Reuse: How to Make the Sustainable DIY Wallet

Reuse: How to Make the Sustainable DIY Wallet

Reuse: How to Make the Sustainable DIY Wallet

Over 7,000 magazines, covering everything from fashion to sports to politics, are currently circulating in the US alone. They all have one thing in common: their contribution to global paper waste.

Any easy way to reduce your footprint? Transform the magazines lying around your house into more useful items; namely, a wallet. This might seem a little far-fetched (“won’t it just rip apart if it’s made of paper?”), but if you follow the simple steps below you’ll have a unique, long-lasting, and sustainable piece ready to hold all your daily necessities.

What You’ll Need:

  • A Magazine
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • A Heavy Object 

Step One:

First thing’s first, you’ll need to figure out your color scheme. The magazine I used was a spring edition of Better Home and Gardens, featuring ample flowers and greenery that drew me to green and pink. Keep in mind that you can easily use pages with different colors on them, either embracing the difference or hiding an out of place color during plaiting or weaving.

Step Two:

Then it’s time to start picking pages out that you want to use in your wallet, about 12 total. To make removing the pages easier, I’d recommend taking apart the binding. My magazine was glued together, so I took off the outer cover and tore the pages apart from the glued edge. If a page rips, you can tape it back together or cut off the torn area.

Step Three:

Once you’ve chosen your pages, divide them into two even groups. Cut the pages of the first group in half vertically and the second group into four, even, horizontal sections.

A few tricks for anyone who, like me, isn’t the best at cutting anything into a straight line: fold the page and use the crease(s) as a guide for the scissor. You can also use your ruler to measure across the page for the center or down for four even sections, mark it with a pencil, and cut along the line(s).

Step Four:

Next, it’s time to plait. This step is the most time consuming, but also the most important: by folding the pieces into themselves, you’re making a stronger wallet. This technique combines accordion-style folding and rolling.

Make sure that the side of the page you don’t want to show is facing upwards and fold the page in on itself twice so that you have a small roll. Fold accordion style until you’re on the last bit of page and, once you’re nearing the end, roll it once or twice so the piece is secure. If there is any extra paper, fold it into the strip. Place each completed piece under a heavy object to flatten out while you make more.

Step Five:

Now the fun begins. Organize the long strips the way that you want them to appear once the wallet is completed. I organized mine so that no two strips from the same page were next to each other. Tape them down in a row, making sure to leave a little space in between for the short pieces to weave through. If the short pieces appear too short, you can eliminate one or two of your long pieces or move them closer together. Tape the long pieces down in place.

Step Six:

Once the long pieces are taped down on both sides, it’s time to start weaving! Begin weaving the short pieces through the long ones, making sure to start about a thumb’s length away from the left edge of the long pieces. Alternate putting the short pieces over and under the long pieces until they’ve formed a lattice. Use all of your short pieces here and make sure they are as close together as possible.

Step Seven:

Take the tape off of the sides of your lattice. Don’t worry if it takes off some of the magazine, you’ll be cutting this part off later. Next, you’re going to use the hot glue gun to glue down all of the pieces around the edges to ensure your lattice is secure. Make sure you get all of the sides, then cut the excess length off to form an even rectangle.


Step Eight:

Place the lattice in front of you so that the long side is parallel to you. Fold the rectangle up so that the top of the bottom half almost reaches the top of the other half but not quite. Glue the edges together: this is your wallet’s pocket. For extra stability, you can glue the crease at the bottom of your wallet.

Step Nine:

Fold it in half and there you go: your magazine wallet is ready!


What are your DIY goals? Comment below to let us know and we may feature a tutorial on it next time!

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