How to Sew a Card Holder Wallet

This great little card holder is just perfect for those of you, female or male, who like to travel light! Make these from a rugged denim like shown here for the guys in your life, or in a light and fun print for the girls. Great gift for anyone of any age! Add some money or a gift card, and you've got the perfect gift for any occasion! So now let's get to the tutorial:

 Materials and Tools Needed: 
  • Free, printable template found here
  • Approximately 10.5" x 5.25" outer fabric and lining fabric
  • Two pieces of featherweight interfacing the same size as the fabric
  • Magnetic snaps (optional)
  • Heavy thread (preferable, but general or all-purpose thread will work)
  • Hammer, pliers, and interfacing scraps (if using magnetic snaps)
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Something to push corners out (I use crochet hooks)
  • X-Acto blade or similar
  • Pencil or pen for marking
  • Mat with grid or ruler

Step 1: Print and cut out the free, printable template from here. Next, IF you're using magnetic snaps, use the back disc to trace the slots for the prongs onto the template and cut them out. Make sure to try to align the discs to the guides as precisely as possible, as that will ensure the end result lines up properly. NOTE: Even though I have the prongs positioned on the left and right in the photo, they will work better turned 90 degrees so the prongs are on the top and bottom. Having them on the sides can make them problematic to sew around later on. (Learn from my mistakes! Haha.)

Step 2: Using the template, cut out your outside fabric, lining fabric, and interfacing leaving a small border all the way around. For this wallet, I'm using repurposed jean material for the outside fabric and cotton broadcloth for the lining. The interfacing I'm using is Pellon 911FF.

Step 3: After cutting everything out, iron both your outside and lining fabrics! And while you're at your iron, go ahead and adhere the interfacing to the back of your fabric. This is why I wait to iron until after cutting! ;) Then, after adhering the interfacing, I like to flip the fabric over and iron from the front, just to make sure everything's nice, flat, and smooth.

Step 4: After applying the interfacing, take both pieces back to your cutting mat and cut both pieces from the pattern. I cut the lining from the wrong-side just to ensure I kept within the interfacing. If you'll notice, the interfacing and fabrics line up really well and are adhered all the way around - another benefit to cutting the pattern piece after applying the interfacing! ;)

If you're adding magnetic snaps:While you have your pattern piece on your outside fabric, cut a line right in the middle of all four slots you cut out of your pattern earlier. This will be where you insert the prongs on your snaps.

Step 5: If you're using magnetic snaps, then do this step, otherwise skip to step 7. Cut out two small one-inch squares from some leftover interfacing and, using the back discs for the snaps, cut lines into each square. Don't worry about trying to get perfect one-inch squares - these are just extra re-enforcement and won't be seen or felt in the finished product.

Step 6: Slip the interfacing squares you just finished over the prongs of the snaps and then the back discs. (The reason I don't adhere these squares to the back of the fabric is because in doing so, it'll change the way the fabric lays and they'll become noticeable. By adding them in this way, they give extra support without detracting from the final look.) After that, bend the prongs outward using a pair of pliers, and then hit them a few times with a hammer to really get them flat! NOTE: Some people prefer to bend the prongs inwards, but in my experience, doing this will not hold the fabric as securely, which can lead to problems later on. So I definitely recommend bending them out!

Step 7: With right sides together, sew around all four sides with a 1/2" seam allowance using heavy thread and leaving 3-4 inches open on one of the long sides so you can turn it right-side out. While sewing, I like to back-tack in the corners to make them stronger. Clip corners close to the stitching without hitting the stitches.

Step 8: Starting with the two long sides of the outside fabric, fold and steam press the seam allowances in. You can hold the seam allowances down with a clapper or a piece of wood after ironing to really set the fold. Repeat with the two short sides and finally with the lining side. NOTE: Try to avoid the snaps with your iron! Magnets lose their strength when exposed to high temperatures (like that from your iron), and the snaps can scratch the soleplate on your iron. Another good reason to put the prongs on the snaps on the top and bottom instead of the sides as I've shown here.

Step 9: Turn right-side out through the opening you left on the bottom. Push the corners out as well as you can with your fingers, then use a tool to finish pushing them out - I use a crochet hook, but have also used a bodkin and even old pens. Just make sure not to push too hard as you can tear a hole in your work - this is where it really helps to have backtacked in the corners! Finally, steam iron flat, making sure to avoid the snaps.

Step 10: With heavy thread and a hand sewing needle, ladder stitch the opening closed. You can view my ladder stitch tutorial here. Alternatively, you can stitch a 1/8" border all the way around, which will also close the opening.

Step 11: If you're using a magnetic snap, fold both of the ends up 1.5" and press. If you are not using a magnetic snap, fold up 1.75" and press. I find this a lot easier to do if I align the whole thing with the grid on the cutting mat - that way, I can make sure the entire fold is lined up correctly.

Step 12: Using heavy thread, stitch the folds down you just made using a 1/8" seam allowance. If you've chosen a heavy fabric like I have, you may have problems stitching at the very beginning because of the thickness of the fold. To get around this, take a thin sewing needle case (I love this Schmetz case since it's a bit thinner than most cases), and put it under your presser foot right behind your work. This will let you start sewing without any problems! Just make sure to backtack and don't try to sew through the needle case! ;) As you can see from the photos, I only stitched along the doubled-over fabric - I didn't stitch in the middle; this is important to maintain proper thread tension and stitch length!

Step 13: Cut away the loose threads, put some credit cards in, and hit the town with your new wallet! :)

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you make your own card holder wallet, let me know how it goes! :) Best wishes!