This is a complete step by step guide for making a hand tooled leather bi-fold wallet with process photos.
You can see all technique, skills you need to learn and tools you need to source for making this wallet on BEGINNER’s GUIDE on my website for Free 😊
Follow my 10 steps and you will be able to enjoy making hand tooled leather wallets.
2 pockets / 3 card slots / coin pocket / note pocket
9cm x 11cm
STEP 1. Download template and print
Get a template of wallet you want to make.
For this particular wallet you can get the template from HERE.
Print with ACTUAL SIZE in printer setting. USE Thick craft paper to make handling easier.
STEP 2. Cut template out and transfer to the leather
Cut out every part of the template.
Be as precise as possible.
All 1mm parts will fit in 30cm x 30cm piece if you do like I did in the photo.
I use a pencil for mine.
STEP 3. Cut Leather
Use a ruler and a sharp craft knife.
If you are using my leather and material package, 2mm piece will come pre - cut.
STEP 4. Carving/tooling
Carve/tool any pattern you prefer.
If you are willing to use this pattern, you can learn how to carve this particular pattern in this blog post : BASIC GUIDE TO TOOLING Pt1.
STEP 5. Dye each part
Dye all your pieces.
There is an in-depth guide for how to dye this exact pattern/ similar but different colours.
( If you are planning to oil your leather, now is the time. I use Extra virgin olive oil. )
Make sure to finish with leather coating after you dye/oil.
STEP 6. Building coin pocket
In this step you will complete a coin pocket part.
It involves a little bit of molding but it is easy.
FOLD the leather piece like how i have folded paper template in the left photo.
Wet inside with small amount of water.
This will help it mold the shape.
Apply pressure for at least 30 minutes.
Instead of clipping, you can put a heavy book on top to press if you want to avoid clip marks.
I ended up with some clip marks..... :(
If you mold it correctly the width will match the "SIDE 2".
Glue "COIN POCKET" on "SIDE 2". align the bottom and the sides.
Top gap is for the "LID".
Once you glue the pocket and the lid it should look something like this.
For more about GLUING see BEGINNER'S GUIDE.
Fasten the snaps for buttons.
STEP 7. Building card slots
Now you are building the card pockets.
On SIDE 1, there is a measured guide line for the CARD POCKET pieces.
Mark the leather with dots so you know where the POCKETS go.
Start from the top.
Glue where indicated and stitch the bottom line.
You only need to stitch about 2-3 cm.
REPEAT with the other pocket piece.
The last piece does not have to be stitched at this stage.
Once you put all pieces together it should look like this.
STEP 8. Assemble inner lining
Stitch Right side of the coin pocket
Left side of the card slots.
REMEMBER to Burnish those 2 sides.
These will be the inner pockets.
Place and glue completed coin pocket and card slot units on INNER LINING.
Make sure the half circle is at the bottom.
DO NOT GLUE INNER SIDES.
Stitch the Top sides of each unit on to the inner lining.
Apply pressure and Dry.
STEP 9. Assemble wallet
Place and glue 'TOP' along the top edge of 'OUTER LINING' like shown in left photo.
Inner layer and Outer layers are different in sizes, therefore it is easier to glue one side at a time.
Work on one side first and make sure the glue is dry and set before you do the other side.
Bend the whole thing slightly to glue the other side.
It is important to glue all corner and sides as best as you can to line them up and make it easier to burnish later
STEP 10. Hand Stitching
Draw a guide line about 5mm from the edge.
DO NOT draw a line where the half circle is as you will not stitch that part.
Note how stitch line goes 👆
Put a piece of leather under to support the wallet if you find it going unstable during hole punching.
See BEGINNER'S GUIDE to learn more about Saddle Stitching.
STEP 11. Burnishing
Trim the corners of the wallet.
Burnish the edges.
See this blog post for more about how to burnish: LEATHER BURNISH MASTER CLASS
FINAL STEP. Share Your work!
How did you go? I hope you had fun and hope this guide helped!
If you have used this article and made a wallet, please share the photo and share it in the comment!
©Design and template developed by The Sho Room Leather.