Thursday, July 28, 2011

How To Make a Duct Tape Wallet (With Pictures)

A lot of people have asked me how to make duct tape wallets, and I usually reply with "Google it.", This is for 2 reasons: 1. This is how I originally learned how. 2. It's not a 5 minute project. Quite a bit goes into it. I was actually pretty reluctant to do this tutorial, because I sell these wallets for money, and I didn't wanna lose any business...but when I realized that any idiot could Google it (Or, hell, I've even seen them being sold at Spencer's and Hot Topic!), I decided to write out a tutorial on how to make the wallets I make. I go into quite a bit of detail in this, and I've never done a tutorial before. If something is unclear, please let me know. 

This is my wallet. This is what I will be showing you how to make. 
-Place for your money.
-3 credit card holders on the left.
-1 credit card holder on the right.
-ID holder.
-"Secret" pocket for your business cards and other stuff. 

*If there is ever any excess duct tape, you should cut it off with scissors unless otherwise specified* In some cases, you can just kind of tuck it into the place where your money goes, but I think cutting it off looks more professional.

What you'll need:
-Duct Tape (Obviously). I'll be using a Target exclusive Plaid, but you can of course use any color or pattern.
-Packing tape
-X-acto knife
-Measuring tape (or ruler)
-Your old wallet

How to make it:

1.  Make a sheet of duct tape fabric 8.5" wide x 7.5" high. If you're not familiar with making duct tape fabric, it's really easy: simply cut (or if you're me: rip) a length of duct tape, then turn it around so the adhesive side is up. Rip off a second length, place the adhesive sides together, but do it about 1/4" down. When you flip your piece over, there will be about 1/4" of exposed adhesive, that's where you should connect the next strip of duct tape. So on and so forth until you have this:

If you are using a patterned tape, try your best to match up the lines in the pattern. Sometimes you will have to initially rip off extra length, or it may not match up ideally, but do your best. Also, you only have to do this on one side, as the other side will fold up to hold your money and no one will ever see it.
2. Fold your sheet so it is now 8.5" x 3.75". What I do then is rip off about 4" of duct tape, then rip that in half, using one on each side. It saves tape, and doesn't intrude to much on the pattern of your wallet.

Tape the edges together.
3. (First, fold your actual wallet in half, then unfold it, you will see a crease in the center. This will be a guide so if your credit card holders are too big, you will know, you'll also know how far to either side to put them.) Now make a sheet of duct tape that is 4" wide x 3.5" high (this is for your 1st credit card). This is where your old wallets comes in. Take out one of your cards and use it as a reference on the new sheet. Tuck it in to see where you need to fold it to make a proper amount of your card exposed. 

Tip: When you make this new 'sheet', fold over the edges of your exposed tape instead of cutting it off. This will make it smoother and straighter. Then make sure you have the opposite side of where you folded it over the side that's facing outward for a nice, clean look.
4. Place your credit card and holder onto the left side of the wallet. Be sure the credit card holder isn't intruding on the crease, if so, move it over, or snip a little off. No harm will come of trimming it so long as the fabric for the holder is wider than the credit card. Now remove the card and hold the card holder in place as you use another half-strip of duct tape t tape it in place on the top. Fold the edge over the side where you hold the money.

5. Now put your credit card back and use another half-strip to tape down the right side. Make sure the tape is precisely adjacent to the card. By holding your card here while you tape down both sides, this will insure that your cards don't fall out.

Tip: You can just fold over the top part of the excess tape, but I would use your razor to cut off the excess tape on the bottom. Like I said, no one will be looking in the money holder part, but if you leave extra on the outside of your wallet, people are more apt to notice those flaws
6. Leaving the credit card there, use another half-strip on the left side.
Tip: While taping the left side, I would gently push your card to the right, then when you align the tape, it will be as snug as possible.

7. Now repeat steps 3 (after the parentheses) through 6 two more times. Be sure to line up all your credit cards, so every time you lay down a strip of tape on the left or right it is all even. Also be sure to keep your cards and holders straight, and to not get tape on the credit card above when you are taping the horizontal strip. You can probably add 1 or 2 more if you'd like (especially if your wallet ended up a little big somehow), but I personally don't need more than three.

Also note, as you fold your duct tape over on the far left side, don't worry about making them line up or look nice, we'll take care of that later.

8. Now take a regular strip of duct tape (NOT ripped in half) and place it over the bottom of your last credit card holder. This is just to smooth things out. 

9. Now it's looking a little rugged, yes? Using your razor, cut vertical lines to match up with the vertical strips of duct tape on the right and left hand sides of your cards.

Do this on both sides.
10. Now to do some more aesthetic stuff.After you've added your credit card holders, when you close your wallet and look at it from the outside, you might see a handful of uneven strips of duct tape from when you added your left hand side strips of duct tape that hold your credit cards in.

Pobody's Nerfect
11. We're going to remedy this by taking a strip of duct tape, and going just slightly past all the mess, cover it up. Then as you fold it over, you'll find it's going to stick to your cards. Just use a razor blade to cut it so it ends close to where your cards start.

Problem solved. It looks nice!
12. So yay! We're halfway done! The left side of your wallet should look like this now:

13. Now we're going to work on the right side. We're going to start by making two separate sheets of duct tape fabric. One is going to be just like the other ones you made for the credit card holders (4" x 3.5") the other one is going to be bigger, 4" wide x 7" high.

14. In the same way that you just did your credit card holders, do the same thing, but attach the credit card holder to the top of the 4" x 7" strip of fabric.

Tip: When you're attaching the right and left side, be sure the tape doesn't go very far past the bottom of the holder (about 1/2" is good). You're going to fold the bottom part up, so you don't want to see those random pieces of tape looking icky right next to your ID.
15. The same way you smoothed out the surface after your last credit card holder, do the same thing here. Instead of worrying about cutting the sides to look nice, you can just fold it over the sides.

16. Now, lay this sheet on the right side of your wallet, match the top of this with the top of the wallet. Fold up the bottom of the sheet so it will fit. You might find that it will be just a tad too long, if that's the case, just fold down the excess of the bottom of the sheet to see where you wanna cut it off.

Leave about 1/4" so you can get your ID in and out with ease. Cut at the crease, and make it as straight as possible.
17. Now it's time to make the hole for the ID. Place your actual ID right on the crease that you made at the bottom. Make sure your ID is lined up with the credit card you attached to this sheet of fabric. 

See how the sides are lined up? This will not only make your wallet nice and symmetrical, but will make things easier a couple steps from now.
18. Using a pen, trace your ID. Now, taking a razorblade, cut straight lines about an 1/8" or so inside those lines. You can round the corners if you'd like, but I usually make simple rectangles. Also note, that if your rectangle is not perfect, that's fine, you will be able to fix this later when you attach this to the wallet. If anything, just make sure the lines you cut are smooth.

19. Now keeping this fabric flat, put down 2 strips of packing tape, overlapping slightly. Then turn the piece around and do the same thing on the other side, making sure the tape over laps in the same place, also to keep as flat as possible to avoid air bubbles. I've had some pretty annoying air bubbles in the past, if this happens just stab them with a needle or your razor and flatten as best you can.

20. Now we're going to attach this to the wallet itself. Just like when you attached the first credit card holder, do the same thing here. Just do the one horizontal strip, though. This is different, so we won't be doing the vertical strips the same way.

Also, just like when you attached the first credit card holder, make sure it's not intruding on the crease of your wallet.
20. When you attached this, there is going to be some excess tape on the right and left hand sides. Use your razor to get ride of both of those.

Not only are these aesthetically displeasing, they also prevent us from our next step.

21. Now you can flip this piece away from the wallet. Folding over the bottom to create your ID holder, use a half-strip of duct tape to attach the bottom to where it should be attached, slightly below your last credit card. Fold it in, underneath the 4" x 7" piece of fabric. You will not be attaching this side to the actual wallet, as this is your 'secret' pocket for business cards and other such things. Also, if your rectangle is not symmetrical, you can use this piece of tape to make it so.

22. Now flip it back s it looks normal. Using another half strip of tape, attach the ID holder piece of fabric to the actual wallet on the right hand side. Remember, when you fold it over, it doesn't have to look perfect on the outside of the wallet, as we can fix that. If your rectangle for the ID wasn't symmetrical, you can use this piece of tape to make it so.

23. Using another half strip, attach the bottom. This is another place you can fix the rectangle for your ID holder if it isn't straight. If you're like me and rip your duct tape, your tape might not be kind of rugged. Use your razor to make it nice and straight for when you fold it over.

24. Using a razor, get rid of the ugly excess tape on the left hand side.

25. As a finishing touch, if the outside of your wallet looks ugly from attaching the ID holder, use another strip of tape to smooth it out.

I am convinced there's no way to get this to look nice the first time around.

Be sure to use your razor to cut it for the inside so it fits right next to your credit card, and tuck inside.

Huzzah! Now you have a duct tape wallet you can put all your stuff in. I hope this made sense, and good luck, have fun impressing all your friends, and one-upping their duct tape wallets (let's face it, we all know theirs probably suck).

1 comment:

  1. Great! I like this way of describing the procedure of making duct tape wallets pictorially. The visual representation makes the perception more clear. As here 25 steps are given it can be summarized as well and thus this will look easier.