How to Make Your Own DIY Wallet

What Is a Wallet?

A wallet is a small, flat case that can be used to carry personal items such as cash, credit cards, and identification documents. They can also hold photographs, transit pass, gift cards, business cards, and other paper or laminated cards. Wallets are generally made of leather or fabrics, and they are usually pocket-sized but not always foldable. But in this article, we are going to focus on how to make your very own wallet. Think about it, a personalized wallet is a wallet with personalized features and uses. No one person uses their wallet for the exact same thing.

History of the Wallet

The word “wallet” has been in use since the late 14th century to refer to a bag or a knapsack for carrying articles. The history of the wallet even has mythical ties. In ancient Greek, the word kibisis, is said to describe the sack/wallet carried by the god Hermes. This same sack was used by the mythical hero Perseus to carry the severed head of the monster Medusa. Usage of the term "wallet" in its modern meaning of "flat case for carrying paper currency" in American English dates to 1834.

Ancient Greece:

The classicist A. Y. Campbell set out to answer the question, " ancient literature, are the uses of a wallet?" He deduced, as a Theocritean scholar, that "the wallet was the poor man's portable larder; or, poverty apart, it was a thing that you stocked with provisions." He found that sometimes a man may be eating out of it directly but the most characteristic references allude to its being "replenished as a store", not in the manner of a lunch basket but more as a survival pack.

The Renaissance:

Wallets were developed after the introduction of paper currency to the West in the 1600s. Prior to the introduction of paper currency, coin purses (usually simple drawstring leather pouches) were used for storing coins. Early wallets were made primarily of cow or horse leather and included a small pouch for printed calling cards.

19th Century:

In addition to money or currency, a wallet would also be used for carrying dried meat, victuals, "treasures", and "things not to be exposed". Wallets originally were used by early Industrial Americans. It was considered "semi-civilized" in 19th century America to carry one's wallet on one's belt. At this time, carrying goods or a wallet in one's pocket was considered uncivilized and uncommon.

Present Day:

The modern bi-fold wallet with multiple "card slots" became standardized in the early 1950s with the introduction of the first credit cards. Some innovations include the introduction of the velcro-closure wallet in the 1970s. Pocket-sized wallets remain popular to this day.

Types of Wallets

Here is a summary of all the different wallet types that are geared towards men:

Bifold Wallet:

This standard structure of wallets is likely as old as the wallet itself. With its simple design, you can easily access your cards and cash with just a lift of the flap. Of all the wallet types, the classic bifold design is among the most popular. The biggest selling point to a bifold wallet is that this will be among the slimmest of designs. Therefore if you are looking to be able to comfortably sit down without the feeling that you are sitting on a lump while still having all your cards, cash, and receipts in order. Therefore, a bifold wallet is extremely versatile and comfortable. Plus it just simply looks great!

Trifold Wallet:

Much like the bifold wallet above, the trifold is a classic design that is also heavily favored by men. What really sets the trifold apart is the number of compartments that are typically contained. Therefore if you tend to carry more cards than the average person – a trifold will make an excellent choice. However, just remember that overstuffing your trifold will make it bulge and may be uncomfortable when sitting down for longer periods of time. Therefore it's important to clean out a trifold wallet regularly.

Hybrid Slim Wallet:

While many wallet designs have been around for years, the new slim wallets are starting to take hold in the marketplace. These wallets are favored by men due to their much more low profile design. This is great for men who want to keep all their items in a safely secured case while being really flat. Cash storage for these wallets may be an issue for some men.

Money Clip wallet:

The classic money clip wallet is one of the best wallets for men who prefer the minimalist lifestyle and want just the barebones when it comes to the amount of stuff that you carry. In addition, it definitely helps that there have been some pretty cool inventions that have popped up on Kickstarter as well. Also worth noting, if your wallet is starting to play a secondary role to options like Apple Pay then it might be the time to downsize what you carry.

Money Clip with Pockets:

Building upon the money clip design seen above is a hybrid money clip with pockets. This design is also known simply as a ‘Front Pocket Wallet’. While still being a bit thinner than a classic bifold wallet, this money clip is designed to be placed in either the front or back pocket and has a few compartments for both your cards and cash. The biggest advantage of this design over the simpler money clip will come down to daily use. Its few compartments will prevent you from fumbling between cash and cards when just making a quick payment.

Checkbook Wallet:

If you are going to a special occasion or perhaps you simply just want a wallet that stands out from the crowd, the classic checkbook wallet may be worth your consideration. Originally designed for men who traveled often the checkbook wallet will easily hold a vast array of not only credit cards, but also your checkbook, passport, and of course currency of choice. When traveling overseas and using the oft-sized Euro currency, many American travelers may prefer this type of wallet as it can easily accommodate all types of currency.

Coin Wallet with Card Slot:

If you live in a country where coins are a dominate currency such as countries in the EU, a coin wallet would be perfect. While coin wallets tend to be a bit more on the bulkier side, especially when compared to a money clip or bifold wallet. But its segregation of slots, make it incredibly easy to access either card, coins, or cash. We would generally recommend one with separate slots so you can be a bit more organized and aren’t fishing through your stuff just to make a payment.

Cardholder Wallet:

Primarily made for business cards, there are plenty of men who rely on this incredibly slim wallet for their everyday use. If you don’t like fumbling over cash, or simply like to clear out your wallet on a regular basis to ensure there are no receipts in the way, a slim wallet is desired by men who prefer a minimalist design.

DIY Wallets

Duct Tape Wallet

This resilient wallet will be your companion for years to come. It’s great for paper money, credit cards and even has some secret pockets! Stock up on some diverse duct tape and visit eHow for instructions.

Bi-Fold Wallet

A small and practical wallet that will be your best companion when you need to make a quick trip to the grocery store and only need a few dollar bills and coupons. It will also keep all of your credit cards in check, so you need not worry about frantically looking for the right one at the checkout ever again! Find the pattern at Modest Maven.

Big Clutch Wallet

If sewing is your thing, this wallet is your thing! It’s going to take some time and dedication, but good things always come to those who are patient! Dust off your sewing machine because you’re about to sew yourself this chic wallet, found at Confessions of a Fabricaholic.

Man’s Wallet

Now don’t let the title fool you – this one is a perfect fit for anyone that isn’t into colorful stuff and prefers something more subtle and neutral. But, if you’re still looking for a birthday gift for your significant other, this idea will definitely come in handy! See how they conquered the task at The Sewing Directory.

No Sew Clutch Wallet

If sewing isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Always Rooney will tell you how to make this stylish clutch without any sewing at all! It’s very spacey, so you can keep all of your must items in one place!

Little Pouch

A practical little wallet that will fit in the tiniest of purses or even coat pockets! Keep it at hand when you’re in a rush and only need to bring essentials. Don’t waste any time and find the tutorial at Noodle Head.

Kids Wallet

You know that feeling when you’re standing at the checkout and your youngest one is begging you to let them be the one who pays? Then you give them the money, they pay and feel like a real big boy or a big girl? Well, imagine how proud they’ll be of themselves if they got to pay with money from their own wallet. If you want a joyful toddler, Zaaberry has got you covered.

iPhone Wallet

Never forget your wallet at home again, by turning your phone case into a wallet as well! My 3 Monsters helps you kill two birds with one stone, a fun wallet and an epic phone case, all at once.

Snappy Coin Purse

We’ve all had enough with our change rolling out of every wallet and purse we own. The best solution for this problem is to keep a separate wallet just for coins and lucky for you. I Heart Linen has just what you need.


A wallet makes for a great gift any time of the year. And a DIY wallet is even better. Like I said above, a personalized wallet will have personalized uses. If you love duct tape, sewing, knitting, or folding paper, there is a wallet that you can make. So next time you go for your wallet or see the wallet of a loved one, consider what personalized uses they might need with that wallet. And then look here at our list and see what DIY wallet you can make!

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Tyler Farr

Tyler is an energetic nature enthusiast who is currently considering moving into a tiny house. Tyler and his wife enjoy hiking, mountain biking, camping, and doing anything in the great outdoors. He hopes that the articles he writes will help others learn how important it is to take care of the environment.

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