Leather Card Holders TUTORIAL {Made-for-Man}

I don’t know if you all noticed, but I sort of inadvertently started a little series (in my own mind) called Made for Man. It’s not a proper series (no guests, no schedule), but from now on every time I share a project made for a guy it will be tagged “Made for Man”. Eventually, I’ll put a button up so the man-projects will be easy to find. I mean, there really is not enough out there in the sewing world for men.

But who am I to talk? I promised my husband a quilt over a year ago and the squares are still sitting on my shelf. Umm, OOPS.

In the meantime, I have been making my husband things out of leather, and leather is manly, right? That counts for something! Last week, I showed you the zip pouches, and this week I get to show you these:

These leather card holders were the simplest project I’ve done to date. Read to the bottom of this post for simple instructions on how to make your own!

I actually made one for my husband (brown), one for me (green), and one for Hudson (red and yellow).   I use mine for business cards, Hudson uses his to collect treasures, and Brian uses his for cards and cash.

I’m reeeeally excited, because I actually got him to model for me! Too bad it’s a product shot and his handsome head is cut off.

(Card pictured is an expired gift card from years ago, so NO, you can’t copy the number and steal a million bucks. I wish I had a million bucks.)

I love this picture a million times a million:

Abby felt the need to jump in with her blankie and a honey stick, wearing her Geranium Dress, of course.

Hudson’s card holder was supposed to be a secret until Valentine’s Day, but he found it and didn’t want to miss out on the photo shoot:

Hudson doesn’t use his for cards, obviously. He call it his adventure wallet. I love that! Inside there he has a magnifying glass, and a stick. There’s probably a bug crawling around in there, too, but I don’t want to know about that. I just don’t want to know, people.

So there you have it. A quick and simple project, made of leather, for the men in your life. Or yourself.

Here’s a quick diagram of how I made these card holders. It’s the simplest thing EVER:

A close-up of my templates:

Obviously, these are rough sketches. I wanted to make this a free download, but with Abby’s 3rd birthday approaching (how is it possible??), it wasn’t realistic. Hopefully, these pictures are enough to help you on your way to making your own leather card holder.

A few notes on using leather for this project:

  1. Leather sources: I bought this leather from a seller on Etsy, and last I checked there was still some available. It took over a month to arrive (from Beligium, I think?), but it is GORGEOUS. I was surprised by how much leather came in the package, and the variety. I love each and every piece. If you don’t want to order leather and wait a month for it to arrive, check your local craft store. I’ve purchased leather scraps from Joanne’s Fabric and Crafts, in the jewelry section near all the masks. You can also purchase genuine leather purses from the thrift store and cut them up, although I find this to be messy and less than satisfying. Or, you can use vinyl or pleather. Just make sure both sides of the leather are nice-looking
  2. Stitching the leather on your machine: Use a leather needle and heavy duty thread for this project. For a cleaner look, I also increased my stitch length and tied off at the beginning and end, rather than backstitching. The leather kind of stuck to my presser foot, so I advise using a walking foot if you have difficulty with your regular one.
  3. In the photo above I specify using a 1/8″ seam allowance. You may have to trim the leather if your pieces shift while sewing, so don’t let the seam allowance get too small. The good thing about leather is, no fraying!
As always, thanks for reading CailaMade, and happy sewing! I’d love to know if you try this project, and how it turns out. You can add it to my Flickr group and make my day!
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below, or send me an email. Thanks for reading!

P.S. After writing this post, I realized I haven’t shared any sewn kids clothes for over a month. Um, awkward. Aren’t I supposed to be a kids clothes blogger? All I can tell you is, I did go through a dry spell for awhile, but I’m finally sewing for my kids again. Some of those projects should be up this week. I’m looking forward to sharing!


  1. says

    Very cool. I like this alot! When I bought my ruffling foot as part of a Home Décor set it came with a leather foot, which has a roller on the front, when I make one of these for me. My wallet is too bulky to fit in my pockets and I have a hard time keeping track of everything when I am just going on a walk with the kids to the grocery store, which requires very little.

  2. says

    Super super cute! I think one of my fabric stores has a bin of leather scraps; I’ll need to rifle through it. Seriously Caila, these are the types of things you’d pay $20 for at J.Crew, you know? Awesome.

  3. says

    I love a good unisex and grown-uppy pattern. I’m always on the lookout for things for teens and adult gifts and this is perfect.

  4. Barbara Martin says

    My husband used to get paper card holders from the bank – but they don’t have them any more. I found one in a drawer a while back and he was so happy. I never thought of making one. He uses them to keep his cards from being damaged in his wallet, so I think I will make them out of something lighter than leather, but what an awesome idea. Thanks.