Wrapping yourself in aluminum foil isn't enough! The kinds of radio waves used with RFID are tricky and can penetrate all sorts of things---it's a matter of power and antenna size. On a quest for a modern-day magic shielding cloth, I discovered how to make an effective, rigid pouch on the cheap.
- Holds passport, 4-8 credit cards & moderate amount of folded paper.
- Shields when closed, even when directly on top of readers.
- Cards in can-lined pockets are shielded when pouch is open, also when on reader.
- Inexpensive, readily available materials. Time is most expensive item on this project.
- Pouch design works with the strap worn on the body or without & carried in another bag.
- Shields more than some items currently available for sale.
More technical details on page 21. Non-commercial use only, please. I made a batch for sale, but do not plan to be doing any more production. (There are about 3 left.) My personal motivation for this project was not pouch sales, but was in a sense my way of distributing "free condoms" for your personal info/privacy. Of course, I'm open to other opportunities. Contact me for more info.: saraheartburn (at) gmail (dot) com.
Thanks, have fun, & be safe(r)!
Step 1: Standards and materials for the whole project. BE SAFE.
B. All measurements are in INCHES followed by CENTIMETERS IN PARENTHESIS.
Example: #4, 3 3/4 x 1 7/8 (9.6 x 4.8)
C. Any time you're instructed to 'fuse' or 'iron' it is implied that you are doing so BETWEEN two sheets of parchment paper, AND THAT YOU'RE WORKING IN A WELL-VENTILATED AREA! Bre Pettis of Make made an awesome podcast on how to make a messenger bag out of trash bags. It shows in detail how to fuse plastic trash bags together. Watch it! Make a Messenger Bag out of Trash Bags
D. Use a zipper foot for all sewing
E. The photos shown are a collection from making several different pouches. Some of which are before I added the angled pockets to the design.
- Black trash bags--(Husky brand) heavy duty 'construction cleanup'
- Clear trash can liners of the same size --(Husky brand)
- Aluminum cans
- Aluminum sheet metal .032 (.08) thick
- Box cutter utility knife w/strong blade
- Xacto knife and No. 11 blades, or blades of that shape
- Straight edge
- Cutting surface (self-healing mat or thick cardboard)
- Strong utility shears or tin snips
- Medium grain sand paper
- Medium file
- Iron & ironing board
- Parchment paper, the kind used for baking
- Sewing machine with medium to heavy duty needle, zipper foot. Intermediate sewing skills are very helpful.
- 3/4" (2) wide Velcro. Self-adhesive is great for positioning.
- 1/2" (1.3) or 1" (2.5) wide masking or other paper tape
- Black electrical tape
- 60" (153cm) of 1/8" (.32) thick screening spline (looks cool with the fused black plastic) or any kind of cord for a strap
- band saw
- mini iron--used for applique ironing
- block for sand paper
- The clear trash can liners could be optional. You wouldn't be able to see the cans you used--which is a fun design element and also makes it much easier when you're stitching the pockets. Flip the can over so that no printing is showing if you are offended by logos, etc.
***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT:*** Ironing or melting any kind of plastic produces toxic fumes that are colorless and often odorless. Do this in a well ventilated area. Well ventilated means a garage with the door open; out on your patio; a large room with a window and door open & fan blowing out the window for generous cross ventilation. Seriously, these fumes can possibly make you very sick or dead. If at any time while you are fusing plastic you feel woozy or headachey stop immediately, and get outside for fresh air. Then increase the ventilation in the area you are working in.
Wear eye protection when you're cutting and filing metal. You should probably wear eye protection when you're sewing around the aluminum. At one point I hit the sheet metal by accident and the needle shattered and hit me in the face.
Always use a sharp blade when cutting. As soon as you have the thought "this is starting to get dull..." replace the blade. The cost of extra blades is much less than a trip to the ER for stitches, and ensures clean edges on your projects. Always be mindful of the position of your hands vs. the potential path of a blade: thumb on ruler, etc. especially when sawing into aluminum cans with a utility knife.