While surfing instructables.com and seeing the Wallet Challenge mentioned, I thought I would give it a shot keeping in mind my own criteria for any wallet I buy: minimized volume with a priority to minimizing the depth, plus speed of access to the items inside. In two words: thin and fast. The wallet design here provides a home for, if not everything usually found in a wallet, then at least the more problematic---the cards. Credit cards, membership cards, business cards, whatever. Most of the time I do NOT want these things hanging around my wallet, but I want them handy in my book bag or car close by in case I need them.
As I was thinking on this I eventually settled on an accordion envelope with thin material for the accordions and constrained at the bottom to allow it to flex open and display the contents all at once---random access. This is a common design, and if the accordion material is thin enough, it stays pretty thin overall.
The materials used here (paper) were selected for ease of manipulation, but something with more strength or resistance to moisture could easily be used, either for the cover, the inside, or both. Fabric, metal, even panoramic photos could be used for the covers. The interior is best kept thin, and the paper I used could easily gain some moisture resistance from scotchguard. Closing the wallet is also wide open to change. Two closures are shown, but many are possible, especially with more robust cover material.
Final thickness of the empty card wallets are about 0.5 cm and can hold from 10-13 cards.
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Step 1: Gather Materials
Pictured here are all the materials you technically need to make this wallet:
Glue (I chose mucilage for its paper-bonding as well as its applicator)
Foldable material for inner accordions. I chose thin graph paper. .25" or .20" squares
Stiffer material for cover. I chose an old brown mailing envelope and a 20lb bond sheet of paper.
Ruler: To measure and as a fold-starter.