Introduction: Wallet Made From Tyvek Mailing Envelope

Picture of Wallet Made From Tyvek Mailing Envelope

I have made a very lightweight but functional wallet / art piece, from a Tyvek postal envelope. Inspired by the duck tape wallet, I thought I would like something a little lighter in weight. What better material than tyvek? It is very durable, and we get them in the mail all the time. This design uses only one envelope, including the adhesive strip ( if you are using a new envelope ). For the purpose of this design I used a new envelope, to make cutting and photographing easier and to show how you can utilize the adhesive strip for assembling the wallet. When possible, I suggest using a recycled envelope from a package someone sent you. You can use clear postal tape to assemble the wallet.

Note: If you can find one with a clear window, you could somehow utilize that portion to display your drivers license once assembled, but the cutting would need to be modified for this purpose.

If anyone can add to this design, I would love the feedback. Ideally it would be better to be able to fold the envelope and only do a few cuts. Maybe someone with origami knowledge can help us with this idea?

Step 1: How to Cut the Envelope

Picture of How to Cut the Envelope

What you will need:

1 tyvek mailing envelope ( new or recycled )
1 pair of scissors ( or x-acto knife )
1 ruler ( metric )
Optional: Clear packing tape if using a recycled envelope

The first image shows how to cut the envelope into its main parts: A - B - C - D ( D has a qty 2). Measurements are in mm. The adhesive strip is shown cut into its parts, which is optional.

Note: Cut adhesive strip LAST! This really gums up your scissors / knife. The adhesive will need to be cleaned off with a solvent such as fingernail polish remover ( Wear gloves and goggles people! )

Cut along the lines as shown. You will end up with part A that is 90 mm tall and is the main bill pocket. Note that it is already nicely sealed on 3 sides so your bills don't stick to any tape. You will also end up with Part B which is the secondary pocket 70 mm tall, and part C the inside of the secondary pocket 60 mm tall ( B & C are now really just a folded piece of tyvek once they are cut apart from the envelope ). You will have a quantity of 2 part D's, which are sheets of tyvek 120 x 200 mm. Left over will be a small amount of scrap plus the adhesive strip.

Step 2: Parts After Cutting

Picture of Parts After Cutting

Here is an image of the parts once you have made the proper cuts.

Step 3: Modify Part B - Secondary Pocket

Picture of Modify Part B - Secondary Pocket

Here you can see we will slightly modify part B, so that one side is slightly taller than the other. Cut 15 mm off, so that one side will now be 55 mm.

Step 4: Fold Part D

Picture of Fold Part D

Fold both sheets of part D into 4ths, as shown. These will be your credit card holders, D left and D right.

Step 5: Parts Prior to Assembly

Picture of Parts Prior to Assembly

Here you can see my adhesive strips cut to size, near where they will be assembled. You can now insert Part C into Part B making the b / c assembly, and stack it on top of part A the main pocket, as shown.

Step 6: Assemble

Picture of Assemble

Here you can see both part D's being put into the secondary pocket B. D will be in front of part C.

Step 7: Adhesive ( Tape)

Picture of Adhesive ( Tape)

You can now use the long adhesive strip and place it on the bottom, which will stick the B/C pocket assembly to Part A. Notice how the part D credit card holders stick out slightly on the sides. This will help stick it all together in the next step.

Step 8: Tape the Sides

Picture of Tape the Sides

Use the small adhesive strips to tape both sides.

Step 9: Center Adhesive Strip

Picture of Center Adhesive Strip

Place one of the smaller strips inside, across the inside flaps on part B / C and onto A. This will form some divided inside pockets. Remember to place the adhesive strip slightly off center, so that when you fold the wallet, it does not fold on the adhesive strip.

You will be left with an extra strip of adhesive, use it to further customize your wallet or make repairs later on!

Step 10: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

The finished product!

Step 11: Hipster PDA Compatible!

Picture of Hipster PDA Compatible!
The size of this wallet lets you do two things:

1- You can use your Hipster PDA To clip the bundle together - or -

2- You can put your hipster inside the wallet, eliminating the clip!

  • You could further modify this design by making a slit in the wallet, thereby allowing you to insert a small pencil, or use some of the leftover tyvek to make a pencil holder.

Comments

berserk (author)2009-03-07

How durable is tyvek for this application? I had just a plastic sleeve for my licence and stuff but it's wearing out. It has lasted for several years, so how well does this hold up?

keng (author)berserk2011-11-14

I've had the same tyvek wallet I made lasted for six years. I'm folding up a new one tonight just cuz it looks a little ratty.

mckean (author)2009-07-26

Hi, neat wallet! It is a little too large for slotting into pockets so I can only hope Fedex starts making smaller tyvek envelopes LOL Good post!

dynomighty (author)2009-03-25
Here is how strong tyvek can be - We use a thicker grade of tyvek for the Mighty Wallet but you get a good idea of how strong it really is when you can suspend someone from a Mighty Wallet!


xuper (author)2007-01-21

I live in australia and want to build one and cant find a tyvek envalope. Where could i get one? Would a GPO post office have them and would they have writing printed on them? Great instructable by the way.

berserk (author)xuper2009-03-07

Could Tyvek be called something different there?

stasterisk (author)2008-12-02

You can also join tyvek with an iron or a heat sealer - no tape necessary! Try it, it's slick

Mr.Devious (author)2006-12-29

It's a rather shame, must have got your idea from this guy:

http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=tkelleman

Whether or not this guy from the link was the orginator of the idea or not, he's managed to create them from single sheets, without cutting the tyvek into millions of peices, thusly, it's almost as good as a real wallet. Perhaps better. Take a look folks

dynomighty (author)Mr.Devious2008-08-12

Thanks for the recognition... really appreciate that - Yeah the idea of it being from one single sheet means you don't have any weak points or parts that can be torn off or come unglued. I've also reworked the design of my own "Mighty Wallets" that I sell online. dynomighty.com - Terrence

merlin1974 (author)Mr.Devious2007-01-03

I just saw those wallets in Ready Made magazine - looks like he sells them on his website for $20 if you want to buy one with his airmail logo on it which is pretty cool. I came up with my version on my own while making a duck tape wallet, without ever seeing his version before, after I saw PF Flyers shoes made from Tyvek. I agree, its an eligant design without a lot of pieces. My version is different, but I guess if someone wants to make one they can change it however they want by cutting to size while building and not having to do a lot of advance layout work. I love simplicity but sometimes quick and dirty is good too :)

dynomighty (author)merlin19742008-08-12

Thanks for the mention - but just to clarify they are now 15$ and made with a much thicker grade of tyvek than found in std envelopes. but if you wanna make your own i've posted the instructions here too:
https://www.instructables.com/id/Express-Mail-Envelope-tyvek-Wallet/

wisepig (author)2007-04-26

Awesome wallet. I added the ID window part and double layered my pockets to make it a bit more durable (but it also got a little thicker).
https://www.instructables.com/id/EJUMEE2MNGEUJ7Y879/

Enkephalin (author)2007-03-03

Great idea, but I would suggest cutting down on the size somewhat--this doesn't fit into my pocket.

hexedecimal99 (author)2007-02-01

I've had mine for about a month now and it's holding up pretty well

sockmonkeyrevolt (author)2006-10-22

I used an olfa rotary cutter to cut the adhesive strip and didn't have any problems with it getting gummy at all.

shameless (author)2006-10-08

I'm planning on using this thing overseas. Its going to need a new paint job, but its superlight and looks like it should fit British Pounds and Euros as well as the almighty dollar.

Nice buildup.

Wow. It holds the little softsided Moleskines Cahiers absolutely perfect if you place the center adhesive in the right spot. Seperate pockets for different currency, holds a passport AND a graph ruled moleskine = my new favorite wallet.

(http://www.moleskine.com/eng/_interni/catalogo/Cat_int/catalogo_cahiers.htm)

darkmotion (author)2006-08-11

sweet. too bad they dont sell it in australia hahah

Divejeep (author)2006-08-09

For those of you that go backpacking, you may remember that you can make any paper waterproof by brushing on a coat of Thompson's Water Seal! I'm sure this will work for this wallet as well.

theRIAA (author)2006-08-07

i think those envelopes are pretty watter resistant and would hold up well

TheCheese9921 (author)2006-08-07

this is so cool but if you wana make it waterproof laminate it or cover it in clear packing tape

darkmotion (author)2006-08-07

I made a sweet ductape one- but it gets all sticy- that looks great! :( soo bad ur screwed when it gets wet

Cristian Lavaque (author)2006-08-07

Great idea! I love that material and I agree it's very good for a light wallet. Thanks!

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