How to make an RFID blocking wallet

Written by grace grimm
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How to make an RFID blocking wallet
Make an RFID blocking wallet out of duct tape and aluminium foil. (Duncan_Andison/iStock/Getty Images)

Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are appearing more and more frequently on our belongings, embedded in passports and credit cards and taking the place of barcodes on consumer products. Some people have concerns about the privacy issues posed by the tags, but any conductive material will shield an RFID tag and prevent it from being read without your knowledge. A simple wallet constructed out of laminated aluminium foil will keep your personal information in your wallet where it belongs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Aluminium foil
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

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  1. 1

    Cut a rectangle out of aluminium foil that's approximately 20 by 22 cm (8 by 9 inches). Rip 22 cm (8 inch) long strips of duct tape from the roll and cover one side of the rectangle of aluminium foil with slightly overlapping strips of tape. Trim the rectangle of foil and tape down to exactly 17 by 21 cm (6 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches).

  2. 2

    Unroll the duct tape, and then mark the tape at 21 cm (8 1/2 inches) and fold the tape in half so that the raw end of the tape is even with the mark. Line up the two halves so that no sticky parts are visible. Cut the tape at the mark where the two halves meet. Repeat until you have six strips of tape with no sticky sides. Trim the raw edge of each strip to 10 cm (4 inches) in length.

  3. 3

    Take three of the strips and layer them on top of each other so that each strip covers all but the top 1 cm (1/3 inch) of the long edge of the strip underneath. Secure them with a small piece of tape on the back. Repeat for the other three strips. On both three-section strips, fold apart the first and second strips and line the bottom with a small piece of tape a small piece of tape to prevent cards from sticking to the bottom of the seam. Repeat this between the second and third strips for both sections.

  4. 4

    Fold the large sheet of foil and tape you created earlier longways, with one half of the fold 1 cm (1/3 inch) longer than the other half. Fold the sheet so that the foil is on the inside. Place one row of credit card pockets along the left edge of the folded sheet. Cut an 11 cm (4 1/2 inch) long piece of duct tape and lay it on top of the left edge of the sheet, overlapping the sheet and credit card pockets by about 1 cm (1/3 inch). Fold the rest of the piece of tape over on to the outside of the wallet and trim the edges. Do the same for the other row of pockets on the right edge of the wallet.

  5. 5

    With the credit card pockets side of the wallet facing you, cut a 10 cm (4 inch) length of duct tape and place it in the centre of the wallet so it overlaps the inside edges of both rows of pockets. Fold the bottom of the new piece of tape over on to the outside of the wallet, and the top of the piece into the inside of the billfold.

  6. 6

    Cut a 24 cm (9 1/2 inches) length of duct tape and place it across the bottom 2 cm (2/3 inch) of your wallet to seal the bottoms of the credit card pockets. Fold the rest of the piece over onto the outside of the wallet. Trim as necessary. Make a small cut at both corners of each credit card pocket so they will slide easily in and out. Cover any exposed sticky edges with more tape.

Tips and warnings

  • Use any colour, or multiple colours, of duct tape to personalise your wallet.

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