Looking for a fun and somewhat painless belated Christmas present to give to a friend or loved one? Do you want to create something you could use for the rest of your life? Are you horrible at arts and crafts but wish you could disprove this harsh reality? Well then I’ve got the perfect project for you! Here’s how to make a bicycle tire tube wallet.
Obligatory Disclaimer: I begrudgingly must give credit where credit is due. I did not develop the idea of the bicycle tire tube wallet. The credit for this item must go to my friend, Joseph Penner, a fellow cyclist and owner of the coffee delivery by bicycle business, ‘Steel Bridge Coffee.’ Check out my Mount Hood Wilderness entry to see the man behind the design in action, or visit his website, http://www.steelbridgecoffee.com/, to learn more about his excellent coffee.
1) A 40c or larger tire tube
2) A 25c-35c tire tube
3) Sewing needles (about six)
4) Heavy fabric thread
6) Pliers (optional – for pulling the needles out of the rubber… it’s harder than you might think)
4 Steps for Making a Bicycle Tire Tube Wallet
Step 1: Cut the tubes to the appropriate length
Instead of providing specific measurements, I decided to simply take out my own wallet and measure approximately how large these custom wallets should be. The main compartment for my wallets used a 40c tire tube. I simply cut it in half and use the entire tube for the front and back of my wallets.
Step 2: Size the card compartments to the main wallet compartment
The card compartments need to be cut to taste as well. I used the 25-35c tire tubes for this. After fitting the first two on a main compartment flap, I pinned them in place using the extra needles.
*Important Note: Whichever side is going to have two card compartments needs to have the upper compartment sewn on first, AND needs to be slightly smaller than the lower compartment so that the lower compartment can be sewn on the outside of the upper compartment. Leave space on the side of your main compartment flap so that you can sew the lower card compartment on without running out of space!
Step 3: Pin and begin sewing the card compartments
The card compartments must be sewn on before sewing the main wallet compartment; otherwise the main compartment will be in your way as you sew the card compartments together.
Remember to leave space so that you can sew the lower compartment on the outside of the upper compartment.
Periodically check to make sure you cards adequately fit into the card compartments.
As you finish the compartments, you may find it necessary to cut excess rubber along the edge of the compartments, as I did.
Step 4: Pin and begin sewing the main wallet compartment
Pin the main compartment together and make sure everything lines up. I only left the side I’d start sewing on unpinned.
And here’s the finished product! After getting the hang of it with my first wallet, the second wallet took me about five hours to make, so sit down with a cup of tea and a gallon of patience, and get to work!