Three duct tape wallets

Girls camp - duct tape wallets

Girls camp 2010 - duct tape wallets

After volunteering for girls camp, I needed a couple weeks to recover. Now I’m back. I planned to take lots of photos at camp, but instead I ended up spending every moment teaching the girls how to make duct tape wallets. By the end of the week, I was seriously sick of duct tape wallets. But the girls loved them, so it was worth it. A friend sent me these photos that she took at camp. (That’s me in the gray sweatshirt in the first photo.)

Because of the green tarp roof on the makeshift quonset hut that we called The Craft Shack, everything looked green tinted. It reminded me of the Mr. Big song “Green Tinted Sixties Mind.” Admit it, you know you loved Mr. Big. :)

Anyway, duct tape wallets are certainly not a new thing, and I probably don’t need to tell most of you how to make one. But when I was searching for instructions online, I couldn’t find one easy-to-follow tutorial for a simple duct tape wallet. Plus, friends have asked me for the instructions for my wallet design. Though I developed this pattern myself, I’m told it’s not exactly original, but here it is. This wallet takes about 45 minutes to make.

How to make duct tape wallets

Duct tape wallet supplies and tools

Supplies and tools

Main fabric:

Four long pieces of duct tape

1. Tear off four pieces of tape that are at least 9 inches long. (Don’t use scissors. Don’t use your knife. Rip it!) Place them sticky-side-up on your cutting surface. Stick them to each other (front-to-back), overlapping about 1/2 inch.

Four more pieces of duct tape

2. Tear off four more pieces the same length. Starting about 1/2 inch from the top, adhere one piece at a time (back-to-back). The last piece should overlap about 1/2 inch. (The reason you start 1/2-inch down is to stagger the thicker parts of the duct tape “fabric” you’re making. If you don’t, some parts of the fabric will be four layers thick, which is difficult to fold.)

Fold the top and bottom

3. Fold over the top and bottom edges. Your fabric should now be about 6 inches tall.

Cut off the ragged left edge

4. Using your ruler and knife, cut a clean edge on the left side. Always use your ruler when cutting with your knife.

Cut off the ragged right edge

5. Then measure 8-1/2 inches and trim the other edge. Set aside.

Credit card pockets:

One side of large pocket

6. Tear off two pieces of tape about 5 inches long. Overlap them the same as step 1.

Back side of large pocket

7. Tear off two more 5-inch pieces and adhere the same as step 2.

Fold over the top and bottom

8. Fold over the top and bottom edges the same as step 3. This large pocket should be about 3 inches tall.

Cut a clean edge on the left

9. Using your ruler and knife, cut a clean edge on the left side.

Cut to 4 inches wide

10. Then measure 4 inches and trim the other edge. Set aside.

Two long pieces back-to-back

11. Tear off two pieces that are about 9 inches long. Stick them directly back-to-back.

Cut two 4-inch pieces

12. Cut this double-sided piece into two 4-inch long pieces. These are your smaller pockets.

Small pocket borders

13. Tear off a 5-inch piece of tape. Rip it lengthwise down the middle. (Yes, I said rip it. Fast. You can do it. Don’t worry if it’s not exactly down the middle.)

Tape and trim excess

14. Use two of the ripped pieces to make a top border on each of the small pockets. Tape the top edge, then fold over. Trim the excess.

Two 4-inch ripped pieces

15. Tear off a 4-inch piece of tape. Rip it lengthwise down the middle.

Stacked pockets

16. Stack the pockets on top of each other. Stagger the height of the two smaller ones evenly.

Tape the left edge of pockets

17. Place a credit card on top of the stacked pockets to make sure you leave enough space for your cards. Using one of your ripped pieces, tape the left side of your pockets right up to the edge of the credit card. Fold it over to the back side and trim the excess with your ruler and knife. Do not tape the right side yet.

ID window:

Tape right edge of window

18. Use another ripped piece to tape the right edge of your window. Fold it over and trim the excess. Do not tape any other edge yet. Set aside.

Final assembly:

Check the height

19. Fold your main fabric in half lengthwise. Make sure the height of your pockets, window, and wallet are all the same height (3 inches). If not, trim them as necessary.

Tape the top edge

20. Unfold the main fabric. Place the window and pockets in opposite upper corners of your main fabric. Rip a 9-inch piece of tape lengthwise. Option 1: Use one piece to tape the top edge all the way across. Or option 2: Using your knife and ruler, cut one of the pieces in half endwise. Tape the window down, lining up the cut edge with the right side of the window. Then tape the pockets down, lining up the cut edge with the left side of the pockets. Trim off the excess.

Rip two more pieces

21. Tear off another 4-inch piece of tape. Rip it lengthwise down the middle.

Tape the right side of wallet

22. Refold your main fabric. Place a credit card on top of the pockets. Using one of the ripped pieces, tape the right side of your wallet right up against the edge of your credit card. Fold it over the entire wallet. Trim the excess with your knife.

Tape the left side of wallet

23. Tape the left edge (window side) of your wallet the same way. Trim the excess.

Tape the bottom of wallet

24. Following either option 1 or 2 in step 20, tape the bottom edge the same way. This piece will show on the outside of your wallet, so follow option 1 if you want a contrasting border. (You can cut out a notch on the inside, if you prefer.)

Fold the wallet closed

25. Fold your wallet in half endwise, then press it flat.

Pink stripes

26. Add decoration with duct tape as desired. You’re done!

Inside of wallet