I'm taking a trip to Europe this summer and have been concerned about pickpockets. I have used one of those under-your-clothes pouches before and I find them to be pretty repulsive. I decided to make a wallet that would always be in front of me, be difficult to pick or snatch, and be fashionable as well. This is what I came up with.
box cutter/x-acto knife
Paper template (Create your own or print the one in step 2.)
Step 1: Template
The design for the wallet I made came from a wallet I bought here. Her wallets are cute, stylish, and well priced. I highly recommend them. I opted to change the flaps slightly in my final product, but it is still her design.
That being said, the image of the template I made should be actual size if printed on a full page.
Step 2: Cutting the Leather
I decided to do a more pointy flap so it wouldn't look exactly like my other one.
1. Cut off one of the flap tips.
2. Trace this piece onto one piece of leather then flip it over and trace it onto another piece of leather. Cut out both pieces.
3. Cut off the top of the template down to the next pocket size.
4. Trace and cut out a piece of leather to match the template.
5. Cut off the template to the last pocket size and use it to cut out the last piece of leather.
Step 3: Belt Loop
1. Tape the last two pieces of the template back together.
2. Use this piece to make a template for where the belt loop slits need to be.
3. Look at the image to use my measurments
4. Place the template on top of the back piece of leather and use the leather punch to put a hole at the top and bottom of each slit.
5. Line a ruler up on each set of holes and cut from one to the other.
Step 4: Placeholders
1. Line up each piece of leather on a corner.
2. Use your awl to punch a hole through all four pieces of leather. This hole will be used when stitching the edge.
3. Put a piece of wire into the hole to hold all the pieces together neatly while you stitch the rest.
4. Repeat on the other corner.
Step 5: Snaps
1. Place your snaps on the front flaps first. Use a pencil with eraser to force the snap through the leather without poking yourself.
2. Fold them down where you want them to be when you're done and press down. This will leave marks on the front pocket piece.
3. Use the marks to place the back of the snaps on the front pocket.
4. Remove the front flap piece from the placeholders. Use a spool and hammer on a hard surface to finish the bottom of the snap then put the piece back on the placeholders.
5. Go back to the cutting mat so you have a softer surface to hammer the top of the snap together. You don't want to damage the front of the snap.
Step 6: Stitching
1. Cut a piece of thread three times the length from one side of the wallet to the other.
2. Start by punching a hole with your awl and mallet at the corner of the front pocket where all four pieces of leather still overlap.
3. Thread the needle and pull the thread through from front to back.
4. Punch a new hole about a quarter inch above the last hole.
5. Thread this hole from back to front.
6. Continue this until you reach the top of the second pocket.
7. Now work your way back down through the same holes.
8. When you reach the hole you started with, make a new hole a quarter inch below it and continue all the way around in an up and down fashion. You will create a dotted line as you go.
9. When you reach the other side, turn around and go back through the holes you already made until you reach where you started again.
10. Tie it off and tuck the ends through the nearest stitches before cutting the excess off.
Step 7: Finishing Touches
These steps are optional, but I like the way they make it look.
1. Use a lighter to burn around the edges. This burns off any little fuzzies and makes any minor messy cutting disappear.
2. Use a heat gun to get out wrinkles or shrink parts that are too big. Be careful here. Getting out wrinkles doesn't take too much heat. The leather I used for the front pocket was a bit thin and didn't hold my cards as tightly as I wanted, so I wanted to shrink this pocket a bit. More heat is needed to shrink the leather, but you can scorch it if you aren't careful. (I scorched mine a little.)
Step 8: Wear and Worry Less
Obviously this is not theft-PROOF. Thieves are very good at what they do. Keeping an eye or hand on it when in a crowd and/or wearing loose clothing over it are other ways to keep your belongings safe in this wallet.