DIY: the Magic Flip Wallet!




I did not invent this thing. It's been done before! But then.... Wallets have been around since paper money.

I'm going to show you how you too can make a magic wallet. Some sewing skill is helpful, but not required. You can make this by gluing two sets of two firm sections with the ribbons between them or sew a leather or vinyl covering. The latter is the technique I used.

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Step 1: Gather Supplies

To do the covered wallet you'll need:

Cardboard Any box should do...
Vinyl or leather An old purse works nicely for this...
Strapping This should be rugged. I used the strap from an old 35mm camera. An old Lanyard my do too.
Glue You may need this. I didn't
Sewing Thread and needle Not pictured, but it's what I used...

Step 2: Prepare Materials

Cut the cardboard into two pieces approximately 4 1/2" x 3"

Cut two pieces of vinyl or leather to about 3 1/8" x 9 1/8" You might want to give a little more leeway than the 1/16" I did. It's up to you.

Cut 4 pieces of the strapping to about 4" each.

Step 3: Build Side One.

Fold the vinyl (or leather) reverse side out. Sew from the open end about an inch and a 16th in before adding strap. Sew the straping into the side. Note that the straps must be straight through the cover. I don't know what stitches are what, so I can't really advise here. As you can see, my sewing is horrible. Sew the second strap at about an inch from the end.

When that side is done, insert the carboard tightly and sew the short end as tight as you can. Remove the cardboard.

Now turn the cover inside-out (actually right-side-out) and inert the cardboard piece again.

Step 4: Build Side Two.

Build side two using the same process as side one, but start the first strap at about the strap's width further in and at about a 45° angle toward the center. The other strap needs to start about the strap's width earlier and angled to cross the previous strap. The straps should cross near the center of the wallet side.

Step 5: Finish Side One.

Carefully align the two sides with the crossed straps fitting inside side one. Make sure that the two sides are 3" (the depth of the sides) apart. You may want to pin the straps into position before sewing the open end of side one. Be sure to sew through the straps so they're secure.

Step 6: Finish Side Two.

Wrap side one back so the crossed straps are over it. Weave the straight straps out side of the crossed straps and to the outside of side two. Tuck the straps into the open end of side two and sew closed the side with the straps in place and tight.

The complete wallet will look somewhat like the second picture below and, when closed, the third picture.

Step 7: Demonstrate and Awe Your Wife And/or Kids!

Open the wallet. Place your money on one side. Close the wallet and open it the other way. Magically your money is held tight no mater which way you open the wallet!

Now tuck your business cards into the other side. Close it and open the other way. Magically your money and cards have switched places!

Disclaimer:I take no responsibility for pricked fingers, four letter words that may be expressed, and sudden discovery of sewing skills one might experience while constructing this instructable


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    55 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Leave the top edge open and you have 4 inside pockets. You'll have a nice smooth finish to the divider and stiffener if you use a heavy gauge plastic, but it will still be nice and flexible.


    3 years ago

    great idea saves money inside and out!!


    4 years ago

    very, very nice. thank you for sharing!


    5 years ago

    I love this instructable. It is really quite nice.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Lots of tags and very helpful really a good ible ! LOVED IT (inspired to make me one)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Lol, I just bought one today at old navy for $5

    Bill Clinton

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Thats a great idea!!
    I have used a rubber - band and clued the sides hehe wallet lasted 3 hours so I then went online and purchased a proper one form Australia. If your wallet also sucks check out


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I just made a test one out of some cardboard and some string. Works like a charm. Might make one out of a pair of floppies soon as they seem the right size to begin with :) Now I just need to figure out how to release the crazy purple knockout gas if someone opens it the wrong way :D

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    my house, is filled with, this crap, shows up in, bubble-rap, most every day, i bought it on EEEBBBAAAYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Reply 10 years ago on Step 1

    I am the type who is liable to snipe you, With two seconds left to go, whoa! Got Paypal or Visa, what ever'll please ya... As long as I've got the dough!!!


    Reply 10 years ago on Step 1

    I'll buy... your tchotchkes, Sell me... your watch, please. I'll buy I'll buy, I'll buy, I'll buy... I'm highest bidder now! (LOL!)