/ / The Perfect DIY Wallet – Free Sewing Pattern!

The Perfect DIY Wallet – Free Sewing Pattern!

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Use your favorite fabrics to make the perfect wallet. I love the quilted exterior that reminds me of designer wallets from Vera Bradley, Coach, or Chanel!

UPDATE: This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here.


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The interior of this wallet pattern has 8 card slots (facing the center of the wallet so your cards won’t fall out), a zippered coin pocket, plus two pockets big enough for flat bills or a cell phone.

There is also a vinyl pocket (with a snap) that is the right size for a phone or small notebook with paper.


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I put two d-ring tabs on my wallet, so I could attach a cross-body strap. Alternatively, you could use only 1 d-ring and attach a wrist strap, or no strap at all.

The exterior of the wallet is quilted for that luxe designer look. I used 2 fat quarters of fabric for my wallet exterior and 2 fat quarters for the interior. My fabrics were all from the Rifle Paper Co. Le Fleurs collection, except for the fabric that I used for my binding – Penny Arcade by Kim Kight.


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Are you ready to make your most beautiful (and functional) wallet ever? Let’s sew!

You will need:

  • 2 fat quarters of fabric for the wallet exterior

  • 2 fat quarters of fabric for the wallet interior

  • a 10’’ x 8’’ piece of flexible foam interfacing (I used ByAnnie Soft and Stable) or fusible fleece interfacing

  • a 3 1/2’’ x 2 1/’2’’ piece of the same stabilizer listed above

  • 1 zipper, at least 6’’ long

  • 1 magnetic snap closure

  • 2 d-rings with a 1/2’’ opening

  • a 4 1/2’’ x 8’’ piece of vinyl (can be purchased in the home decor section of the fabric store, from Amazon, or re-purposed from the packaging that bedding, curtains, pet beds, and lots of other things come in)

  • a plastic snap for the exterior pocket – optional (my snap is from Kam Snaps – I lost my Kam snap setter and replaced it with the Dritz one – which is the same and works with all my snaps)

  • Creative Grids Curved Corners ruler or small cup with a 3’’ diameter

  • pencil, fabric marking pen, and/or hera marker

  • pins and Wonderclips

  • Wondertape

You’ll make the strap separately. Here’s my tutorial for bag and purse straps.


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Cutting

For the wallet exterior, cut:

  • 1 main rectangle 10’’ x 8’’ (floral fabric)

  • 2 tab closure pieces 3 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’ (floral fabric)

For the exterior vinyl pocket, cut:

  • 1 rectangle 4 1/4’’ x 8’’ (popcorn fabric)

  • a 4 1/2’’ x 8’’ piece of vinyl

For the d-ring tabs (optional), cut:

  • 2 d-ring tab rectangles 2 1/2’’ x 2’’ – or as many as desired (popcorn fabric)

For the binding, cut:

  • 2 1/4’’ strips cut on the bias, joined to make 38’’ of bias binding (popcorn fabric)

Tip: You could cut a 10’’ square of fabric and use my Continuous Bias Binding video tutorial to make approximately 42’’ of bias binding, 2 1/4’’ wide.

For the wallet interior, cut:

  • 1 interior rectangle 10’’ x 8’’

For the card pockets, cut:

  • 1 rectangle 9’’ x 8’’

  • 1 rectangle 8’’ x 8’’

  • 1 rectangle 7’’ x 8’’

  • 1 rectangle 6’’ x 8’’

  • 1 rectangle 5’’ x 8’’

For the zippered coin pocket, cut:

  • 4 rectangles 5’’ x 8’’


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Make the Quilted Wallet Exterior:

1. Place the 10’’ x 8’’ main piece of fabric on the piece of flexible foam stabilizer of the same size (wrong side of fabric against the interfacing). Baste around the edges with a long stitch, about 1/8’’ from the edge.

Tip: this looks difficult, but it’s actually very easy! Here’s a how-to video I made.

2. Place the 10’’ x 8’’ interior rectangle against the other side of the stabilizer (wrong side of fabric against the interfacing). Baste around the edges about 1/8’’ from the edge.

Note: If you are using fusible fleece interfacing instead, you can fuse the fabric to one side and machine baste the fabric to the other side.


3. Quilt the wallet exterior, as desired. I used straight vertical lines about 1 1/2’’ apart.


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4. Use the 1 1/2’’ radius corner on the Creative Grids Curved Corner Ruler (I love this ruler), or a small cup with a 3’’ diameter opening to round all 4 corners of the piece.


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Make the Tab with a Snap Closure:

1. Place one 3 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’ fabric piece on top of the matching piece of stabilizer (wrong side of the fabric against the stabilizer) and baste around the edges.

2. Install one half of the magnetic snap to this piece, centered and 3/4’’ – 1’’ above the bottom edge (3/4’’ if the snap is 1/2’’ in diameter, 1’’ if the snap is 3/4’’ in diameter). Follow to the manufacturer’s instructions (or install it like I did here – no extra interfacing is needed).

3. On the wrong side of the remaining 3 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’ piece of fabric, use a pencil or fabric marker to mark the stitching lines as follows:

  • mark 1/4’’ from 3 edges (as seen in photo above)

  • use a small spool of thread placed against the lines to draw curved corners (see above)


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4. Place the two 3 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’ pieces right sides together, with the snap and the marked curves at the same end. Pin.

5. Stitch around the piece along the marked lines. Trim the seam allowance with pinking shears or clip the curves with small scissors.

6. Turn the piece right side out and press.


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Make the Vinyl Pocket and Optional D-ring Tabs:

1. Fold the 4 1/4’’ x 8’’ of fabric in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and clip the raw edges to the top edge of the 4 1/2’’ x 8’’ piece of vinyl.

2. Stitch the binding piece to the vinyl with a 5/8’’ seam allowance.


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3. Wrap the wide binding around to the other side of the vinyl. Clip in place. Stitch close to the folded edge.



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4. To make the optional d-ring tabs, fold each 2’’ x 2 1/2’’ piece in half (matching the 2 1/2’’ edges) and press. Open and fold the raw edges to the center, press. Fold in half again and press for a 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’ folded strip.

5. Topstitch close to each long edge.

Set the vinyl pocket and d-ring tabs aside for now.


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Make the Card Pockets:

1. Press the 5 pieces cut for the card pockets in half with the 8’’ edges together (wrong sides facing). This should make:

  • 1 piece 4 1/2’’ x 8’’

  • 1 piece 4’’ x 8’’

  • 1 piece 3 1/2’’ x 8’’

  • 1 piece 3’’ x 8’’

  • 1 piece 2 1/2’’ x 8’’


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2. Lay the largest piece on your work area with the second largest piece on top – bottom edges aligned.

3. Use a pencil or fabric marking pen to draw a horizontal line 2 1/8’’ above the bottom edges. Pin all layers together.


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4. Sew across the line that you drew.

5. Fold up the top and bottom layers of fabric. Trim away the 2 inner layers to reduce bulk. Leave only about 1/4’’.


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6. Fold the top and bottom layers back down, as shown above.


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7. Place the next largest pocket piece on top, bottom edges aligned. Draw a line 1 5/8’’ above the bottom edges. Pin. Stitch along the line. Fold up the top and bottom edges of fabric and trim away the center two layers as before.


8. Repeat the previous steps with the next-largest pocket piece. This time draw a line that is 1 1/8’’ above the bottom edges. Pin and stitch across the line. Trim away the two center layers of fabric.


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9. Repeat with the last (smallest) pocket piece, using a disappearing fabric marker or hera marker so that the line won’t show. Draw the horizontal line 5/8’’ above the bottom edges. Pin and stitch. Trim away the two center layers.


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10. Use the disappearing fabric marker or hera marker to mark a vertical line down the center of the pockets. Stitch along this line to divide the pockets.


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In addition, mark and stitch vertical lines 3/8’’ from each side edge. This will help the cards fit securely.

Tip: test the pockets with one of your cards to make sure they fit.


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Make the Zippered Coin Pocket:

1. Draw lines on the wrong side of one of the 5’’ x 8’’ pocket pieces to make a 1/2’’ x 6’’ rectangle, as seen above.


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2. Place the marked pocket piece right sides together with another pocket piece. Stitch around the long narrow rectangle that you marked.


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3. Cut through both layers of fabric inside of the rectangle, cutting along the length of it and then making small clips to the corners. Do not cut the stitching.


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4. Turn the piece right side out by passing one layer of fabric through the cut open rectangle. Carefully fold back and press all of the edges.


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5. If available, apply Wondertape to the edges of the zipper.


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6. Remove the paper from the wonder tape and position the zipper with the teeth centered in the opening, as seen above. Make sure the zipper slider is inside the rectangle. Press down with your fingers to temporarily attach the zipper to the pocket piece.

Or pin the zipper in place if wonder tape is not available.

7. Topstitch around the rectangle, 1/8’’ from the edges.


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8. Flip the piece over to the back and trim away the extra zipper tape pieces.


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9. Place the two remaining 5’’ x 8’’ pocket pieces wrong sides together and then lay them on top of the zippered piece. Pin and stitch across the top with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.


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10. Trim the seam allowance to 1/8’’. Fold back two layers of fabric and press the top edge,


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11. Topstitch 1/4’’ from the top edge.


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Assemble the Wallet Parts – Finally!

1. Place the quilted wallet piece on your work space with the interior side up.

Lay the zippered coin pocket on top, centered and with the bottom edges aligned. Place 2 or 3 pins in the middle. (see above)



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2. Flip the piece over and stitch the layers together from the quilted side so you can sew around the curved corners – sewing 1/8’’ – 1/4’’ from the edges of the quilted side.

3. Trim away the corners of the pocket piece so they are curved to match the exterior.


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4. Place the bound vinyl piece against the quilted side of the wallet – at the same end as the zippered pocket. Clip in place so you don’t poke holes in the vinyl.

5. Flip over and this time sew the vinyl pocket in place from the fabric side so (once more) you can sew around the curves on top of the previous stitching.


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6. Place the card pockets against the wallet interior with the raw edges aligned on the side opposite the zippered pocket. Place 2 or 3 pins in the center.

7. Flip the piece over and stitch the layers together from the quilted side so you can sew around the curved corners – sewing 1/8’’ – 1/4’’ from the edges of the quilted side.

8. Trim away the corners of the card pocket piece so they are curved to match the exterior.


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Bind the Wallet:

1. Fold the 38’’ strip of 2 1/4’’ wide bias binding in half lengthwise (wrong sides together).

Pin or clip the binding around the interior of the wallet, leaving the ends free and an open space about 3-4’’ long on one side.


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2. Sew the binding to the wallet interior, stitching 1/4’’ from the edge.

Leave the 3-4’’ opening unsewn.


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3. Lay the binding ends against the wallet, folding them back where they meet in the center.

Press the folds and trim away the extra binding 1/4’’ away from the folds.


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4. Bring the ends together and stitch with a 1/4’’ seam allowance. Press the seam open.


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5. Re-fold the binding wrong sides together. Finish sewing the binding in place so it goes all the way around the wallet.


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6. Flip the wallet over.

Push the d-ring tabs through a d-ring and attach the ends to the center of the wallet (just above the vinyl pocket. (see above)

Place the snap tab piece against the vinyl pocket, centered with the raw edges aligned and the snap facing up (see above). Stitch the end of the pocket in place 1/8’’ x 1/4’’ from the edge.


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7. Wrap the binding around to the outside of the wallet – over the snap tab and d-ring tabs (if any).


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8. Sew the binding down, all the way around, close to the fold.


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9. Wrap the snap tab around to help you mark the placement of the other snap piece.

Install the snap according to the manufacturer’s instructions (or like I did here – no extra interfacing is needed).


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The back of the snap will be inside the wallet – underneath the card pockets. If it bothers you, cut a circle of fabric or felt and glue it over the parts to cover them up.


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Use the snap press to install a plastic snap to keep the vinyl pocket closed. First install one half of the snap on the vinyl binding (centered). Then mark the correct spot and install the other half of the snap.


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And it’s done! Make sure you snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @sewcanshe so I can see!

If you love sewing wallets you’ll also love the sweet projects on my Crafty Little Things to Sew page.

Happy Sewing!


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p.s. This free pattern is included in my Ultimate List of Fast and Easy Tote Bags to Sew and Fast & Easy Cross Body Bag Patterns. Check them out!

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Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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34 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this pattern! I love it!!

  2. Ann Zeman says:

    Thanks for putting together another excellent tutorial. If you work on a Mac, it’s super easy to get to a view of web pages without ads. While you’re on the web pages, just go to "view" in the toolbar at the top left of your screen, and select "show reader". Instantly you’ll have an ad-free view of the web pages that you can read, print, or save. When you want to exit the reader view, go back up to the "view" menu and select "hide reader". By the way, a great way to save these tutorials for future use is to save them as PDFs in a folder instead of printing them. You save a lot of paper!

  3. Wow Carolyn, I love all the pictures and detail you have included in this pattern. Do you have a link to the swivel clips you used and some info on sewing the strap?

  4. thank-you for the pattern and instructions for downloading without the ads. I can not download without the ads. It might be me and my new computer. I found the green button but still getting the ads.

  5. Such a darling little wallet! I want to make one for my granddaughter. Thank you for the great design!

  6. Thank you so much for this pattern. I have been looking for a wallet pattern that includes a place for my cell phone. I will put the D rings on it so that I can carry it as a small handbag. Thank you again. I am looking forward to making this.

  7. Lovely wallet! Now you’re doing the studio chats…..how about some video tutorials!! I’d love to see this wallet go together, it would be awesome! Sally

  8. Lois Oberg says:

    Are the directions for the purse strap found in another post?

  9. Sheila Brown says:

    Are those extra long snaps?

  10. Amy Fratto says:

    Made this today. I need some practice, but pretty happy with how well it came out! Thank you for a great tutorial that allowed me to make a wallet that was exactly what I was looking for!

  11. ninjaturtlemom says:

    Awesome little wallet…perfect for a thousand purposes. Immaculate tutorial instructions. Way to go, Caroline!

  12. Nancy Southard says:

    What is your policy on people selling items made from your patterns? I made this for my daughter. A co-worker saw it and wants me to make her one.

  13. I just made me one. I increased the size a little to accommodate my sunglasses in the inside pocket. I absolutely love it. Thank you for sharing this pattern.

  14. Jennifer O. says:

    Thank you for this pattern!
    I’ve made three so far, and aside from the binding (it’s my first time using it, and I clearly need practice, especially around the curves!), the wallets came out pretty good.

  15. Christine says:

    Wow this wallet pattern is amazing! I’m in the middle of my first one and am so excited to use it and show it off. Thanks so much for sharing your talent!!!

  16. Love this wallet tutorial. Each step is thoroughly explained, and I’m halfway finished with my first one. I do have one question though. I’m assembling the wallet and having a hard time advancing the wallet as I sew on the vinyl pocket. Any suggestions for how to do this without tearing up the vinyl? I’ve tried to sew from both sides, but the fabric is difficult to even pull along. Many thanks for the help.

    Dianne

  17. The first one I made I followed the directions to a T. It came out very well..
    I tweeked the second one .I found the strap too thin for me and uncomfortable on my shoulder. Pus it wouldn’t stay on my shoulder. I solved this by making it a bit wider and used a soft piece of foam wrapped in thin batting at the shoulder hold placement.I found it much more comfortable to wear. Since I have Fibro I need to be careful not to wear anything that will cause pain.
    I also replaced the vinyl with a nice stretch mesh. This works much better than the stiff vinyl. The mesh actually forms to what you put in the pocket.
    I also included a small pocket for my key to my cabin using a doll zipper. This way I can have my cabin keys with me if I should go to the cabin instead of going home. I found it very handy!
    I am making several more as Christmas gifts and have found the thin strap is great for the younger grand daughters and great grand daughters where as the wide strap and mesh will be for my senior friends.
    Love this pattern and will be busy making these!

  18. I have made approximately 25 of these and EVERYONE loves them. Each time I give one away, someone sees it and asks if they can have one too. During COVID precautions, it’s perfect because you don’t have to dig through a purse, contaminating everything in your purses.

  19. Marsha White says:

    I love it! Is there a way to make it RFID safe?

  20. I love this but can’t seem to find the pattern for the perfect wallet. It looks amazing and I would like to try one to see if my granddaughters would like one also.

  21. Darlene W says:

    First I want to tell you how much I love your patterns and your thorough tutorials Caroline. I finally finished this wallet for a dear friend yesterday. My workmanship on it turned out near perfect which made me very pleased because I was planning on gifting it to a close friend for Christmas. The only thing that kind of marred it was the magnetic snap on the tab. I followed the instructions for the distancing of the snap magnet according to its size but it was too far down the tab. After the wallet was completed there was barely enough distance for the snap to meet the front of the wallet to close!! I was so upset after all the work I put into it. Picking the binding apart to get to the tab was not an option since I knew that I would end up putting more holes in the vinyl to redo it and I just didn’t have the heart or energy to fix it at this late stage. Despite the extra padding I used to support the back of the magnet inside the tab it still pulled the back of the tab from the front too much when both parts were clicked together. I think if I were to attempt to make another wallet for myself I would change the closure to one of the following: an elastic loop and button with no tab, make a button hole on the tab and secure it with a button or just use bias ties for securing the bottom of the wallet. I hope my feedback experience will help you with your future designs and improvements of those crafty wallet and purses.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I don’t have vinyl, could I use sheet protector material instead?

  23. Ann Rogers says:

    Loved making this. Was surprised how easy it was. Thank you,

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