Airline Ticket Jacket (SewUseful)




Introduction: Airline Ticket Jacket (SewUseful)

This travel document holder protects your airline ticket, ID, and other travel documents. The clear front provides visibility to your boarding pass information. The front pocket holds your ID and makes it easy for airport security to verify against your boarding pass. No more fumbling with separate documents and carry-on luggage at the security line. Inside pockets provide space for hotel, rental car, and travel credit cards. You can also place your business cards here for ready access when you meet a prospective client or employee during your travels. There is a secret pocket for travel receipts, cash, and other documentation. Unlike the flimsy paper jackets provided by the airline, this jacket is made from durable nylon, vinyl, and has an internal stiffener to prevent crumpled up ticket stubs at the gate. This jacket fits easily in a back pocket or inside coat pocket for easy access. The clear front makes it easy to see your flight information and seat assignment without taking the ticket from its secure location.

Step 1: Gather Materials and Tools

For this project you'll need the following materials:
-1/4 yard durable fabric
-1/4 yard clear vinyl
-2 yards of 3/4 inch binding tape
-4" x 8.5" stiff cardboard

For this project you'll need the following tools:
-Fabric marking pencil
-Felt tip marker
-Scissors or rotary cutter
-Sewing machine (dual needle is best for binding tape)
-(Recommended) Binder for sewing machine
-(Recommended) Hot knife and cutting surface for finishing binding tape
-(Optional) 1" circle punch from scrapbook store
-(Optional) ball point pen for notes

Materials and tools pictured here are available from ParaGear:
-Fabric: 500 denier black Cordura Item W9345
-Binding Tape Item W9850
-Vinyl medium weight from Wal-Mart
-Binder for 3/4" Binding tape Item S7460
-Hot knife is a Wood Burning tool similar to this one and purchased at Wal-Mart

Step 2: (Optional) Make Templates

These templates will make it easier to mark your fabric and vinyl. You can use these templates to maximize the use of your fabric.
1) Back cover: 4.5" x 9.25"
2) Inner pocket: 3.5" x 8.25"/5" (see picture for slant)
3) Outer ID pocket: 3.5" x 2.75"
4) Inner credit card pocket: 2.5" x 4.5"

I used an empty Diet Coke case for the cardboard to make these templates.

On the 3) Outer ID pocket template, mark (but do not cut) a semi-circle off set by 0.25". This provides access to the ID. The offset is because one side of this pocket will be covered by the binding tape.

Step 3: Mark and Cut Material

(If you did not make templates refer to previous step for dimensions.)
From the fabric
-three (3) of the Back Cover (template 1)

From the vinyl
-one (1) of the Back Cover (template 1)
-one (1) of the Inner Pocket (template 2)
-one (1) of the Outer ID pocket (template 3)
-two (2) of the Inner Credit Card Pocket (template 4)

From the stiff cardboard
- one (1) rectangle 4" x 8.5"

Use the circle punch to cut out the semi-circle from the Outer ID pocket. It doesn't have to be exactly a semi-circle. Try some different depths of the cut to determine what works best for you.

Note: Templates #1 and #4 are the same width. Templates #2 and #3 are the same width. Trim a 4.5" strip from the vinyl and all pieces can be trimmed from this strip. If you're making multiple jackets, cut one strip 4.5" and another 3.5". Cut out the needed pieces from these strips.

Step 4: Build the Inside Pockets

(The vinyl on the black fabric is hard to see. Refer back to intro to see contrast with cards in the pockets.)

-Start with one of the fabric back covers and the two inner credit card pockets.
-Position one vinyl pocket along the bottom of the cover
-Sew the top of the vinyl
-Fold the vinyl up to form the middle pocket
-Sew down left side of the pocket to hold it in place
-Place the second vinyl pocket along the bottom of the cover
-Sew down left side
-Sew across bottom to secure vinyl in place

Folding the first piece of vinyl up to create the middle pocket places the stitches on the inside of the pocket. It also prevents an edge of the middle pocket from interfering with taking things out of the bottom pocket.

The right edge does not have to be smooth. It will be trimmed down later.

Step 5: Prepare Outer Covers

This step will prepare the outer covers for the jacket.

- Sandwich the vinyl cover between the remaining fabric covers
- Stitch along the right long side of the sandwich
- Fold the fabric to the right, away from the vinyl
- Place the cardboard stiffener inside the fabric covers
- Stitch down the remaining three sides of the back cover to secure the cardboard on the inside.

The vinyl can be slippery and make it difficult to sew into the center of the two fabric covers. Use clips or hemostats to hold the pieces together. You don't want to us pins because the pinholes will be left in the vinyl and look poor on the finished product.

The cardboard stiffener should be smaller than the covers so the fabric can be stitched together. If it doesn't fit well, you can sew through the cardboard without difficulty. This may make it harder to attach the binding tape later.

Step 6: Finish Front Cover

This step will finish the front vinyl cover. Sequencing is important since you could sew the inner pocket closed making the project useless.

1) Align the Outer ID pocket at the lower right corner of the front cover. This pocket is on the outside. In the picture it is on top.
2) Sew down the left side of the Outer ID Pocket. Remember to lock the stitches at the top of the pocket.
3) Align the Inner Pocket to the same lower corner of the front cover, but on the inside. The picture below has the pocket on top. Place the long edge along the outer edge of the front cover as indicated in the picture.
4) Stitch down the outer edge and bottom of this pocket.

Step 7: Configure Sewing Machine for Binding Tape

Attach your binder to your sewing machine.

I tried to minimize the reconfiguration steps, but you will have to configure for binding tape twice. having a separate machine dedicated to binding tape is the best solution, but also the most expensive.

Using a binder with your sewing machine is not required, but makes attaching the binding tape much easier. A binder can be purchased from ParaGear. If you can't screw it down, you can temporarily tape it to the sewing machine.

If you're not familiar with using a binder ask your local sewing machine store for advice. The hardest part is making 90 degree corners. To practice I made a lot of coasters for friends and family. That was square scraps of material that I added a binding to. It isn't glamorous, but a good way to practice corners.

Step 8: Add Binding to Inside Pockets

Along the same edge that the inner credit card pockets were sewn down, add a binding. Trim excess binding tape.

Then remove the binder from your sewing machine.

Step 9: Final Assemby

- Align the inside pocket so the left edge is flush with the seam between the front and back covers.
- Stitch the top, right, and bottom of the inside pocket to the back cover. The right side of the inside pocket will extend off the edge of the back cover.
- Trim excess

This is a good time to clean up all of the edges of the project. If you did not get some of the parts aligned well, trim them down. This creates smooth edges that are easier to bind and cover the assembly stitches.

Step 10: Reattach Binder

Reattach your binder for the finishing binding.

Step 11: Attach Final Binding

Attach the final binding along the outer edge of the project.

I work with the outside facing up. If I'm going to botch the corners, it will be the bottom side, so I make this the inside of the project.

Think about which corner to start at. Where you start will be where you finish and there will be a different edge, sometimes sharper than the bound corners. These pictures show the bottom back corner is the start-finish point.

Step 12: Trim Excess Binding

Use a hot knife to trim the last of the binding tape. The hot knife will fuse the stitches to the binding tape so you don't require locking stitches. This can also be done with scissors and a lighter. You can also fold over the excess and stitch it down to lock the tape.

Congratulations! You've completed your Airline Ticket Jacket.

Fold the cover carefully. It will take a few uses before the vinyl creases properly. Depending on the thickness of the cardboard used, the jacket will lose its stiffness. It will still protect your tickets, but you may want to consider building a new jacket.

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    5 years ago

    I've been away from Instructables for several years. I came back today and noticed all of the great comments. Thank you.

    Things have changed and I'm using mobile boarding passes at the airport now. I still see a lot of paper tickets out there and this project will help protect the ones you print at home before you leave on a trip. It is also good if you get rerouted because the airline will print out your replacement boarding pass. The inside pocket is good for holding onto tip money for the cab or airport shuttle as well as for receipts during the trip. Enjoy!


    13 years ago on Introduction

    Since I am a guy (I don't Sew) I made mine out of duct Tape.(plus Electricians tape For binding Tape) Great instructable! -sk8erdude


    14 years ago on Introduction

    Just a thought, thanks to the husband... Ironically we used a piece of plastic from an aircraft window to back it instead of cardboard. Assuming other people don't have random aircraft parts hanging out in their garage, you could maybe just use a piece of thin plastic/acrylic? Other than that, this project was great!!!!!! I can't wait to go to the airport and not lose any of my important documents! It's awesome!


    14 years ago on Step 12

    I have an idea to help keep from having to make a new jacket. make the cardboard replaceable. By having a large slit through which it can be replaced. just an idea.


    Reply 14 years ago on Introduction

    That is a good idea. I'm concerned about how to treat the edges of the slit since this will be beat up pretty good during travel. You can always slip the replacement cardboard into the inside pocket to return the structural integrity of the jacket.


    14 years ago on Introduction

    What a good idea! Hope you sell lots!


    14 years ago on Introduction

    This turned out nice! I like it. I also like the way you wrote "Attach your binder to your sewing machine." as if everybody has one. ;-) From the pictures you took, it look as though you have corners down very well.


    14 years ago on Introduction

    The link you provided in some forum topic led me here. Great Instructable! I am going to have to make one of these for my many trips this summer!


    14 years ago on Introduction

    This is especially good for women who carry a lot in their purses! Excellent idea? Where can I purchase one of these ingenious items!?!


    Reply 14 years ago on Introduction

    Click on the link above. It is available for purchase directly from the Internet.


    14 years ago on Introduction

    I like the fact that it doesn't try to do too much. Many travel wallets have spaces for credit cards, change, etc. I have a place for those items already. Thanks for making it simple so that I have everything in one place for the security line. No more fumbling for my wallet and making sure that things get put back.


    14 years ago on Introduction

    With summer approaching, some people may be considering transforming their blue jeans to denim cut-offs. What to do with the left over legs? The fabric requirements of this project are small. This would be a good way to re-purpose that scrap denim into something useful. Reduce, reuse, recycle.


    14 years ago on Introduction

    Wow! Great idea. Sure makes the more involved security checks at the airport a bit easier. Handy. And the cover encloses personal information so it's not outwardly accessible to everyone walking by. Good job.


    I love it! I think it's definately something that makes traveling easier! I'd love to see this as a product being sold at magazine stands in the airport or something.