How to make a passport holder

Written by joanne thomas
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A fabric holder for a passport can be made with basic sewing skills and a small amount of fabric. It will protect your passport from damage, and you can personalise it with your choice of fabric. This method makes a simple envelope style passport holder, with two side flaps that the sides of the cover of the passport are tucked into, and allows a little extra room for the passport to open flat.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine or sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Piece of thin paper
  • Iron

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  1. 1

    Draw a rectangle 12 inches wide and 6 inches tall on a thin piece of paper using a ruler and pencil. Cut it out with scissors. This is the template for your fabric passport holder.

  2. 2

    Pin the template around its circumference to two layers of fabric and cut around the edges through both layers. You now have two identical 12 by 6 inch rectangles which you can press if necessary.

  3. 3

    Pin the two rectangles of fabric together with the right sides facing.

  4. 4

    Machine or hand sew the pieces together ¼ inch from the outside edges, stopping about 2 or 3 inches from the end of one of the short sides of the rectangle.

  5. 5

    Trim the four corners diagonally, close to the stitches but not through them. This prevents the excess fabric from making the corners of the rectangle bulky.

  6. 6

    Turn the piece inside out from the small gap you left, and use a knitting needle or something similar to poke the corners into shape. Press the shape, carefully smoothing out the seams with your fingers. It should measure 11.5 inches by 5.5 inches.

  7. 7

    Hand-sew the gap you left, tucking the raw edges of the fabric inside the rectangle, and press again.

  8. 8

    Take one short side of the rectangle and fold it towards the middle, overlapping by 2 inches. Pin at the top edge and bottom edge of the overlapping sections. Repeat with the other side.

  9. 9

    Sew the top and bottom seams of the 2 inch overlapping sides ¼ inch from the outside edges. Diagonally trim the four outer corners of the resulting rectangle shape.

  10. 10

    Turn the side flaps inside out so there are no visible seams to the passport holder. The side flaps that are used for tucking the two cover pages of your passport into are finished, but the middle section will have a ¼" fold of fabric at the top and bottom.

  11. 11

    Press the two folds of fabric to the inside of the passport holder, giving a neat, straight edge to the top and bottom seams.

  12. 12

    Pin and machine sew this middle-section seam. Trim any loose ends of thread, and your passport holder is finished.

Tips and warnings

  • The passport holder can be embellished with embroidery or applique, for example a monogram or travel-themed motifs.
  • If using patterned fabric, position the paper pattern so that the pattern or motifs are the right way around.
  • You can use contrasting fabrics for the inside and outside of the passport holder.
  • Don't trim the corners too close to the stitching, especially if the fabric you have chosen frays easily.

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