January 3, 2013

DIY Wallet for Cash Envelope System Budgeting {Tutorial}


A good friend of mine has made a New Year's resolution to make a budget and conquer debt using the Dave Ramsey Envelope System.  Basically you create categories for your spending, such as groceries, gas, clothing and entertainment, and then spend from the appropriate envelope.  When it's gone, it's gone.   It's a good system.

I decided to sew her a pretty little wallet with pockets for each category so that she wouldn't have to carry a stack of white paper envelopes around in her purse.

It has six zippered pouches so that she can designate an envelope for each budget category, fill it with the appropriate amount of cash on pay day, and spend accordingly.


Each pouch has a tab at the top that she can write on to label each category.


And it has card slots at the back for debit cards and whatnot.


To make one you will need some fabric scraps and thread, a button, a small piece of thin elastic for the closure, and 6 seven inch zippers.  


The zippered envelopes
To make six zippered envelopes we will make three larger square pockets with zippers down each side so that when sewn into the wallet like pages each "page" will make 2 envelopes.


Start by cutting six 8x8" squares of fabric.  Sew one side of a zipper, face down on the printed side of the fabric, to one edge of the square. Repeat on the opposing edge with another zipper.


Now you'll have something that looks like this.


Place another one of the 8x8" squares face down and sew it's edges to the other edge of each zipper, creating a sort of sleeve or tube or fabric and zippers.


Now make your label tabs by cutting 6 2x2" squares of white fabric.  Fold each square in half and stitch up the sides.




Turn tabs right side out so that you have something like this.


Pin two of the tabs with their raw edges facing out to the top edges of the zippered envelope.



Then stitch along the two open edges of your 8 inch squares using a 3/8" seam allowance. Make sure you leave the zippers open so you can turn the square right side out after sewing!

If all that made any sense you'll have something that looks like this.


Repeat the process to make 2 more of these.

The Wallet Cover
The cover of the wallet is a much simpler process.  Start with two 9x10" squares of fabric.


Place them together, good sides facing in, and sew 3/8" from the edge.  Leave a section open on one side so you can turn it right side out.


 Turn it right side out, iron it smooth, and top stitch all the way around, close to the edge. 


The Card Slots and Back Inside Pocket.
Cut seven 4x9" strips of fabric.

Sew two of them together, right sides together, leaving part of one long side open so that you can turn it right side out.   Use a 3/8" seam allowance again.


Turn it right side out and iron it. Stitch the open spot closed. This will be a simple pocket on the inside back of the wallet.  Put it aside for now.
 

Take three of the 4x9" strips and fold them in half lengthwise and press.  Like this.


Top stitch along the folded edge of each strip.


One of the remaining 4x9" strips will be a backing piece for your card slots.  Lay the backing piece down, printed side up, and lay the strips you just made on it, spacing them out like so.  The bottom edge of the lowest strip should line up with the bottom edge of the backing piece underneath.


Pin and sew down the center.


Now pull back the strips and sew the bottoms of each strip to the backing piece one at a time.  This will keep your debit cards from  falling down too low in their pocket.  I forgot this step the first time and had to rip out a ton of stitches and do it.


Take the last remaining 4x9" strip and place it over the whole thing and sew it, leaving a space open so that you can turn it.  Use a 3/8" seam allowance again.



Turn right side out and press. Stitch the open spot closed.



Put a debit card in one of the slots on each side of the center line to measure how wide the slots need to be.   Sew a line down each edge at the appropriate spot so that cards fit tightly enough that they don't fall out.


Putting it All Together
Okay...you've made all of the elements, all you have left to do is sew them together!  Pin your card holder and your back pocket to the inside of the wallet cover, like this.


Then sew into place by stitching on top of the top stitching you made earlier when you made the wallet cover.



Slip a small loop of elastic in between the cover and the back pocket as you sew.  This will be a part of the wallet closure.


Stack the three envelope pieces you made earlier on top of each other and pin and sew down the center of the wallet cover, like pages in a book.


And add a big fabulous chunky button to the front for your elastic loop to hold on to.


There you go. One New Year's resolution made pretty!




My friend doesn't know I've made this for her, (unless she, you know, reads this blog post...) but I do hope she loves it!

Thanks so much for visiting The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking.  Please take a moment to "like" me on facebook or follow me on Twitter!

64 comments:

  1. i made me a "wallet" using envelopes and tying them all together with ribbon. this is so much better!!! thank you for sharing!!

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  2. Ack! I made another type of fabric envelopes just last week and I like this one SOOOOO much better. I may have to redo mine. Thanks for the idea!

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  3. you should sell these. im not talented with sewing and need this!

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  4. oh my word I am droooooling over this! I really wish I knew how to sew! I can't even sew a button on something :-( We just started our Dave Ramsey journey and I could really use this instead of my crappy, boring envelopes that are going to get torn up in my purse :-(

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  5. This is awesome! You are such a thoughtful friend! Not only is it functional, but is gorgeous too! I can't wait to try my hand at making this... thanks for sharing your genius with the rest of us.

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  6. The wallet is awesome, great tutorial.

    What you forgot to include in the tutorial is what kind of magic tricks you used to keep your 6 little ones at bay while you did this - and also what you put in your coffee to keep yourself functional enough to sew zippers? :)

    Super impressive, on all fronts! :)

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  7. I love this idea but there's no way I'd be able to make it :( Really wish you would sell these! I'd definitely buy one.

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  8. I really, really, really would like to buy one of these from you! Please, please offer a few for sale! I love the exact colors that you used for this one.

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  9. Love this !!! I was going to make one for my sister for Christmas because she uses the jar system and I thought this would help her out alot lol! Glad I didn't make it on time, this looks so much easier than another one that I had found! Thanks again!

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  10. Cute wallet. If I was making it I'd alternate the zippers so there were not all bunched up at one end.

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    Replies
    1. That's a great idea Wendy! If I make another one, I think I'll try that :)

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  11. WOW! SO much nicer than the plain white envelopes! Gorgeous, love it! You are a very talented woman.

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  12. I don't use a cash system but could still see me totally using this in so many ways for a great functional wallet. A pocket for each of the kids pocket money, pocket for reciepts, pocket for coupons that collect while don't have my binder....... LOVE IT!

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  13. What a lovely thoughtful and useful gift, your friend will be delighted.

    Sue xx

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  14. Nice job Kelly! I know A will love it. Almost makes me wish I could sew :)

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  15. Great tutorial and idea. Definitely making this and purposing to use it. Enjoy your blog. God Bless. Karen

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  16. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I have been wanting to make one of these, but couldn't quite get the idea to come together in my head.

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  17. I absolutely LOVE this idea! My husband and I are trying to use cash envelopes to budget but I feel so weird carrying around paper envelopes. This is such a perfect idea! I don't really know how to sew, but I have to learn someday. This is the perfect project to work on. Thanks so much!

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  18. You are AMAZING. What a sweet and perfect gift. How did you do this with 6 children in your house?! I'm going to share it as I have several friends who love Dave Ramsey!

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  19. Put me in the category of can't sew. I once had a hole in my pants and used a stapler to fix it...no I'm not kidding. If you ever decide to sell some of these I'll be in line to buy.

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  20. I love this idea. I made pretty card stock cash envelopes but nothing as cool as this. I need something pretty like the card stock I picked or fabric like you did to follow through. I am going to have to try this sometime. Love all the creative ideas!

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  21. LOVE it! I could never make it, but I love it. :)

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  22. Love this! Pinned it for when I get my sewing machine fixed.

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  23. That is SO CUTE! Kinda want to make one for myself now :-)

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  24. So cool! You are such a great friend! It will be so much easier for your friend to stick to her budgeting system when she has something so cute to use! Loving your blog by the way.

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  25. How is it that you get this stuff done with six kids??? I bow to your organizational skills.

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  26. Yes - you should make some and sell them! I would buy one from you:)

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  27. You are a sewing genius! Love the fabrics you used.

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  28. hata agreat idea - thnk you for sharing this unique way to budget - I only have one question - will you make one for me? :) I cannot for the life of me sew~
    Autumn

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  29. Ha ha, I love the American money.

    A very cute idea! I did the envelope thing for a while (should do again) and hated pulling out my tobacco tin in the grocery store.

    Talented lady, you are, and your tutorials are really clear. I'm not much of a sewer, and although I had help from my mom, I just made your baby bunting bag for car seats last week and it's fantastic! My baby boy is super-cosy in there.(I'm pretty sure I could have done it without her help too.)

    Are some of those Basic Grey fabrics? I think I have/had some paper with those patterns. Where do you find awesome fabric for reasonable prices? Every time I try to look online, I can't bear to pay the $20 upwards per yard they charge.

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    Replies
    1. I buy some fabrics online at fabric.com And I scour the discount and remnant bins at my local fabric store. And sometimes I just splurge and buy a small piece of pricey fabric that makes my heart swoon :)

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    2. I just bought a 5 piece bundle of fat quarters today at Hobby Lobby and was wondering what to do with them. This sounds perfect. It was $9.99 but showed my 40% off coupon on Hobby Lobby app on my phone and got it for 5 something.

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  30. Love, Love, Love this!! We've given up supermarket shopping for a year http://bit.ly/TILx7h and therefore get 50 pounds cash out (our weekly budget) when we go to the market and the deli, however I always have other money in my wallet so it gets a bit confusing so..... this will really help and is so pretty! Thank you so much for sharing love Becksie x

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  31. Thank you! I am a new reader and am so happy to have found your blog. We have been doing the envelope system for 4 years and it has changed our lives. I am going to make this wallet so I no longer have to dig for the right envelope at the store.

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  32. This is GENIUS! Thank you for posting.

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  33. I would SO buy this from you if you decide to sell them!!! : )

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  34. Here's another request to buy one -- love the idea, don't have the time or skill to make one! :-)

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  35. Hi Kelly,
    I am curious where you buy all the zippers. We only have a hobby lobby here and they sure can be pricey. Any tips?

    Thanks. :)

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    Replies
    1. I bought mine at a local fabric store and paid 1.39 each. But I've since found this etsy shop, they have way better prices! http://www.etsy.com/shop/zipit

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    2. I got mine for sixty-eight cents a piece at a thrift store!

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  36. I don't have the skill but I would purchase one!! Let me know if you decide to do so :)

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  37. Amanda, a friend of yours gave me this link so that I could find the perfect little budgeting wallet you made for her. I did find it and quickly glanced at how it was made then went on to spend hours reading through your blogs! I am SO inspired by all your wonderful and practical ideas and excited to put some of these tips into place in my home. I just don't know where to start!!

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  38. Great Idea! just sent this to my friend that is doing the envelope system. I just might be swayed to do the same with this sort of organization! Love it. (and love your blog... will be subscribing!)

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  39. Just perfect.
    Very inspiring for us crafters.
    Go on like this.
    Greetings from snowy Europe!

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  40. What a lovely way to accommodate budgeting!

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  41. Kelly, I have enjoyed this tutorial so much! I made one for myself, then I made 10 for my church's budgeting class and they're just beautiful! Now my sister-in-law wants one. They're such a great alternative to paper envelopes!

    Could I list some in my etsy shop, or is this tutorial for personal use only?

    Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. hi there! I am making some to sell in my own etsy shop. But I think it's fine if you are "inspired" by this tutorial and create something similar.

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    2. Did you open an etsy shop? i would love to buy one of these wallets from you!

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    3. Hi Anonymous! I'm still planning to open an etsy shop, but I'm not quite ready yet (life is hectic these days!) Sorry.

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  42. I absolutely love your blog! So many wonderful ideas! Can't wait to make this!!! YOU ROCK!!! Thank you!!

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  43. I absolutely love your blog! I'd never heard of this money budgeting system and after researching it, I intend to implement it as soon as I move off to college. Just finished making my wallet today! Although it didn't turn out quite perfectly, I love all its imperfections :)

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  44. I love your tutorial...i'm fairly good with a sewing machine and this is exactly what I was looking for! I whipped it up in a few hours and live it, it has helped me immensely with separating my cash and now I'm making one for my mom who has always used a cash budget but didn't know such things existed... thanks again!!

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  45. Hi Kelly,
    I just wanted to say a huge "Thank You" for this generous tutorial! I just made my own and I absolutely love it.

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  46. I am a beginner and was intimidated by this project, so it sat on my to-do list for months, but it's so fabulous that I finally went for it, and it wasn't so hard after all. I love your burlap-with-stripe cover idea. I decided I didn't want the tabs and used different colored zippers instead. Thank you!

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  47. Prior to finding this, I spent a half hour staring at a picture of a wallet online, trying to figure out how to make it. Your tutorial is fantastic. We just recently started to use the envelope system and I always feel awkward pulling out and shuffling my little rubber banded, scribbled upon envelopes to pay for stuff. This is great, thanks for putting it together.

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  48. Thanks so much for the tutorial. This is my first pinterest sewing project actually completed. I made it with some cute craft remnants. I interfaced the cover and did alternate one set of zippers. I may end up needing to staystich the zippers. Turned out great, got all my stuff in there and can't wait to use it.

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  49. I just made this for a friend. I LOVE it! I'm making myself one tomorrow!

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  50. Awesome tutorial. Just made one for myself from a bunch of left over quarters from a set. Beautiful new wallet to start my envelope journey with. I did alter a couple of things on mine; used a magnetic snap closure and fabric strap rather than elsastic and also used heavy interfacing on the outside (both for structure and for support for the magnetic strap. Thank you for sharing your talent!!

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  51. Buy wallets online
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  52. I tried this myself and it actually turned out ok! I was pretty pleased with myself! Yours turned out much better though. Thanks for the tutorial!

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