I made my first keyboard wallet back in 2007 when he first published his instructable, and it's served me reliably since then. I used packing tape back then, however, and every six months or so I'd need to patch it up a bit. The tape would come undone and all kinds of grime would collect in its folds.
So, I've retired it and created a brand-new keyboard wallet. This one has a glossier, more durable finish and lining material that looks fantastic in the light. Read on to see how it was made.
Step 1: What's New: Materials
The laminating sheets are slightly thicker and much, much more tear-proof than packing tape. They're also much larger, which meant that I could connect big pieces together with glossy, unbroken surfaces.
The retroreflective sheet is something I've used in other instructables. What is it? I wrote it up in this instructable (which also has some good tips on where to find it on other steps and in the comments).
Why did I use it on my wallet? First of all, it looks awesome. Because of the way it interacts with the light, there's a subtle shifting to its highlights. The photos don't really capture this. I used a black tape, which glows white in a camera flash or headlights. I faced the backing out, which produced a much more subtle contrast with the circuits on the keyboard sheets. I could have also faced the black side out, which looked even more awesome in some ways, but the contrast in that case was a bit too flashy for me.
The other reason to use this retroreflective sheeting is that it's foil-backed, which means that it will provide some protection for any cards in my wallet with RFID chips. Other good options here might include plain foil or antistatic bag material, both of which could look pretty cool, too.
See the photos below to see what the materials I used look like.
Step 2: Flat Assembly
The overall size of this first rectangle is just a bit bigger than a dollar bill. I gave it maybe a quarter inch on each side. This was the basic pattern for the wallet; everything else just extended from there.
2) I stuck this rectangle of retroreflective sheet to a nice-looking spot on the keyboard sheet, carefully laying it down and pushing out air bubbles. If you're patient, you can use a bit of water for a completely bubble-free seal, but then you'd have to wait for everything to dry, and I was not so patient.
3) Next, I cut the keyboard sheet precisely around the retroreflective sheet to make a single rectangle. I cut out another keyboard sheet rectangle using the first as a pattern, making two, one with the retroreflective sheet and one without.
4) Finally, I stuck both down on a laminating sheet, as you see in the photo below. All the same care is required here to avoid bubbles. The photo below is take from the non-sticky side of the laminating sheet. This is the eventual outside of the wallet, so you can place things as you wish to get the outside to look the way you want (I decided to have my retroreflective sheet with the silver side out. The next photo is taken from the sticky side of the laminating sheet. You can see the black side of the retroreflective sheet, here.
Step 3: Folding
The second photo shows the fully-folded outside sheet, with a crease to show how it starts to become a wallet.
Step 4: Internal Pockets
The two ends of the wallet were closed with the super-think laminate I describe in step 1. These were two-inch-wide strips, which folded over provided and inch on each side of the wallet. They should be really strong, which is important since these seams see a lot of stress.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Then the wallet was folded in half and creased. It helps on this step to make a couple folds, all in a half inch area, so you end up with something like a rounded spine. The wallet is really durable and doesn't want to bend too much, but after a while it will lay flat. Mine does now, after a week of use.