A design that lets me carry my phone, a few credit cards and small amounts of cash. Made from thick vegetable tanned leather, it's much stronger than a normal wallet.
cutting the parts
You will need a total of 4 pieces of leather in 2 different thicknesses (these measurements fit iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S):
- The large outside piece: 285mm by 87mm at around 2.5-3mm thickness.
- The inside piece that holds the phone: 130mm by 87mm at around 2.5-3mm thickness.
- The two credit card slots made from thinner leather: 97mm by 87mm and 77mm by 87mm at around 1.5mm thickness.
- You can use a scalpel or a head knife for cutting. Make sure you use the sharpest tools for nice & clean cuts
You need to cut out a part of the inside piece (the one that holds your phone in place) to allow you to take out the phone easier. I used a Strap End Punch but you can also just trace a half-circle and cut it out with a scalpel. This is what it looks like after punching out the top cutout.
Put pieces together
These are our pieces loosely put where they'll end up
Smooth flesh side (optional)
You can use gum tragacanth to make the flesh side of the leather smoother.
Stamping the inside piece (optional)
- Moisten the leather piece to prepare it for stamping
- Once it’s almost dry you can place the stamp on the leather and give it a good whack with a heavy mallet. If your leather is too wet, the impression won’t be as crisp. Generally it’s a good idea to wait for the leather to almost return to its original colour before you stamp it.
Cut rounded corners
Use a scalpel to cut a rounded corner. I used a 1cm square as reference so that’s the corner radius.
Glue parts in place
It’s a good idea to glue the parts in place before sewing. Proper alignment is very important if you want the wallet to look good.
This is what the assembled parts look like
Add stitching groove
Use a stitching groover to add a grove as a guide along both sides.
Stitching groove: note
Be careful! The other side won’t need a groove all the way along the edge. You can stop where the bottom piece of leather ends on the other side.
Add stitching spaces
Use an overstitch wheel on one side as a guide for your stitches. I use them as guides when hand sewing as well as machine sewing.
Sew the parts together
Once you’re done sewing (if you need instructions, check out my tutorial on my site), use a lighter to burn the ends of the thread to keep them from fraying.
Fitting & shaping
Use your phone, a plastic phone case or your hands for form the leather. This makes it easier to slide the phone in and out. We're working with relatively thick leather here and it'll take a while until it gets softer
Clean up edges and stitching (optional)
You want to have the edges align perfectly so cut or sand down the edges to make them as even as possible.
To clean up the stitching, you can use the overstitch wheel and run it across the stitches
Dyeing the edges (optional)
Use a wool dauber and dark dye around the edges of the wallet
Refining the edges
Use a edge slicker or bone folder and move it back and forth along the edges to make them smooth.
Seal & finish
Use your leather finish of choice to seal and waterproof the leather. You can use an oil or one of the other available finishing products.