Introduction: Simple Inner Tube Wallet

Picture of Simple Inner Tube Wallet

This is an easy to make, super slim wallet made from bicycle inner tube and staples.

Unlike most bulky wallets available to mere humans, this one was designed to be as small and thin as possible. No more wrestling your wallet from the clutches of your jeans! Also the simple design makes it easy to use. Just flick open, and everything is immediately in reach.

This wallet has spaces for two often used cards, a coin pocket, and a second pocket for notes and extra cards.

Thanks to Instructables member Bardouv, who I shamelessly stole this idea off. After losing my wallet, this project proved that every cloud has a silver lining. *

* Not a valid scientific proof.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

Tools

- ruler
- a pen or pencil
- stapler (loaded!)
- craft knife(not essential)
- the largest coin in your currency
- a credit card or similar

Materials

A piece of bike inner tube, about 45 cm (18 inches) long. The easiest option is to find an inner tube from a racing bike, with a circumference of 65 mm (2 9/16"). Larger diameter will also work.

Step 2: Prepare the Raw Material

Picture of Prepare the Raw Material

First of all, wash the inner tube! You may notice I did not do a very good job...

Now we will slice the tube lengthwise. It is important to cut along the exact inside of the curve of the tube. If there is a seam here, great. If there is no seam, still cut along the inside of the curve (picture 1). Flatten out the cut tube.

If the tube used is as described in the materials section you should now have a rectangle of 65 mm (2 9/16") by about 45 cm (18"). On to the next step!

If, however, the tube used is more than 65 mm wide, it is now decision time. You could cut it down to a width of 65 mm, which is the minimum I would recommend. You could also go wider, up to 70 mm (2 6/8"). This will allow a bit more inaccuracy in placing the staples, and will make a somewhat stronger wallet. There's not really any point to going wider than this.

Either way, don't just cut the excess width off one side. For example, if the width is 80 mm and you want a 66 mm wallet, you should cut 7 mm off each side. This will make sure your wallet does not end up crooked, like my first attempt prototype (picture 3 and 4).

Step 3: Prepare Card Slits and Coin Pocket

Picture of Prepare Card Slits and Coin Pocket

Lay out the material like in picture 1. We will be working right to left.

First square the right end. Rule a line and cut (picture 2). Scissors are the way to go! (Inner tube has too much friction to cut nicely with a knife).

Now lay out the coin pocket. Place the coin on the end, and mark a line 5 mm (3/16") further in from the end. Two lines for the card slits are drawn 5 mm (3/16") and 15 mm (9/16") from the coin pocket line. These do not go all the way across! Make them just wider than a credit card or whatever card they will hold (picture 3).

The coin pocket line should also be marked lightly on the other side (outside) of the inner tube (picture 4).

Now cut the card slits. Use the craft knife to start, then continue with scissors. Or fold, and cut with scissors to start. Try for fit, the card should slide through easily. If it's too tight carefully make a little wider (picture 5).

Step 4: Staple the Back of the Wallet.

Picture of Staple the Back of the Wallet.

We will now fold and staple the back of the wallet (which has the coin pocket and card slits).

Fold the right 11 cm (4 5/16") over to the left, on top of the rest of the inner tube. Put a credit card or similar on top, and try for fit (picture 1). There should be about 5 mm (3/16") to the right of the card (for staples), and the same distance to the left. If there isn't, adjust until it looks about right.

Carefully align, and then staple in the pattern shown in the second image. Luckily the old saying, "measure twice, staple once", does not really apply here. If it's not looking good, just take the offending staples out, and replace. The tiny little holes left behind will close up because of the magical properties of inner tube.

Step 5: Staple the Fold

Picture of Staple the Fold

We're at the halfway point already!

Mark a suitably dotted line about 6 mm (1/4") to the left of the coin pocket (picture 1). This will be our fold. Fold over and staple. Make sure you're folding straight!

It should look something like the third image. If the fold is too close to the coin pocket, it will be hard to get one out. If the gap is too large, smaller coins may fall out.

Lay it back down, like the fourth picture.

Step 6: The Second Pocket

Picture of The Second Pocket

The time has come to make the second pocket, which holds notes and extra cards.

First, we're going to do a strange fold, like in the first image. Fold the unfinished part over to the right, and then fold some of it back to the left. The fold should line up with the already completed part of the wallet.

When it's all lined up nicely, place a credit card or similar on top. Again make sure to leave about 5mm (3/8") to the right for stapling (picture 2). Next make a mark about 5 mm (3/8") from the bottom edge if you're right handed, or top edge if your left handed.

Now make a second mark about halfway down the card, and on the opposite side of the first mark (still picture 2).

Connect the two marks with a line (picture 3). Cut along said line.

Almost done now!

Step 7: Staple the Second Pocket

Picture of Staple the Second Pocket

The first image shows what we're trying to achieve here. It's one of those things thats easy to do, but hard to explain!

Lay down the wallet in classic "right to left" pose. Fold the end that was cut, approximately where you know it should be folded (by looking at the picture). Now "close" the wallet. Adjust so that it lines up nicely.

Closely study the second image. Make sure the corner with the big red 1 is nicely aligned, and staple. Then staple the rest, in the order shown. It's a good idea to check if all is still aligned after the first staple. And some of the other staples too. Can never check too often!

That's it! There is still another step for those that just can't get enough...

Step 8: Ruminations

Picture of Ruminations

Well then. Stand back and admire your work. Since the wallet is quite small simply leaning back may work too.

I've been using this wallet for quite a while now. Maybe four months. Or half a year. Or so. Anyway, it's showing no signs of ageing. (No that's not misspelt / misspelled.)

I still like it a lot. This wallet is so small you forget it's there! Unless it's in your back pocket, maybe. But who would do that! Getting out cash or cards is really easy. Notes need to be folded twice to fit, into "thirds". Store people don't like the three way folded notes, but hey, money is money!

When opening, make sure you hold it with the coin pocket side in your hand, and fold the other side open, like in the second image. If you open it "upside down", the coins can fall out of their pocket. Even if this happens, they usually slide into the second pocket, and don't fall on the ground. Strategically tilt the wallet, and they'll be back where they belong.

Now go forth and create.

Comments

hockeymomz (author)2013-12-09

I love the instructions for your wallet!! I made a couple of them because I thought that yours was so neat. Your directions were easy to follow. I made a couple of changes in the wallets that I made. I cut a separate piece of tube and placed it between the middle, between the card holders and the back of the wallet. I sew mine as well. I sewed the front part to the inner layer and then the sides and bottom together. What a clever wallet you made!! Thanks for taking the time to share your instructions with us.

DIY Dave (author)2013-11-30

It looks great! How has it held up over the past couple years?

tdem (author)DIY Dave2013-12-02

Thanks DIY Dave. I'm still using the very wallet shown in this Instructable. Two of the staples have come out and some have gone a little rusty, but it's in perfect working order. Because of the bulky when full coin pocket and little protection, some of my cards have gotten a bit warped. Especially when I left it lying in the sun. Functionally it's great though.

sageserver (author)2011-10-14

Cool. That turned out surprisingly easy and good quality.

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