Introduction: Slim Leather Front Pocket Wallet

Picture of Slim Leather Front Pocket Wallet

A slim, front pocket wallet with three card slots and
one large slot. Made from 3 oz. vegetable tanned leather and hand dyed dark brown.

Step 1: Cutting the Strips

Picture of Cutting the Strips

I'm starting with a side of 3 oz. vegetable tanned leather. This will keep things nice and thin. This will work with most types of leather, but I only have veg tan in 3 oz. All the pieces for this are 3" wide, so I cut strips. These two strips will be just enough material for the five pieces that are needed.

Step 2: Rounding the Corners

Picture of Rounding the Corners

We'll cut the strips into the following lengths:

  • 3"x3" (three pieces)
  • 3"x4.75" (two pieces)

They just need some small cuts now. We need to round the two bottom corners on the two large pieces and one square piece. If you don't have a corner chisel, you can do this by hand with a sharp knife.

Step 3: Trimming the Slots

Picture of Trimming the Slots

The two other slots are cut into this shape so that they fit together
nicely and don't bulk up the layers of leather on the sides of the wallet.

Step 4: Personalization

Picture of Personalization

On this particular wallet, the initials PAF embossed in the front card slot. I like to do this before dying the leather, but it can be done after as well.

I also use my electric branding iron to brand my logo into the back piece.

Step 5: Dying

Picture of Dying

This dark brown dye doesn't come off easily, so gloves and a surface that you don't care about it are required. Soak some dye into a dense sponge and apply liberally. You really need to work the dye in to get an even coat. Now the pieces need to dry for at least a few hours.

Step 6: Finishing the Surface

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Leather finish keeps the leather looking good for a long time. Apply the same way as the dye - just work it in. After the pieces are all dry again, I buff them with a soft cloth.

Step 7: Edge Sanding

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The rough, raw edges of the pieces need to be sanding down in order to get them nice and smooth. I use 200 grit and then 400 grip sand paper on the edges.

Step 8: Edge Finishing

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Edge Kote is a great acrylic finish for edges that ends up really smooth and shiny. Apply to the edges with a cotton swab and allow it to dry. After all of the edges are dry, I use a wooden burnisher to smooth and slick the edges. The burnisher is rubbed back and forth over the edge.

Step 9: Pocket Assembly

Picture of Pocket Assembly

The first pocket is attached to one of the large pieces, 3/4" down from the top. Apple glue along the two side tabs and the bottom of the pocket. Make sure to mark where the piece will attach and apply glue on the large piece as well.

Once the pocket is glued on, use a stitching chisel to make holes along the bottom of the pocket, roughly 1/8" from the edge. Use a saddle stitch to secure the pocket.

Then do the exact same steps as above for the next pocket, offset by 1/2"

Step 10: Adding the Final Pieces

Picture of Adding the Final Pieces

Use glue to attach the bottom pocket and the back piece. Carefully line up the corners and press down firmly.

Step 11: Edge Sanding

Picture of Edge Sanding

Use a large piece of sand paper, placed on your work surface, to square up the edges of the wallet. A small scrap of sand paper will make rounding the corners easier.

Step 12: Stitching the Wallet Together

Picture of Stitching the Wallet Together

Mark the edge for stitching on the front side using a wing divider. Your stitch should be roughly 1/8" inch from the edge. Make holes using the same chisel all the way around, and saddle stitch the wallet together.

Step 13: Edge Finishing

Picture of Edge Finishing

Just like before, use Edge Kote on all of the outside edges of the wallet. With the flat side of your wooden slicker, buff the edges and they should turn out nice and shiny.

Step 14: Final Product

Picture of Final Product

All done! It takes about three hours from start to finish. This is a great project for anyone starting out!

Shameless plug for my website -www.oakandhoneyleather.com

Comments

Canoeswamp (author)2016-07-31

Good job. Nice stitching. Where did you get the branding iron?

LightsAction made it! (author)2016-01-04

Made one. I'm new at leather work, so mine is dumbed-down a bit. I used goat and it was already dyed (green and black). There are 2 card slots and one sort of secret slot for cash. I've gotten better at leather since I made it, but it was a good starter project. Thanks for the easy to follow instructable.

kurshiukas (author)2015-12-21

What kind of glue are you using?

wdsims63 (author)2015-11-09

Do you mean make the holes larger, or make them further apart (and thus less actual stitches)?

If you want to make them larger, that isn't a big deal as long as you make sure you get all your stitches tight and tie it off correctly. If they start untying, you will be left with a mess.

You can also space them further apart if you wish, but it is best to use a punch like he shows here to get nice evenly spaced holes. The uniform spacing is what makes it look nice, not the actual distance between the holes.

3366carlos (author)2015-10-31

very nice. Would it work if I make the stiches bigger so its less work for me sewing?

uzziah0 (author)2015-10-28

this looks very good. I've been making tyvec wallets for about 2-3 years, they last about 5 months, but I stretch it for about 8 - they are flimsy at that point.

Where do you go to get the leather for something like this? I'd like to go someplace and find very thin pieces to use, to keep the wallet as thin as possible.

The Rambler (author)2015-10-23

This looks really fantastic. I've been wanting to something similar to this for a while now. I just have so much stuff that I tell myself I "need" in my wallet.

stevegircys (author)The Rambler2015-10-27

I slimmed down my EDC to 4 cards and I don't think I could ever go back.

The Rambler (author)stevegircys2015-10-28

That sounds awesome. I have contemplated having a second "wallet" with all the cards I think I need but never use that I can just leave in my car in case I actually do need them. You know, all of the savings cards and punch cards for places I rarely go. After a year of not touching it I could probably convince myself to let it go.

PaleoDan (author)2015-10-27

Very well done and easy to follow - thank you, I think I just found my next project...

stevegircys (author)PaleoDan2015-10-27

Best of luck!

hobby2015 (author)2015-10-27

for the "true" beginner..would be good to post all supplies materials needed to perform the task...

matafiri (author)2015-10-26

good!! great solution.

alitasali (author)2015-10-23

great tutorial !

I was just preparing myself doing this :)

thanks for sharing...

Andersenleather (author)2015-10-22

I haven't tried to make a wallet with multiple slots for cards but I will definitely try it now! Thank your for a great tutorial.

TheGeekPub (author)2015-10-22

It would be neat if it said "Bad A* M***********" on the front of it. ;-)

(Pulp Fiction reference for those who don't get it.)

Basement_Craftsman (author)2015-10-22

I lost my wallet over the weekend so all the better reason to try out this project. Thanks for sharing!

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