currently making a wallet similar to this one, but the leather I have is a very light tan and i want to darken it. Unfortunatly I dont have the money or ability to obtain the proper materials to do it right, so are there any supplies i could use around the house that would do this, without rotting the leathwer over time like some oils do?

57 Ben Amber February 28, 2013 at 5:51 pm

This is fantastic and great to see that you have published full instructions on how to make a wallet, and with such a lovely product of leather – my favourite too. Thanks for posting this blog.

58 David February 28, 2013 at 11:19 pm

This looks like a great project that I may work on (I got a leather wallet about four/five years ago in Italy and it is still holding up.) However I want mine to have a spot that shows my drivers license clearly, so I don’t have to deal with taking it out when I need to show it. How would I go about doing that?

59 tcifrino March 9, 2013 at 1:02 am

Samuel L Jackson made one and stitched Bad Motherf*cker on the front of it. True story, I saw it in a movie…

60 ArtofLittleGirliness March 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm

This post really needs to be updated with a warning that the blueprint must be printed on 11 x17! Or better yet, the blueprint should include measurements.

I know I must take responsibility for my own stupidness: I didn’t realize the pattern was too small until I cut out the leather. So I went ahead and finished it, and now I’ve got a beautiful wallet suited for a little girl.

I’m looking forward to making the real thing today.

61 jbt March 9, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I loved building this wallet. The instructions and pattern made it very feasible. I would love to see more leather working skills like this.

62 Chad March 23, 2013 at 1:57 am

The long side of the D pattern should be around 9.5 inches long in order for the pockets to accommodate a business card which is 3.5″ long.

63 Chad March 23, 2013 at 2:03 am

And I’m still scratching my head and trying to figure out what the dimensions provided on the template could possibly be. Is that a .5″ I see? A half an inch?

I have a sneaking suspicion there is a big joke being played here…

64 Ryan March 26, 2013 at 11:52 am

I really want to make this wallet but it’s a pain in the ass getting these dimensions correct. I’m going to try and print up the full size PDF a previous user posted at a kinkos or something. If it works I’ll get the post the dimensions.

65 Michael April 5, 2013 at 9:55 am

I didn’t find that PDF quite sized right for me. Seemed a bit small. I have done a couple of things. I split the template into three JPG files (AB, C, and D), white background with black lines. I scaled it so that the vertical stitch lines for the credit card pockets are about 1/10th inch from the credit card edge. That makes the C template about 8″ x 3.4″

Haven’t actually made one yet, but that’s the size Ima gonna use for a prototype.

If anyone wants the files, send me an email at


66 Anthony N. April 29, 2013 at 9:42 pm

This is great. For those looking,
is another spot for to buy leather remnants.

67 Adrian May 15, 2013 at 3:48 pm

@Louise, #49: agreed, most men probably would rather buy a wallet. But that’s sort of the point of this site. There’s nothing more emasculating than being beholden on others to provide your needs for payment, and nothing more emancipating than meeting your needs for yourself simply, robustly and at a high quality.

68 David May 30, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I want to make this and include a clear segment for my drive’s license. I also am sort of a vegan in that I don’t want to use leather so I have two questions:

1) Can I make this without using real leather?

2) Can I add a clear pouch for my drive’s license?

69 Christopher June 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Can anyone tell me how to get the correct dimensions of all the pieces? I tried to print them off but the blue print is way too small and there are no measurements for me to make my own patterns.

70 Allan July 27, 2013 at 12:54 am

Here are some wallets I currently made and some from the past as far back as the early 70′s.

71 Gallop Girls August 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Everything was totally out of proportions! It doesnt even fit a dollar bill! Way to make me mad! You need better directions on how to print it the right size. and you said that it was to scale!

72 John Early August 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm

A little tip for the folks complaining about size. I printed it off on standard sized paper out of an old laserjet. I had to wrangle it around in paint a little so it would print on 4 pieces of paper which i then taped together, but it works. Cant wait to try this out.

73 matt August 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Which one type of stitching is good to use here? I’m just working on one wallet with my own size, I’ll upload my own sheet with dimensions later. It looks very nice but the stitching is very important part, because bad stitching can destroy the look very easy.

74 Chris September 8, 2013 at 12:35 am

Made this wallet to-day
looks good and I am very happy
thank you for posting this. I may
make a few for my family.

75 steve September 11, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Someone asked for dimensions: (this is based on the blueprint layout).

D: 9.6 long, 5.6 short, the gap is 1.9 deep, centered and 1.2 wide.

C: 8.7 long, 3.6 short

A/B (based on A): 4.2 across the long vertical stitching, 5.1 across the gaps, 3.5 across the bottom long stitching, 0.7 across the 3-stitch tabs. The top gap is 3.3.

I stuffed the raster into a vector program, rescaled it to fit credit cards, cut it out, glued it to card stock, punched through card stock into scrap leather from my scrap bin and stitched it up. Not pretty and the leather is clothing class – soft – but it works great and allowed me to retire my old tri-fold nylon wallet that everyone was complaining about.

Someone asked about a transparent window? Go to Jo-Ann Fabric and get a sample of clear furniture vinyl and stitch a piece in where you want it.

76 Arjan September 21, 2013 at 8:46 am

Any tip on getting the leather in the Netherlands? Pieces on eBay aren’t that expensive, but shipping is usually around 10GBP which is quite expensive for a small piece, and I have no idea of where to get this stuff around my country.

77 matt September 27, 2013 at 2:39 am

Hi Arjan, if the thickness 1.5mm is not problem for you, here:
is leather that i made my wallet from. I have bought 30×60 cm large piece and its thickness is from 1.3 to 1.5mm..not so expensive but quality leather.. If you would want, I can give you my sheet with dimensions for wallet made from that leather. I have made it and it looks perfect, in my opinion..

78 Zach September 27, 2013 at 7:58 pm

I made up a paper prototype to make sure the template I printed was correct. Everything seems right but I have a question. Is part D supposed to be larger (wider) then the other parts? Mine kind of makes the wallet stay closed because D pushes on the outside edges. I am pretty sure that is right but I wanted to make sure before I started cutting up leather!

79 Chris September 29, 2013 at 11:34 am

This is an Answer for Zach
Part D should be 9 inches wide
Part C should be 8 1/2 inches wide

80 Arjan October 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Thanks matt!

81 Arjan October 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm

If you could indeed give me the dimension, that’d be nice.
Greetings from the Netherlands
btw, just ordered the leather!

82 DrunkJoe October 11, 2013 at 12:23 pm

This is great. I was just about to start crafting, already thought of a decent own design but right when i wanted to begin, i realized there is no space for coins.
As i live in a country with lots and lots of coins i can’t use a wallet without an extra space for coins.

Does anybody know of a good, reliable way to add some sort of “coinsack” to it ?

83 matt October 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm

I’m sorry for late reply, but here it is –
dimensions and stitching :

and some photos of final wallet:

To avoid shaggy edges, its good to use something very sharp.

84 madigmcd November 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Hi, I see that this wallet has 4-6 pockets, how would I go about making a wallet that holds six cards and a back pocket for bills?


85 Madi November 6, 2013 at 9:57 pm

@matt are the numbers in your photos cm? Also, how many card pockets and how many cash pockets were in your final product?

86 matt November 7, 2013 at 5:29 am

No, the numbers is milimeters. To get inches, you must divide all it by 25.4

87 Megan December 1, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Does anyone have the files to print this template at real size on standard A4 (letter sized) printer paper so we can just cut it out? It’s o.k. if it’s several different files (i.e. if the wallet parts are on different pages). Matt’s template is very helpful but I’ll still have to re-draw the blueprint, which might make it a bit messy.

Many Thanks,

88 Landon Belcher December 18, 2013 at 11:05 am

I am currently trying to make this wallet, and even the updated version seems too small and the pieces do not fit. Can someone help me out?

89 Francis December 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm


Use the pictures in the original post after the word “Update”, not the ones posted by readers. Open each of the three links in new tabs. They will look huge – that’s good – they’re high resolution. Save each of the three files to your hard drive. Open the files with Windows Photo Editor. They’ll still look huge – that’s OK.

Print the images. In the print dialog box, the size of the image will be displayed. Check that the width is as the picture shows, for instance part C is 3.32 inches or 8.50 cm wide. Alongside the Width and Height boxes, the percent boxes should both read 100. You want to clear the “Allow Distortion” and “Fit to Page” checkboxes. It is probably best to click the button marked “Center” so that the picture is printed in the middle of the sheet. The picture should then print out exactly right, centred on the page, at the proper size. That’s all I did and I got perfect results.

I have made two wallets for my kids using Kangaroo leather from Packer leather. They’ve turned out beautifully.

90 stacey December 20, 2013 at 12:49 am

@landon belcher I ran into the same problem, just go to any copy place and print it out on 11 x 17 paper. double check the measurements as they come out on the paper. I just finished making this wallet by printing it that way. Hope this helps!

91 Derek December 26, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Tried it twice. Parts A/B seem too wide for part D. I think I’m done wasting material on this pattern. I measured everything, and I guess it’s the way it’s supposed to be. I think A/B are right, since a credit card fits fine, but the gap on D is just too big. It makes for a clunky looking wallet.

92 Trung January 2, 2014 at 2:12 am

Could some one tell me where I can buy the material to make a wallet including the liner fabric. I had no luck in searching the web and going to fabric store.

Thank you

93 Austin Farmer January 13, 2014 at 10:14 am

I’m all about making my own wallet but I’m having a hard time finding quality leather pieces for sale. Any suggestions? Does Saddleback or Coronado sell scraps online? Thanks!

94 Alice February 4, 2014 at 10:10 am

British currency is a bit fatter than dollars, will they fit in this or do I need to make the pattern larger?

95 Morrigan March 2, 2014 at 10:57 am

Going to be making this one for my boyfriend as soon as my leather is shipped in. Found a large amount of scrap leather, big pieces for all of $18, an awl for $5 and I have everything else on hand.

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