Intro: Leather Hinged Business Card Holder
If you find yourself regularly travelling to trade or craft shows where you have your business cards out on display, this card holder might work for you! Load it up with cards, close it for travelling, and open it wide up to display your cards in two sections - put the same cards in both sections or display two different ones!
Step 1: Equipment and Materials:
- waxed linen thread
- darning needle
- leather (a 4" x 2" square will give you lots)
- 1/4" birch ply
- access to a laser cutter
- elastics or clamps
- CorelDRAW design file
- drill (optional)
- hair elastics (optional)
Step 2: Designing the Box
The challenge I gave myself was to create a container that would work well to both display and transport my business cards. I made an angled cut through the box beginning 1" up from from the bottom at the front, and ending in the centre of the back (photo 1). When the box is opened right up, the sides of the box, angle evenly up from 1" at the front to 3" at the back, passing through the centre of the back. The back of the front section and the front of the back section are both the same height.
When it is opened up flat it creates a divided display space that holds twice as many cards as the box can carry, which means it can be used to display two different cards or, as I prefer, let you divide the contents of the box in two with half the cards in the front and half in the back, which means they will naturally slant away from the front of the box for easier reading.
Step 3: Cut Out Your Box
Using the CorelDRAW design file, set your print settings and cut out your box using 1/4" plywood.
I used speed/power/frequency settings of 6/100/12 to cut 1/4" baltic birch plywood with a 60 watt Epilog Fusion laser cutter.
Step 4: Cut Out Leather Hinge
Using the included design file, cut out the leather hinge on the laser cutter. If you haven't used the laser cutter to cut leather before, be warned that it can smell awful - someone at YuKonstruct told me that it reminded them of the smell of an abattoir... This was a relatively small, quick cut, so it was really not too bad.
Alternatively, you can cut the hinge out with scissors or a leather cutting tool and use a leather punch or awl to make the holes.
Step 5: Glue the Box Together
Start by dry fitting your pieces together - this is always a good thing to do before glueing, to be sure everything fits, you have all the pieces, and you know where they need to go.
Lay out the pieces in two groups, with the top and the bottom pieces together (photo 1).
Use a small paint brush to apply a bit of glue to the top surface of each of the finger joint tabs on the sides of the pieces you are joining. Work your way around one group at a time, applying glue and adding one piece at a time.
Once all sides of the top and bottom are glued, use clamps or thick elastics in both directions, to apply pressure and keep the joints in place (photos 2-6).
Let the glue dry.
Once glue is completely dry, remove elastics and/or clamps, and lightly sand the edges of your box.
Step 6: Stitch First Half of Hinge
Cut off a piece of waxed linen thread about 12" long. Flatten the last couple of inches of thread by pulling it through your finger nails, this will help you thread your needle. Thread your needle.
Beginning with the bottom part of your box, place the hinge in position on the outside with the holes lined up. Take your threaded needle and beginning on the inside of the box at one end, thread the needle through the second hole, from the inside to the outside of the box (photo 3 & 4). Return to the inside of the box through the first hole and go back to the outside by skipping one hole and going through the third hole (photo 5). Hold the tail of the thread across the holes and be sure to catch it in your return thread for at least a couple of holes to secure it (photos 5 & 8).
Continue in this way until you reach the end of the row and the stitches are evenly filled in (photo 9). Tuck the end of the thread under threads in the back to secure it and trim any excess on either end,
Note: If you don't have waxed linen you can use button hole thread and run it through a piece of beeswax or a candle.
Step 7: Stitch Second Half of Hinge
Its a little bit trickier to do the second half of the hinge, only because of the awkwardness of having the two ends right there. The stitching pattern is the same as the bottom, with the only difference being that the stitches will be a bit loose at first. Once you are about half way along you can start tightening it up a bit.
Threading pattern: Start from the inside. Go out through hole 2, back through hole 1, out 3, in 2, out 4, in 3, out 5 etc. When you reach the end of the hinge tighten up your thread if it is loose, tuck in the ends and trim any excess thread.
Step 8: Closure Options
You can skip this step if you are not adding a permanent closure.
Adding a closure to your box can be done at any time, so you can always change your mind. I chose to not add a permanent closure to my card box (yet). If you would like to be sure that your card box stays closed in transit, you can simply stretch an elastic band around the box (photo 1) or wrap a velcro strap, or even a small leather belt around it.
For a more permanent solution, you could add a button, either one you have in your collection, or one you make with the laser cutter, like I did for the coil-hinged box: https://www.instructables.com/id/Coil-hinged-box/.
In that instructable, I added a few holes in my box to thread hair elastics through and added a small triangular button closure (photos 2-5). It was an after thought, and I used the laser cutter to add the extra holes by carefully positioning my pieces. You can easily add holes where you need them by using a hand drill.
To add your button to the card box, cut the metal connectors off the hair elastics, thread one through holes in the box and the other through the button and then the box, and tie them on the inside of the box with reef knots.
Step 9: Load It Up!
Load up your new business card box and put your cards on display!