Introduction: Leather Coin Pouch Wallet
Useful when traveling abroad, this wallet was made on commission to accommodate a large amount of spare change. Additionally, unlike my previous wallets, this one has a lined interior that was glued in to help give it a more refined look. Good for a weekend project and takes 5-10 hours to complete.
- 1.5-2oz leather
- Small Segma Snaps
- Heavy Cardstock or Cardboard
- 8.5"x11" Plain Printer Paper
- Hand-Stitching Thread (.55mm)
- Optional: Light Hand-Stitching Thread (.42mm)
- Leather Cement
- Glue Stick
- 1/4" Double Sided Tape
- Leather Burnishing Compound
- Poly Mallet
- Cutting Mat
- 3mm Hole Punch
- Punch Pad
- Utility Knife
- Scratch Awl
- Compass or Creaser Tool
- Ruler or Straight Edge
- Snap Setters and Anvil
- French Beveler
- Skiving Plate
- Stitching Irons
- Optional: Inverse Stitching Irons
- Stitching Pony
- Hand-Stitching Needles
- Optional: Thread Nipers
- Thread Zapper or Lighter
- Foam Brushes
- Tree Gum Eraser
- Sandpaper or Rotary Tool
- Fine Edger Beveler
- Wood Slicker
- Glass Slicker
- Optional: Leather Rougher
- Optional: Leather/Shoe Hammer
- Polishing Rag
Step 1: Producing the Pattern
- Print two copies of the provided pattern PDF at 100% scale. This will provide you with the appropriate number of duplicate pieces. (Note: The pattern PDF has been updated slightly to be easier to use since the beginning of this project.)
- Cut out individual pattern pieces (Note: A rough cut around each pattern piece as seen in Photo 1 is fine at this point.)
- Using a glue stick, adhere the pattern pieces to heavy cardstock/cardboard. (Photo 2)
- Use a straight edge and sharp knife to accurately cut out each pattern piece as well as guide lines A and B. (Photo 3) If desired, you can leave the one of the Wallet Back pieces and one of the Wallet Interior pieces as a rough cut piece. These will be your lining pieces. See Step 4 Gluing the Wallet Back and Interior for more details.
- Tip!: I recommend producing two T-Slot Pocket and two Coin Pouch Back Patterns. For the T-Slot Pocket, leave one left complete and cut one at the dashed skive line (Photo 4). For the Coin Pouch Back, leave one complete and cut the other at all of the dashed lines. This will make transferring the patterns onto your leather easier later on.
Step 2: Cutting the Leather
- Take your paper patterns and place them as efficiently as possible on your leather. (Photo 1)
- Tip!:Try to avoid imperfections in the leather if that is your preference. If they can not be avoided, the two Wallet Interiors, Card Pocket Back, and Coin Pouch Back pieces aren't going to be very visible, so they can be a lower priority for clean leather.
- Take a scratch awl or similar tool and mark around each pattern on the leather. (Photo 2)
- Similarly to the previous step, use a straight edge and sharp knife to cut out the leather pieces. (Photo 3 and 4) (Note: For this project, the Wallet Back and Interior pieces have been cut to the same size.)
Step 3: Preparing the Leather
Use the following steps to prepare the Card Pocket Back, T-Slot Pockets, Front Card Pocket, Coin Pouch Back, Coin Pouch Front, and Coin Pouch Flap. The Wallet Backs and Interiors will come later.
- Use a fine edge beveler on both edges of the tops of the two T-Slot Pockets, the Front Card Pocket, and the Coin Pouch Front (Photos 1 and 2).
- Use the beveler again on the Coin Pouch Flap, but go all the way around and bevel the edges of the entire piece.
- Note!: The Card Pocket Back and the Coin Pouch Back do not need to be beveled at this time.
- Apply a burnishing agent to the bevels and use a wood slicker or similar tool to burnish the leather (Photo 3)
- For nice looking, smooth interiors, apply burnishing agent to the back side of the Card Pocket Back, T-Slot Pockets, Front Card Pocket, Coin Pouch Back, Coin Pouch Front, and Coin Pouch Flap. (Photo 4)
- Place each piece on a hard surface or skiving plate and use a glass slicker or similar tool to burnish the back side of each piece. (Photos 5 and 6)
- Optional: Add a decorative crease line to the tops of the T-Slot Pockets and Front Card Pocket. (Photo 7)
Step 4: Gluing the Wallet Back and Interior
- Apply glue to the back sides of both the Wallet Back and Wallet Interior pieces. (Photo 1)
- Let glue dry until tacky to the touch (Photo 2)
- If you have a rough cut Wallet Back and Wallet Interior they may simply be placed on top of one another at this point. Afterwards use a knife to trim whatever excess leather to shape.
- If rough cuts were not made, pick a corner to start in and lightly piece the two Wallet Back and two Wallet interior pieces together. (Note! Do not completely press the pieces together until you are sure that they are aligned properly.)
Step 5: Preparing the Wallet Back
- Mark a stitching line along the top of the Wallet Back piece. I go with a line 2mm from the leather's edge. (Photo 1)
- Punch stitching holes along the line that was marked. (Photo 2)
- Cut an appropriate amount of thread for your sewing. I like to use five times the length of the stitching line to be sure I can finish. (Photo 3)
- Start your stitch by sewing the first two holes twice. This is so the beginning of the stich will match the end of the stitch where we will need to backstitch. (Photo 4)
- Continue your stitch as normal to the end of the holes that were punched, backstitch two holes, and snip your thread. (Photo 5)
- Use a thread zapper or lighter to singe down the cut thread. (Photo 6)
- At this point, I like to tap down my stitches with a leather hammer to help even them out. (Photo 7)
- Remove any excess glue from from the edge that was just stitched by rubbing it with a tree gum eraser. (Photo 8)
- Tip!: Use sandpaper or a rotary tool to clean up and straighten your stitched edge if necessary.
- Bevel and burnish the stitched edge in the same way that was shown in the Preparing the Leather step. (Photo 9)
Step 6: Preparing the Card Pockets
- If not done already, transfer the Line A marks onto the Card Pocket Back. (Photo 1)
- Mark the skive line on the back of the T-Slot Pockets. (Photo 2)
- Skive the T-Slots below the skive line to a not quite paper thinness (.5mm or 1oz). (Photo 3)
- Apply double-sided tape or glue to the skived section of the T-Slot. (Photo 4)
- Attach a T-Slot Pocket to the upper Line A. (Photo 5) (Note: Always do the upper Line A first!)
- Mark a stitch line along the bottom of the T-Slot (Photo 6), punch stitching holes, (Photo 7) and sew (Photo 8).
- Tip!: I like to use a thinner thread for the T-Slots to reduce the chance of it creating a noticeable bulge in the Front Card Pocket.
- Repeat these steps for the second T-Slot.
Step 7: Finishing the Card Pockets
- Mark on both the right and left edges of the Card Pocket Back where the top T-Slot ends and use either sandpaper or a roughing tool to mark a thin line along the side edges. This is where glue will be applied and the rough surface helps with adhesion. (Photo 1)
- Apply glue to the Card Pocket Back, T-Slots, and Front Card pocket and keep separated until the glue dries tacky. (Photo 2)
- Stitch the RIGHTedge of the Card Holders (Photos 3-5). (Note: The left side can be stitched instead if you want to reverse the wallet coin pouch and card holder.)
- Tip!: While back stitching this line, pull the thread into the top card pocket and finish there. This will help make your singed thread less noticeable. (Photo 5)
- This stitched edge will likely need to be sanded to even out the leather. (Photo 6)
- Finish by beveling and burnishing the stitched edge as seen in previous steps. (Photo 7)
- Note!:This piece will be referred to collectively as the Card Holder for the rest of the guide.
Step 8: Attaching the Card Holder to the Interior
- Using Photo 1 as a guide use sandpaper or a roughing tool to mark out your glue lines on the Wallet Back and Wallet Interior pieces. For the Wallet back, this will be along the left and right edges and along the bottom, but only up to where the Card Holder and Coin Pouch will cover. For the Wallet Interior, use the Card Holder as a guide and rough the edges that it covers. Doing this step should leave center gaps on both the Wallet Back and Wallet Interior.
- Glue and stitch the Card Holder onto the Wallet Interior along the top of the Card Holder. (Photo 2)
- Tip!: I like to stop punching before reaching the end of my stitching line and adjust my stitch placement with a two-pronged punch to make sure the stitch ends in a good location. (Photo 3)
- Peel apart the Card Holder from the Wallet Interior and finish the stitch on the inside of the Card Holder Pocket. (Photo 4) This leaves a neater appearance.
- Stick the Card Holder and Wallet Interior back together and let dry.
Step 9: Preparing the Coin Pouch Flap
- If not already done, transfer the pattern marks onto the leather. (Photos 1 and 2)
- Punch a hole in the Coin Pouch Flap and Coin Pouch Front. (Photo 3)
- Install hardware onto Coin Pouch Flap and Coin Pouch Front (Photo 4)
- Use sandpaper or a roughing tool on the bottom edge of the front of the Coin Pouch Flap and along Line B of the Coin Pouch Back. (Photo 5) (Note: I took this time to also rough the edges where the Coin Pouch Front will be attached as well.
- Glue and Stitch the Coin Pouch Flap to the Coin Pouch Back along Line B. (Photos 6-9)
Step 10: Attaching the Coin Pouch to the Wallet Interior
- Glue and stitch the Coin Pouch Front to the Coin Pouch Back along the left edge (Right edge if you are reversing the sides). (Photos 1 and 2)
- Finish the stitched edge (Photo 3)
- Glue the Coin Pouch Back to the Wallet Interior along the edges that were previously roughed. (Photos 4 and 5)
- Button the Coin Pouch shut and stitch along the top edge the same way the Card Holder was attached to the Wallet Interior. (Photo 6)
- Tip!: This was not done for this project, but you can begin your stitch from the top right side of the Card Holder to avoid having to fill in the middle gap later on.
- Remove excess glue from the top edge of the Wallet Interior then sand, bevel, and burnish this edge. (Photos 7-9)
Step 11: Attaching the Wallet Interior to the Wallet Back Part I
- Glue the left side of the Wallet Back to the left side of the Wallet Interior along the roughed edges, mark the stitch line, and punch the stitching holes. (Photo 1)
- Tip!: Watch your hole placement and be sure not to place any holes right on the edge of a card pocket as this may result in the stitch tearing through the leather.
- Stitch the Wallet Back to the Wallet Interior and Card Holder. (Photo 2)
- Note!: If not previously done, stitch the gap along the top of the Wallet Interior between the Card Holder and Coin Pouch.
- Finish the left edge of the wallet using the techniques previously described. (Photo 3)
Step 12: Attaching the Wallet Interior to the Wallet Back Part II
- This part can potentially be difficult, as there is a lot of room for error. Start by taping the Wallet Back, Wallet Interior, Coin Pouch Back, and Coin Pouch Front to each other like you normally would for stitching. Tape is used at this point because we will need to take this apart in a bit.
- Double check to make sure the right side of the wallet is aligned properly, mark your stitch line, and punch a line of stitching holes from the top of the wallet to the bottom. Adjust the hole placement as necessary so the stitch going into the Coin Pouch Front is not too close to the edge of the leather. (Photo 2)
- Separate the Coin Pouch Front from the Coin Pouch Back along the right side that was just stitched and place a line of stich holes along the bottom of the Coin Pouch Base. (Photo 3)
- Use the last hole from this bottom line to mark off where the stitching should continue on to the Wallet Interior and Wallet Back. (Photo 4)
- At this point, I flip over the wallet and use a set of inverse pricking irons to make the holes needed to fill in the gap between the Coin Pouch and Card Holder, but these holes can just as easily be made from the side all the other holes were punched from. (Photo 5)
- Place a short line of stitching on the bottom of the Wallet Back and the bottom of the Wallet Interior to fill in the gaps. This is done so the glued liner leather does not come apart. (Photo 6)
- Finally remove all of the tape and replace with glue in preparation for the last bit of stitching.
- Prepare enough thread to stitch the right and bottom sides of the wallet. Stitch down the right side of the wallet and stop at the right bottom corner. (Do not cut the thread at this time) (Photo 1)
- Push down on the center of the Coin Pouch Front and begin the process of evenly folding the sides of the Coin Pouch. Take your time with this part or the pouch may look lopsided. (Photo 2)
- When you have a good crease in place, align the base of the Coin Pouch Front as best as you can with the base of the wallet. (Photo 3).
- Mark your stitch line and use the visible stitch holes on either side of the base of the Coin Pouch to mark (not punch!) your stitches. (Photos 4 and 5)
- Place a punch pad or something to protect the rest of the wallet under the Coin Pouch Front and punch the holes that were marked. (Photo 6)
- Note!: This process of punching the last of the wallet was developed to compensate for the difficultly of getting a proper alignment on the coin pouch. It is possible to skip some of these steps and punch everything together. This is just what worked well for me.
- Continue stitching from the bottom right corner to the left bottom edge of the coin pouch to finish the last stitch of the wallet.
Step 14: Finishing the Wallet
- Sand the side and bottom edges of the wallet to even them out. (Photo 1)
- Bevel and burnish the remaining edges. (Photo 2)
- I like to finish each piece I make with a light coating of leather conditioner and polishing with a rag to help clean up the piece.
- Congratulation! You have a new wallet.
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