Introduction: Prehispanic Laser Cut Leather Wallet

About: Industrial Designer. Interested in all kind of projects, mainly electronics and object manufacturing.

Leather has long been used for wallets, as it is stylish and durable, but it is uncommon for these wallets to have engravings, and they tend to be quite bulky. With this in mind, I wanted to create something that was different; easily customizable and simple to construct, while also being material efficient and thin.

The engraving patterns I drew were inspired in those present in prehispanic artisany; they are representative of the duality; black and white, sun and moon, etc. But these can easily be modified to whathever theme.

The wallet consists of 2 long pieces and 3 short pieces, which are sandwiched and sewn together, and are all obtanied from a 25 cm x 35 cm leather section.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

For this wallet, the materials required are only a 25 x 35 cm piece of leather, a snap button, and some nylon thread, preferrably brown.

The tools required are a laser cutter, a sewing machine, and a snap button die and puch, as well as a hammer.

In this step you can download the design files in both Rhino and AutoCAD formats. Feel free to modify these and make variations to the design.

The pieces (pic 1) will be referred to, from top left to bottom right, as A, B1, B2, C, and D.

Step 2: Sewing and Cleaning Off the Edges

The steps to assemble the wallet are very simple, as the sewing line is already engraved by the laser, you only need to make sure not to accidentally shut any necessary openings, or leave unintended ones open.

The process for sewing is as follows;

1. Align and fix pieces B1 and D back to back with glue on the long edges and semicircle edge, with the good sides facing outwards, and sew around the semicircle only.

2. Align pieces B1+D and B2 over C and glue and sew all the outside perimeter with the good sides facing the same direction, in the case of B1+D, the "good" side is the one with the engraving.

3. Align the previously constructed block over piece A on both ends and glue all around the bottom and side edges. Piece A will have to be folded in the middle as it is longer to accomodate for a lot of banknotes on the finished wallet.Sew all over the glued edges (not the top one) and the wallet is succesfully assembled!

Congratulations! now you just need to clean of the edges a bit, as the laser cutter leaves them burnt and smelly. To accomplish this you can simply use a piece of masking tape and go around all edges sticking and unsticking it so it removes the unwanted residue.

Step 3: Result

Overall, the wallet is, in my opinion, a very successful result, as it meets the goals of being thin, practical and stylish.

After a few months of using it, I am more and more pleased with it and many people have asked me to make one for them.

I hope you like this project and try to make one for yourself. If you do, please share photos and ideas in the comments!

Leather Contest 2017

Participated in the
Leather Contest 2017