Leather Wallet and Card Case

This was my first attempt at working with leather. I needed a less bulky wallet and a way to easily access business cards. The leather, which is a vegetable tanned goat skin, is a little lighter in color than I originally wanted, but I decided to go with it anyway. This goat skin is much thinner and a bit tougher than cowhide making it ideal for a wallet.

Wallet and card case

The wallet is made using a single piece of leather. There are no stitches and no glue. Just one piece of leather folded with tabs. Some of the edges are already showing some wear. Over time, I’m sure this light color will age and patina to a darker brown (or blue if they ride around in my jeans for too long haha!).

Full disclosure: The idea for making a wallet out of a single piece of leather with no stitching or glue came from a Maxx & Unicorn wallet I saw here. I liked the simplicity of the idea and the challenge of trying to figure out how to create a wallet with just a piece of leather. The Maxx & Unicorn version is obviously more refined and quite nice. I’m not a hundred percent sure whether or not they use any glue. The description doesn’t really say, but there doesn’t appear to be any stitching.

open wallet

Despite being a different color, the card case is actually cut from the same piece of leather. I opted to use stitching here to reduce bulk/layers and to get the job done quickly. The wallet is more complicated and it took quite a while to create the pattern, cut, fold, etc., but this card case only took about a half an hour to complete from start to finish.business card case

8 Responses to “Leather Wallet and Card Case”

  1. Robert — January 23, 2011 @ 11:57 am

    Sweet work tailor. I have the Maxx and Unicorn wallet, and it appears to me that they use glue. The leather is a very thin weight and the overall package is so slim that I was constantly checking my pocket the first few weeks I had it because it felt like I left my wallet at home.

    I assume you used your industrial sewing machine for the cardcase?

  2. Taylor — January 23, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

    Thanks! You are right, I used my industrial machine on the card case, but the leather was soft enough that with the right needle you could probably use a home machine on it. The Maxx & Unicorn wallets are beautiful and look like they would be a great slim option.

  3. David — January 24, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

    With each post you’re really making me want to sit down and learn how to use my sewing machine. Do you know of any solid resources online for learning about sewing machines and proper technique?

  4. Taylor — January 25, 2011 @ 9:06 am

    David,

    My suggestion would be to just get your machine out and start playing with it. There are lots of good sewing resources online, but they seem to be for very specific things, like how to finish a certain seam, or make a certain pocket for example. I haven’t really found a decent general purpose resource online that is good for beginners.

    Since sewing is so hands on, my best suggestion is to go to your local fabric store and see if there are any beginner classes or lessons you can take to get started. These are usually pretty inexpensive, and once you learn a few basics, you can progress on your own with books, and online resources.

    I hope that helps.

  5. alexis — January 26, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

    Where do you buy your leather at?

  6. Taylor — January 27, 2011 @ 11:17 am

    Alexis,

    After searching around locally (Nashville, TN), I only found one store where I could actually go in and look at the leather in person. I went to Tandy Leather Factory here in Nashville, but they have locations all over the country. You can order from them online as well. http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com

  7. Sam — September 5, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

    Hi,

    I also fell in love with the Maxx & Unicorn wallet, but at $88 a pop, I thought, I am sure I can do that. And low and behold I found your post!!
    Could you share the pattern you used to make the wallet? or perhaps a sketch of what shape to cut the leather so it can be folded up like that?

    Thanks,
    Sam

  8. Taylor — September 13, 2011 @ 8:40 am

    Sam,

    I have so many different patterns laying around that I can’t find the wallet pattern right now. The leather is one piece, and if you get out some scrap paper and start folding and cutting it, the pattern is fairly easy to figure out. I’ll keep looking for my pattern.

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