For the neophyte trying to channel his or her inner MacGyver, making a duct tape wallet is a good start. Here are instructions for a basic tri-fold wallet with pockets. You will need a roll of duct tape (any color), embroidery thread or thick cotton thread, beeswax, a Velcro tab, a self-healing cutting mat, scissors, a metal ruler, a craft knife, and a thick embroidery needle.
1. Roll out a strip of tape approximately nine inches long. Lay it horizontally on your cutting mat with the sticky side facing up. Fold the top edge down forming approximately 1/4-inch border.
2. Place a second strip of tape on top of the first, sticky side facing down. Be sure that it overlaps so that at least 1/4-inch of the bottom edge touches the cutting mat. Flip over and repeat step. Flip over and keep adding strips of tape in this manner until you have a solid piece of duct tape “fabric” that is approximately 7-1/2 inches high. Be sure that the sticky side of the bottom strip is facing up.
3. Using the metal ruler and craft knife, cut off excess pieces on the left and right sides. Be sure that the overall width of the “fabric” is at least eight inches. This is the base of the wallet. Set aside.
4. Repeat steps one and two until you have a piece of “fabric” that is four inches high. Be sure that the sticky side of the bottom strip is facing down. This will be the inside pocket.
5. Flip the inside pocket over from top to bottom so that the folded edge is at the bottom and the sticky edge is at the top. Take the base and fold it in half lengthwise. With the folded edge at the bottom, place the base centered on top of the sticky edge inside pocket.
6. Pull up the bottom of the inside pocket and fold it on top of the base. Cut off the excess pieces on the left and right sides of the inside pocket so that it lines up with the base. Fold the entire wallet into thirds to create a triptych.
7. Open up the base. Place the wallet flat on your cutting mat so the inside pocket lies on the top half of the base. With an awl or a thick, sharp needle, poke holes along the two inside creases of the inside pocket. Be sure to poke through both layers—the inside pocket and the base.
8. Wax a piece of embroidery thread and thread a needle. Using the holes as guides, sew the inside pocket to the top half of the base. The stitch used in the photo is a running stitch, but use whatever stitch is easiest and most comfortable for you.
9. Fold the base back up. With an awl or a thick sharp needle, poke holes on the left and right edges of the wallet. Wax a piece of embroidery thread and thread a needle. Using the holes as guides, sew the sides of the wallet. The stitch used in the photo is a blanket stitch, but use whatever stitch is easiest and most comfortable for you.
10. Fold the right side of the wallet over the middle panel. Remove one of the protective seals from a Velcro tab and place the tab on the left edge of the wallet. Remove the other protective seal from the Velcro tab.
11. Fold the left side of the wallet and press down firmly. Your wallet is complete!
Photos courtesy of the author
Finding Your Inner MacGyver: Duct Tape Crafting