How to Make Your Own Travel Document Holder

Written by kelli nottingham
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How to Make Your Own Travel Document Holder
Keep your important travel documents together in a handy wallet. (map and others image by timur1970 from

Are you tired of losing your passport and plane tickets in your carry-on bag? Sew a stylish and practical travel document holder to hold all the papers you need to get to your destination. This wallet features a vertical fold and four horizontal pockets. Your papers are kept secure with a button and loop closure. Light padding inside the holder keeps your documents protected. This wallet can be made in an afternoon. Pick a fun fabric and start sewing!

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 13-inch tall by 44-inch wide piece of non-stretchy fabric, such as cotton broadcloth or silk
  • 10.5- by 11-inch piece of felt, any colour
  • Button, 5/8 inch to 1 inch wide
  • Hair elastic

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  1. 1

    Cut your fabric into the following sizes: Piece A (cut 2): 10.5 inches tall by 11 inches wide Piece B (cut 1): 13 inches tall by 11 inches wide Piece C (cut 1): 9 inches tall by 11 inches wide

  2. 2

    Fold piece B in half lengthwise (to make the piece 6.5 inches by 11 inches), and press the fold with your iron. Topstitch along the entire fold 1/8 inch from the edge. This will make the fold permanent. Repeat with piece C (to make the piece 4.5 inches by 11 inches).

  3. 3

    Lay one piece A, right side up, on your working surface. Layer piece B on top of A, with the lower 11-inch edges matching. Layer piece C the same way, on top of piece B, matching the lower edges. Pin in place. You should now have all three layers laid out with the lower 11-inch edges of all pieces lined up at the bottom.

  4. 4

    Starting on one side at the top of piece B, sew with a ½ inch seam allowance around the bottom and up the other side to the top of piece B, being sure to catch all layers together.

  5. 5

    The hair elastic will be sewn into the side seam to create a loop for the button closure. To do this, measure the halfway point of the right-hand edge of the piece A you just sewn. Place the hair elastic at this midpoint, halfway over the 1/2 inch seamline. The elastic should be touching the outer edge of piece A, with the rest of the elastic lying on top of the fabric of piece A. Pin in place and tack down, being careful to stay within the 1/2 inch seam allowance, so your tack stitches won't show later, after the side seam is sewn.

  6. 6

    Place the second piece A on top of the already sewn piece A, right sides together. Layer the felt on top of the second piece A, and pin through all layers.

  7. 7

    Starting at the bottom right-hand corner, stitch all layers together with a straight stitch. Sew around the corners by keeping the needle in the fabric, lifting the presser foot, and turning the fabric. Sew around all sides, leaving a 3-inch opening.

  8. 8

    Clip corners and seams, and turn right-side out through the 3-inch opening.

  9. 9

    Press all edge seams flat, and iron the open gap at the bottom as if it were sewn, with seam allowances folded inside. Topstitch all the way around the outside edges, being sure to securely close the open gap.

  10. 10

    Fold the right to the left side, creating a vertical fold down the middle of the wallet. Press the fold with your iron.

  11. 11

    Open the holder up, and straight stitch down the length of the vertical fold line you just created, so that the fold line will be permanent.

  12. 12

    Secure the button to the right side (when looking at the outside of the holder) so that the elastic holds the wallet shut.

Tips and warnings

  • This travel document holder is tall enough to hold an airline ticket and wide enough to hold a passport. If you have travel documents larger than these, you can adjust the size of the holder by cutting your fabric longer or wider.

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