How to Carry Less Stuff - DIY Pocket Wallet and Key Holder

Introduction: How to Carry Less Stuff - DIY Pocket Wallet and Key Holder

About: I'm a designer currently on mission to make everything I use in my daily life.

A time tested, simple design that carries only the bare essentials to leave your house today: keys, ID, and currency. No key chains, no forgotten membership cards, no overstuffed coin pocket full of pennies.

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Step 1: Gather Materials

Thick Leather

Getting leather for this project might take some creativity if you don't have cowhide laying around. (suppliers usually only sell full hides) The material used in this project was from an industrial leather scrap bin that I had access to through my school, but another cheap way to source leather is a thrift store. Leather purses and motorcycle jackets are a great way to get pieces for a small project.

For this project, make sure the material is thick enough that you can't fully pinch it.

Waxed Lacing

You can really use anything here. Find a thick thread, double it up if you want, chip off a piece of a candle and rub the wax across the thread. Don't skip the waxing step it's so important for durability! If you work with leather often, I highly recommend this waxed lacing tape. It's a very strong, corded thread that doesn't fray like linen thread.

Key Holder and Snap Fastener Hardware

I found the key holder hardware from a thrift store wallet, cut it from the glittery neon blue pleather, and selvaged it for this project. If you can't find a used one, you can buy it here. Snap fasteners are a good thing to have on hand. The one I used is a standard heavy duty .5in size fastener. You can get a set here.

Step 2: Print Pattern

Download and print the pattern "actual size" on letter.

Step 3: Assemble

  1. Cut shapes 1 and 2 out of leather
  2. Attach key holder hardware to the unfinished side of piece 1
  3. Lay piece 1 *unfinished side down. Place piece 2 *unfinished side down so that the pieces are bottom and center aligned, clamp in place
  4. Using an awl or sharp object, pierce holes through both layers simultaneously at marked lacing holes
  5. Saddle Stitch together using waxed lacing (stitching tutorial here)
  6. Punch appropriate holes and attach snap fasteners to each side

*Leather has two sides. Finished side is smooth and often stained. Unfinished side is raw.
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    4 Discussions

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Interesting idea. How bulky does it get when it is full of keys?

    The Malory Gallery
    The Malory Gallery

    Reply 3 years ago

    When it's full of keys (including my bulky car key) I would say it's about .75in thick.

    At max capacity, it still fits in the pocket of my skinny jeans!

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Interesting idea. How bulky does it get when it is full of keys?