DIY cell phone wallet


It’s confirmed: my cell phone is too slippery. In the sense that if my hands are full, guess which one item is going to be the one to fall? In the sense that it’s small and easily set somewhere forgettable. In the sense that it easily slides to the bottom of a bag.

Enter the ultra-functional carabiner. My wallet is already on one, and my keys as well. I attach them to things all the time: my belt loops so that my hands can be free to carry items to the car but still unlock it, my shopping bag straps, my travel luggage.

Having just returned home from traveling and digging through my carry-on luggage too much, worrying about dropping my cell phone in the toilet (forgetting it’s in my back pocket—and it is slippery, after all), and being inconvenienced to carry it those times when I didn’t even have pockets, yes. It needs a way to be attached to something. You might be thinking, There’s an invention for this problem already, and guess what? It can hold your sunglasses, too! But I’m just not one who is likely to carry a handbag. I want something that can be slipped into my back pocket still.

On a normal day, I’m not attached at the hip to my phone. While traveling for business though, I use it often and want frequent reassurances of its location. I’m about to leave the hotel for errands, do I have my phone? Did I leave it on the floor by the art installation?! I’m about to board a plane. I put my phone in here somewhere, right? [Digs through bag again.]

All this fumbling is just not in alignment with a life less cluttered :).

I looked at many options on Etsy, but didn’t really want to order one from so far away. You know, I wanted it resolved now. Thus was birthed my weekend project. I already own a set of Root Pouches in a grey felt material (recycled water bottles, etc.). They are intended for planting in, but I have only used one for that. The others are really convenient for taking items to the recycling center and even for shopping (I have less of a concern that someone will think I’m shoplifting with this open bucket bag compared to my shoulder sling ones!). I can spare one . . .

I found the rest of the materials at my local grocery store and got to it. The teal felt I picked up isn’t very durable, but at least it’s made from recycled bottles! I’m mostly using it as an accent color anyway. Luckily, felt doesn’t fray along the edges, making this a pretty easy project. Cut long strips of material, fold, sew up the sides. I wish I had taken nice DIY photos of the steps along the way, but the truth is I was deciding what I wanted throughout the process and making a mess. Some cases I’ve seen don’t close at the top; they are just an open sleeve. They look really sleek but I know I’ll want to toss it in my gym bag too without anything (ahem, like food crumbs) getting inside, so I opted to add a zipper to the top. It functions as my daily wallet now, combining two things into one (I made an inside pocket too). It would look nicer done with a sewing machine, but hey. I might add some colored thread to it yet—I picked up silver and a fun green—but overall: solved.