Wooden Magic Wallet




Introduction: Wooden Magic Wallet

About: Pinterest engineer by day, maker by night. Member of the Noisebridge hackerspace.

This wallet is laser cut on 1/8 inch craft plywood, and elastic is sewn on to hold in cards or money.


- one piece 1/8 inch thick craft plywood, at least 8 x 5.5 inches (or two pieces at least 4 x 2.75 inches each)

- one yard elastic, 1cm thick

- sewing thread and needle


- Laser cutter

- Scissors

- Lighter (to seal ends of elastic)

Step 1: Laser Cut Your Plywood

Cut two of the included file onto your plywood (DXF and SVG file options attached).

Step 2: Visualize Where Your Elastics Will Go

There are eight elastics in total.

Four (on the insides of the wallet) are used for the 'magic wallet' function, and four forming a cross on the outside sides are just for holding extra cards.

Step 3: Prevent Your Elastic From Fraying

Run the end of your elastic back and forth over a lighter to melt the end slightly so it doesn't come apart.

Step 4: Sew in Your Elastic

I did some of this with a sewing machine and the end parts by hand. I don't think I saved any time using the machine since it was so fiddly.

For each end of elastic you sew in, pass between 1 and 2cm of it through the designated hole, fold the 1-2cm end over the rest of the elastic, and sew in place.

If you are picky you may want to plan out which sides you want your elastic ends to be showing on, in advance.

I used a backstitch for hand sewing, but I don't think it matters which you use, so long as it's secure.

There's a great hand sewing tutorial here: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Sew./

Step 5: Trim Off All the Extra Threads

And you're done! Have fun playing with your new magic wallet!

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    Those are great! My grandmother showed me one of those her family had saved from the era of the American Civil War. I guess I was about 10 - 11. I took a good look at it, then went in my room and made a basic copy of it.

    The original was quite ornate. It was paperboard, so I don't think it was meant to be a wallet, as such. I imagine it was meant to be a magic trick, for professionals or for youngsters, I don't know.

    Thanks for reminding me of that wonderful device, that wonderful memory and delightful time so long ago. Your version will be much more long lasting as it is wood. As I recall the cloth parts were made of silk, and the ends were sandwiched between the paperboard to make it look a bit more mysterious.

    Good work and thanks again! - Paul Granger


    3 years ago

    Just one question, if you don't mind. How much does the laser cutter cost? Can one be borrowed from somewhere? Oh, wait; that's two questions. Darn!