Introduction: Slim EDC Leather Wallet - No Special Tools

About: Mechanical engineer with an interest in every possible trade and skill.

I carry a ton of cards on me every day. I have been struggling to find the perfect wallet for a long time, which not only holds multiple cards, but also includes a small pocket for cash and perharps another larger pocket, where I can fit a small EDC multitool of sorts.

2 month ago a friend of mine gave me a nice peace of leather, while being socially isolated I finally had time to create something useful.

I always struggled with leathercraft projects, because the amount of tools required was too large to invest for one project only, so after carfeul research round the internet I managed to create this wallet without any special tools.

This is my first leathercraft project, so I hope it will get others started on this exciting journey as well.


  • Leather (this particular wallet required 26 cm x 10 cm)
  • Cordage (I borrowed some polimer embroidery yarn from my wife)
  • Tape of some sort (I used masking tape, but it is not essential)
  • Wax / candle


  • Cutting instrument (in this case a utility knife)
  • Fork
  • Deck of plastic cards
  • Metal ruler
  • Heavy duty needle for the yarn
  • Small hammer (or piece of rock...)
  • Nail or screw
  • White marker or pen
  • Cutting mat, workbench (or an undemanding piece of furniture with a flat top)

Step 1: Measuring the Leather for Cutting

I started out with a ~26 cm by 40 cm sized leather piece. The thickness is ~3 mm.

To mark the necessary dimensions of the wallet I started by taping my cards together.

Once the cards are firmly taped, position them to the corner of the wallet, and wrap them up in the leather, leaving some slack for possible mistakes. Wrap the cards 2 times in the leather, ending up with two layers of it on both sides of the cards - these will form the pockets. My leather was just the right size, but if it was larger, than you would have to mark the end of the 4th "layer" with a white marker or a pen.

After the wrapping is done, lay the soon-to-be wallet flat on the table, and press the metal ruler firmly at the base of the cards to leave a mark which will indicate the dimension of leather to be cut.

Step 2: Cutting the Leather to Size

Mark the corners of the rectandular shape for the wallet (26 cm by 10 cm in my case).

Once your marks are ready, place the leather with the "suede" size facing upwards, and position the metal ruler on the marks.

Press down firmly on the ruler, and lean the side of the blade to it, while slicing with a steady movement. Don't lift up the ruler just yet, if your leather happens to be tougher than expected make a second slice down the ruler in order to get a crisp cut.

Step 3: Marking the Pockets

To make the pockets more accessible, I added a "slope" to them.

In order the get the slope looking nice, wrap the cards once again, but only once, so you end up with a single ply of leather on both sides of the cards.

Once the cards are wrapped, mark the corner according to the first picture, and then unfold the leather.

Lay the leather flat with the hairy side facing towards you, and mark the end of the slope, then connect the two marks together.

Cut the leather according to the description in the previous step.

You can check your results by wrapping your cards up once again, hopefully it should look something like the 3rd picture.

Step 4: Preparing Your Stiches

In order to get evenly spaced and nicely "sunk" stiching you have to prepare the holes. For this, your ordinary fork will come in handy.

Start from the corner of the wallet, where the stiches will connect. Place the fork in the corner and line it up with the edge of the wallet, press down as hard as you possibly can. Advance with the fork until you reach the end of the pocket slope.

Once you marked the location of the stiches, position your nail/screw over the mark and hit it with your hammer (or other heavy object). Repeat this primitive hole-punching for the marks.

Step 5: Start Stiching

Cut 1 m from your cord. To stop it from slipping through the leather tie two overhand knots to the end of the cord.

Start stichting the two top layers of the leather. Start from the inside of the corner, as this way the knot will not be visible once the wallet is ready. Stich the layers together, and once you reach the end of the pocket with your seam reverse your direction, filling up the "empty" spaces between your previous seams.

Once you are finished with this side, pull your stiches tight.

Use the corner hole to mark up the bottom seam, and punch the holes using the screw/nail and the hammer. This time you may apply more pressure, as you have to pierce 4 layers of leather.

If you are finished on this side, flip the wallet and use the fork and screw to punch your holes on the other side as well for a smother finish.

Stich the bottom of your wallet starting from the corner where you left off. Use the same process as on your first seam, reversing at the end and doubling back on the "unfilled" stich spaces.

The 4th picture show the stiching sequence, as one picture can say a thousand words.

To finish up the seam, tie a number of overhand knots on the inside of the corner. Since I am not an experienced knot guy, I tied as many as I safely could. Doing the sitching in this sequence enables you to used a single strand of yarn/cord.

Step 6: Finishing Up

To make the bottom edge of the wallet more aesthetic, rub your candle or wax into the edge and round the seam.

Once your waxing is ready, use the handle of the hammer, or any other wooden piece you have laying around, and brush the wax into the edge of the leather with the handle. As you apply pressure and motion the wax will melt and the friction will drive it in the pores of the leather, hopefully making it more resistant to wear and tear.

Once ready, enjoy your wallet!

Leather Challenge

Second Prize in the
Leather Challenge