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Picture of Rubber Band Wallet
I designed this wallet because I had a little too much fun one night and puked all over my nice leather wallet. Finding the right wallet is hard - every one I try seems to have one drawback or another. And I wear them out rather quickly. I have been using my rubber band wallet for quite a while now with pretty good results.

I can not take full credit for the rubber band wallet, however. My brother in law has been using a similar system for many years now.

2008-01-25: Update
I started this instructable mostly as a joke because I had destroyed my wallet. I'd originally intended to get another wallet, but I'm still using the rubber band method - In fact, I've improved on the design a bit. Instead of a rubber band, I'm using a hair band that I got for free from a girl at a bar. It's held up longer than any rubber band I ever had (even the nice black one) and still shows very little sign of wear. Also, stuff slides in and out of it easier.

I do have a problem with magnetic stripes wearing out, but I think I can solve this with some simple paper sleeves around the most frequently used cards.
 
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Step 1: Collect materials and items to be walleted

Picture of Collect materials and items to be walleted
Materials:

1. A rubber band

Items to be contained in the wallet

1. Credit cards
2. Amusement park season passes
3. Phone cards
4. Store discount cards
5. Various membership cards
6. Business cards
7. Scraps of paper with phone numbers, etc written on them
8. Money
9. Anything else that will fit nicely

Step 2: Wrap band around cards

Picture of Wrap band around cards
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Stack up the cards and money neatly, then wrap the rubber band around the whole pile. You can experiment with wrapping the long way, but I find that it works better the short way. This will depend on the rubber band you are using.

Step 3: Using the Rubber Band Wallet

Picture of Using the Rubber Band Wallet
Money should be kept on the top. I like to fold bills of the same denomination together and insert them separately. Quick access cards should be kept near the top, but I like to keep an unimportant protector card on top of the quick access cards - just below the cash.

The rubber band should be tight enough to keep the whole pile together, but loose enough that cards can be removed without too much resistance. Too much resistance will increase the friction on the cards and cause them to get scratched up and wear out - the magnetic stripes will begin to fail.

You can see that I'm using a phone card as my protector card - and it is starting to fall apart. That's ok, I never use it. I also have a subway card and a Valley Fair season pass from last summer that I use as protector cards - the Valley Fair card is on the very bottom.

Step 4: Maintaining the Rubber Band Wallet

I am currently using a big black rubber band that came on something or other. Or maybe I just found it in the street - I don't recall.

But rubber bands eventually get old and brittle and will break. So you simply replace the rubber band.

You can buy a package of 1000 at any department store or office supply store for around $0.20. I'm exaggerating of course, but the point is they're cheap.

Or you can stop in any gas station - which is where you'll likely be when the band finally breaks, and ask for a rubber band from the cashier. I have never been refused a rubber band except when they did not have any. They will give you one for free - they're so cheap and people request them so infrequently that it never occurs to them not to give you one. Perhaps it helps that they are a bit flabbergasted by the guy using a rubber band to hold his cards and money together.

I once tried using some thick-old rubber bands that came on the hinges of a door - to protect the brass I suppose. At first they looked quite suitable for a wallet, but it turns out that they are just a little too long to fit once around the cards the short way and a little to short to fit once around the long way. You can get them on the long way, but it puts much too much force on the stack.

The big black band is the best - I recommend keeping an eye out whenever you're walking along the street. I'll be quite sad when this one finally breaks. The kind you get from gas stations are usually cheap thin ones which don't hold up well at all.
ManB6 months ago

Check out www.realmanband.com. This silicone-band or "rubberband" wallet is the perfect size. Yes, this is very simple, but it's tough to find the right size rubberband that doesn't snap on you after a couple weeks. This is simply the best thin wallet out there, hands down.

MB fanned.jpgIMG_6654 - smear, 5x5.jpg
berky935 years ago
I've been using a rubber band for almost a year now, I love it. its only as thick as the stuff your put in it, so unless you carry a ton of cards you have less chance of suffering back problems from a big wallet (yes, big wallets can cause back problems) I found that a rubber band from a rubber band ball kit, wrapped legnthwise around the cards/bills folded in half fits perfectly, and if it ever wears out you have plenty more.
I use the thick rubber band that comes on broccoli and wrap it length-wise around the money/cards. Works fine. My husband asked me why I carry my money around like a homeless person -- doesn't he know they don't have any money? Easier than a traditional wallet.
lol
pigboi8 years ago
Wow i would have never thought of something this deep, im being sarcastic, you took 4 steps to show how to put a rubber band around some stuff
trialex pigboi8 years ago
Hey, if there is a commercial product out there...

Money-Band

then the instructable is valid and needed!
VALAN trialex8 years ago
GO TO WWW.THEGRANDBAND.COM
haha thats humorous!!!!!!!!!!!!! a commercial product....... $5.50 for 5 rubber bands that they named money-bands...haha....that make me laugh
TetsuoTW pigboi8 years ago
It could be worse. It could be yet another fucking K'nex gun.
qpmarl (author)  TetsuoTW8 years ago
Yes. I actually did a search before posting this. There were no prior rubber band wallet instructables.
raykholo8 years ago
it might be classified as a money clip if you add a paper clip to the thing. good idea
ravencrum8 years ago
marry me.
qpmarl (author)  ravencrum8 years ago
only if you send me a pic first - and not if you're a dude.
....wallet, thou not be if it lacks 'pockets'. Ahh, but it would be good if you are on the go and you need pocket space. :-)
qpmarl (author)  !Andrew_Modder!8 years ago
I only refer to it as a "wallet" because when people notice it, they usually say something like "Is that your wallet?" And then chuckle a bit. - lol
GMC ROYALE8 years ago
Well now, let's see if this complicated device can be improved upon. After constructing this assembly I discovered I had four problems with it; for all of which I'm offering solutions. View the Corner Wrap method. By wrapping the band around so it will be hooked over opposite corners, as you've probably seen as an alternate method used with gift wrapping ribbon, the lengthwise orientation of the rubber band allows the assembly to slid in/out of the pocket without binding. Secondly, with this style of attachment the band can be installed/removed with merely a flip of the finger (rather than two cranks of the wrist) a much more sophisticated movement when in polite company. Thirdly, when the wallet is opened, the rubber band will stay nestled in the palm of the hand beneath the deck of cards and ready for re-installation with a quick flick of the opposite index finger. And the final advantage; the secluded rubber band will not detract acquaintances from viewing ones Rolex and diamond ring. Please accept that this is merely a suggestion of an untested security device. Only in time will we know which model will be accepted by the discerning public. Use at your own risk.
qpmarl (author)  GMC ROYALE8 years ago
the corner wrap is very slick, but less adaptable to different band sizes. I believe that my favorite black band is too long for this method. I will keep it in mind when searching for a replacement band though. I have not had any problems with binding on the way in/out of the pocket. In fact, I have had far fewer problems with the rubber band wallet than with a traditional billfold in this regard.
billbiko8 years ago
I have some wallet oil to make it shine and last longer. I am working on a mobius wallet....
celsmore8 years ago
This is awesome. If I ever puke on my wallet I'm totally doing this.
knexer18 years ago
i think you had a little too much fun making this instructable
qpmarl (author)  knexer18 years ago
Indeed
bruc33ef8 years ago
For the rubber band, cut up an old bicycle-tire inner tube into strips, crosswise, in any desired width. For thicker rubber it's best to use a tube from a small-wheeled kid's bike.
qpmarl (author)  bruc33ef8 years ago
Ah yes, I have used strips of bike inner tube for other projects, but never considered it for this. good idea. perhaps I could make something like the duct tape wallet using inner tube rubber.
darkdark8 years ago
at the link above you can get a free money band by sending a stamped envelope
darkdark8 years ago
With the money band link above you can send an envelope for a free money band.
robonut6258 years ago
The rubber bands that come on stalks of broccoli from the grocery store are awesome!
Mitten8 years ago
My mother does this with her credit cards/ small bills. Pretty simple...
PetervG8 years ago
A.K.A. Card Holder
So...to make a rubber band wallet...put a rubber band around my money? Thanks.
dataphool8 years ago
I have done this but never treated it as a wallet. Gotta get me a wallet. And I drop everything to find a wallet, or more likely my wife buys me a new one for my birthday, You got a A for imagination. or maybe your brother-in-law should get kudos.