Recently, an old friend got in touch and said he wanted to get a new wallet. Brenn wasn’t interested in the same flap of leather or cloth that we’ve all been using for a few decades. Instead, he was interested in a simple flat wallet similar to something seen online. Simple and flat are things I regularly enjoy making with the laser, so we took his existing design ideas and iterated quite a few times to determine how best to make a wallet out of two pieces of material and a rubber band nicked from Etsy credit card reader promotional material.
We started with 1/8″ thick bamboo and later 1/16″ bamboo. The thicker bamboo was just a little too much overall thickness for the style Brenn was looking for. We adjusted the upper “manila folder tab” several times to make it easier for fingers to reach the credit cards nested inside. We knew there would be a rubber band holding the two sides together, so we added some engraved text that would go underneath the rubber band with extra details about the owner in case the wallet got lost and his ID wasn’t present.
The biggest change while iterating happened when he on a whim asked if the design would change much if made from acrylic rather than bamboo. We immediately recognized the functional value of the change: his credit cards had much less friction against their container and were easier to remove from the acrylic version. While it didn’t have the same renewable appeal that bamboo brings, the easier use sealed the deal.
I’m giving him a few weeks to play with his new wallet. If things work out for him, I could see myself ditching the giant leather wallet that has been denting my right cheek for years. Sorry for making you a guinea pig, Brenn!