- all you need is an innertube and a sewing machine. It's soft, malleable, flexible, durable and aesthetically it's a nice looking design. the rubber is relatively easy to sew and the finished product will fit nicely in the back pocket of anyone who drives a prius or wants to seem just as green.
Step 1: Materials
- innertube - a 26 x 1.9/195 tube is the perfect height without having to trim.
- sewing machine - you'll need one with adjustable tensioning
- black thread
- a license or card
- a ruler
Step 2: The backbone
- choose a portion of the innertube that has writing or doesn't depending on the aesthetic you want. hipsters will want to stay away from brands and might stick to writing that includes the dimensions of the tube. professionals may want to avoid any kind of writing all together for a sleeker, leathery look.
- cut the section of the tube that you want to use.
- make a cut where you want to start, then measure 9 inches down the tube and cut again
- do this twice
- make another cut down the seam so the innertube is no longer a tube. ( i noticed i got a straighter edge if i cut at a side seam verses the top or bottom seam.
- when you're done you'll have two opened pieces of inner tube ( see picture below) that measure 9 inches long by 3.75 inches high.
Step 3: Cut the pockets
- cut 6 more pieces of innertube to hold your cards similar to the way you cut the back bone, but use the following dimensions instead.
- each piece should be 3 3/4 inches wide and 1 1/2 inches high.
- a license or credit card is 3 3/8 inches wide but you want to leave some room on either side to sew the pocket down to the backbone.
Step 4: Prep the pockets and prepare to sew them to the backbone
2. this is your opportunity to properly space all the pockets in the wallet. it's a little harder than it sounds because you want all the cards to fit snuggly so they don't fall out, but if it's too tight of a fit you'll feel like your cards are always stuck. I explain more in step #5.
3. arrange each of the pockets on the backbone taking the following measurements into consideration. you can decide if you want your wallet to have 4 or 6 pockets total.
a. leave a quarter inch from the side of the backbone to the side of the pocket
b. leave a quarter inch from the bottom of the lowest pocket to bottom of the bottom of the backbone
c. leave a half each between the pockets on the left and the pockets on the right (in the center fold) so the wallet has ample room to fold.
*the final step will be to sew the pocketed backbone to the second large slab of inner tube so be sure to leave room on the side and the bottom so you can fit the sewing machine in and sew them together.
*as you sew the rubber down it will stretch and shift the pockets slightly.
Step 5: Set pocket the top pocket
- place the card on the wallet the way you would want it to appear so you can mark the first pocket. align the top of the card with the top of the wallet. the card in the picture below is protruding too much over the top and I needed to shift the pocket further down before sewing it on. on my wallet the top of the pocket is about an inch from the top of the backbone tube.
- again, be sure to leave about 1/4 of an inch between the side of the wallet and the side of the pocket.
- before you start to sew it's important to increase the tension on your sewing machine as much as you can. I set mine to 8. before I did this all the thread kept bunching up because the machine couldn't handle the rubber.
- start at the top left and sew counter clockwise attaching the pocket to the backbone.
Step 6: Overlap & attach pockets #2 & #3
- make your lower pockets slightly larger ( like 1/8th of an inch) so you avoid sewing into the pocket above.
- save the inner tube with writing for the bottom pockets, which are the most visible to add some design aesthetic.
- below you'll see i sewed the second pocket right over the top pocket
Step 7: Sew on the second row of pockets
- leave about 1/2 of an inch between the right and left sides so the wallet will fold. there should also be 1/4 of an inch between the right side of the pocket and right side of the backbone tube.
- lay your pocket out so the top of the pocket measures about an inch from the top of the backbone. this will ensure your card isn't peeping out of the top of the wallet.
Step 8: Sew the front to the back
- pin around the perimeter because the rubber will shift as you sew if you don't.
- sew around the edges trying to avoid the pockets. the sewing machine can sew through two layers of rubber but i started running into trouble and broke a needle once i started sewing through three layers of rubber. if you have to do it i would suggest advancing the machine by hand or using a more industrial strength needle.