Introduction: Shopping Bag Wallet

Picture of Shopping Bag Wallet

Some cutting, some folding and 2-4 stitches and you'll have a virtually indestructable wallet with a very suprising design. The wallet is made of one of those very strong reusable shopping bags. They are made of woven polypropylene and come in endless designs. And so comes your new wallet!

This tri-fold wallet is light weight, is very thin, can take up to 12 credit cards and even got a change compartment.

This is all you need:

Shopping bag
needle and thread
piece of double sided tape

Step 1: The Cutting

Picture of The Cutting

Cut out the shape of your wallet according to mentioned measures. For design purposes note that the left and right quarter of the shape will be the inner lining of your wallet, so the middle part of the shape will be the viewable part of your wallet.

Step 2: The Folding

Picture of The Folding

Make a first fold in the middle. Make sure to make a good sharp crease by using a hard blunt object.

Open after folding and now fold the upper quarter and bottom quarter to the inside towards the middle crease. After doing that close the first fold again. Make sure you make good creases.

Step 3: The Tucking (I)

Picture of The Tucking (I)

Tuck in the first little flap and put it over all the other layers that are inside. Afterwards tuck in the remaining little flap as well so the little flaps are both inside.

(This part will be the part were you put your much used credit cards)

Step 4: The Tucking (II)

Picture of The Tucking (II)

Now go to the other side of the larger flap and tuck this in as well. Later on, behind this flap you can safely store the credit cards you don't use that much.

After folding and creasing, take the little piece of double sided tape and put that on the flap near the crease and fix the flap. Take just a little piece of tape so you can easily open and close the flap when you are using the wallet. The double sided tape is not really necessary, my experience is that the flap is large enough to stay fixed by itself.

Step 5: The Stitching

Picture of The Stitching

Now you are left with a nice rectangular shape. Go to the side where the little flaps were and make a fold of 4 cm/ 1.5 inch. Again make an nice crease. The folded part will be you're credit card compartment on the inside of your wallet. From design point of view it is important to pay attention to the way in which you fold this part because here you determine which part is the inside and the outside of your wallet.

Take a strong piece of thread and stitch the folded piece on both sides to the rest of the wallet with a few stitches.

Step 6: The Using

Picture of The Using

Actually your wallet is now ready to use. All you have to do now is fold the wallet in three equal parts (with the credit card compartment on the inside) and you can fill up your wallet!

The credit card compartment speaks for itself, I use it to store 6 credit cards.

The same goes for the compartment underneath the large flap, I store cards there that I want to keep with me, but don't use on a daily basis.

The change compartment is hidden underneath the creditcard compartment and is used by opening the bills compartment and sliding your coins into the compartment. By closing your wallet your coins are packed tightly inside your wallet.

Happy shopping bag hunting!


legokid12 (author)2011-12-21

this looks so cool i am thinking about using one of my lego land bags.

Lomns (author)2011-12-03


Cereleste (author)2008-10-18

I just made one out of the thinner kind of plastic some stores use. It works great. I'm going to make another one, but I'll line it with paper to make it stronger. Also, for US currency, I find that the dimensions 22cm by 32cm work best. I also taped a rectangle to one side, cut out the inside, and put clear packing tape to make a window for my student ID.

craftcycle (author)Cereleste2011-10-03

is that a forever 21 bag? or something of that texture?

jmackenzie2 (author)2011-05-10

Where did you get the bag you used here?

95Nathan (author)jmackenzie22011-05-18

It's a Dutch traveling company, ', dacht 't wel'. (

komecake (author)2009-12-23

  Yaaaaaaay! I just made the paper wallet, but this is so much more durable and realistic since it'll be much longer lasting. I have a green plastic bag under my bed as we sweet... too bad I have to bake so many cookies tomorrow, but SOON! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!

Foaly7 (author)2009-09-08

I'm designing the coolest wallet I can think of, almost every part of it will be upcycled. I think I'll use this design and alter it a bit to use it with a different material.

chinchymork (author)2008-09-21

This is good but if you put waxpaper in it then iron it for a couple of seconds it would be better!

lipslap (author)2008-06-16

i just did moment ago .. yippe!! but your size is too big for me .. maybe bank in my country (Thailand) is smaller but thank you so much by the way :-)

lilstinkerr (author)2008-04-19

oooh, this is great, can't wait to make mine.

lacrosse2man (author)2008-04-01

is this a wallet that can turn into a bag or a wallet made from a bag

laserhands (author)2008-03-31

this is awesome because the diagram includes the metric system.

Spritegeezer (author)2008-03-27

Wonderful idea and very well explained. I wonder if anyone has done something like this with the cloth bags grocers sell to use instead of paper?

GorillazMiko (author)2008-03-24

Great job! This came out rather nicely, I look forward to trying this out. +1 rating.

duck-lemon (author)GorillazMiko2008-03-24

You got a new pic. I know this cos you posted on just about every instructable on this website!

Doctor What (author)duck-lemon2008-03-25

Yeah. He's an instructo-maniac. And it is a wonderful wonderful thing.

duck-lemon (author)Doctor What2008-03-25

i think he should have the priveleges like kiteman.

Doctor What (author)duck-lemon2008-03-26

Then he would take over!

duck-lemon (author)Doctor What2008-03-26

And........... Oh yeah!

Doctor What (author)duck-lemon2008-03-27

Pop goes the weasel.

dancingmonkey (author)2008-03-27

Hey, what recycling code is printed on the bags you find work best with this project? Mite help narrow down the selection in my collection ...

holomorph (author)2008-03-27

Nice instructable, but umm, 6 credit cards?! Yikes!

Justin Lam (author)2008-03-26

now to find a nice, durable, colorful bag to make a wallet with. sweet instructable! now when i make this one, i wont hafta worry about my current wallet (another gnarly home-made one made from paper) catching on fire or getting wet. gonna use this and be the envy of all! once again, sweet instructable.

fungus amungus (author)2008-03-26

You should enter this in the Pocket-Sized contest.

tacky-treasure-hunter (author)2008-03-25

I have been saving my giant dog food bags, now I know what to do with them! Very good Instructable.

Jack of Most Trades (author)2008-03-25

A good source of woven-poly material in the US is bird seed bags. Open up both ends and peel the heat-sealed seam, and then you have a large piece, sometimes with interesting graphics on it.

PocketSized (author)2008-03-24

This looks cool. I'm going to have to give it a go sometime. Well done...

DIYmaster (author)2008-03-24

Wow, this is simple and easy. Favorited so remember to do it this weekend.

gmjhowe (author)2008-03-24

Nice, well thought out. and it looks both durable and cool

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