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How To Make A Leather Card Holder


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Callida Arruda



Welcome to this step-by-step guide on how to make a leather card holder. This stylish accessory is not only practical but also adds a touch of elegance to your everyday life. Whether you’re someone who frequently travels or simply wants to keep your essential cards organized, this DIY project is perfect for you.


In this article, I will walk you through the process of creating your very own leather card holder. From the materials you need to the detailed steps involved, you’ll have all the information necessary to craft a beautiful and functional accessory. So, let’s dive in and unleash your creativity!


Before we get started, it’s worth mentioning that this project requires some basic leatherworking skills. However, don’t let that deter you if you’re new to working with leather. With a little patience and practice, you’ll soon become familiar with the techniques involved.


The materials needed for this project are relatively simple and can be easily sourced. You will need:

  • A piece of leather
  • Scissors or a utility knife
  • A leather hole punch
  • Waxed thread
  • A stitching needle
  • A ruler
  • Optional: Leather edge beveler and leather burnishing tool

Once you have gathered these materials, you’re ready to embark on your leather card holder-making journey. So, let’s move on to the first step: cutting the leather pieces.


Materials Needed

To make a leather card holder, you will need the following materials:

  • A piece of leather: Choose a high-quality leather that is not too thick or too thin. You can find leather at craft stores or online leather suppliers. Opt for a piece that is at least 8×5 inches in size to ensure there is enough material for the card holder.
  • Scissors or a utility knife: You’ll need a sharp pair of scissors or a utility knife to cut the leather to the required size and shape.
  • A leather hole punch: This tool is essential for creating holes in the leather for stitching. You can use a handheld leather hole punch or an awl, depending on your preference.
  • Waxed thread: Waxed thread is strong and durable, making it ideal for leatherworking projects. Choose a color that complements your leather for a visually appealing finished product.
  • A stitching needle: Look for a needle with a sharp point that will easily pass through the leather. Make sure the eye of the needle is large enough to accommodate the waxed thread.
  • A ruler: A ruler will help you measure and mark the leather accurately, ensuring precise cuts and stitching.
  • Optional: Leather edge beveler and leather burnishing tool: If you want to give your card holder a polished and professional look, these tools will come in handy. The edge beveler helps round off the edges of the leather, while the burnishing tool smooths and shines the edges.

These materials are easily accessible both online and in physical stores that sell leatherworking supplies. Once you have gathered all the necessary items, you are ready to start creating your own unique leather card holder. In the following sections, I will guide you through each step of the process, from cutting the leather pieces to adding the finishing touches.


Step 1: Cutting the Leather Pieces

The first step in making a leather card holder is cutting the leather pieces to the appropriate size. This will determine the overall dimensions and shape of your card holder. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Using a ruler, measure and mark the desired dimensions onto the piece of leather. Typically, a card holder is around 4×3 inches when folded, but you can adjust the size according to your preference.
  2. Using scissors or a utility knife, carefully cut along the marked lines. Take your time to ensure clean and straight cuts.
  3. Once you have cut out the main piece, you can also cut a smaller piece to serve as a pocket on the inside of the card holder. This pocket should be slightly smaller than the main piece, allowing for room to fold and stitch the edges.

It’s important to note that precision is key during this step. Accurate cutting will result in a neater final product, so take your time and double-check your measurements before making any cuts. If you make a mistake, don’t be disheartened – leather is forgiving and you can always trim off any uneven edges.


Remember to handle the leather with care, as it is a natural material that can scratch easily. Use a cutting mat or a piece of cardboard beneath the leather to protect your work surface and prolong the life of your cutting tools.


Once you have successfully cut out the leather pieces, you are ready to move on to the next step: punching holes for stitching.


Step 2: Punching Holes for Stitching

After cutting the leather pieces, the next step is to punch holes along the edges for stitching. This will allow you to securely join the pieces together and create the structure of the card holder. Here’s how to punch the holes:

  1. Get your leather hole punch or an awl and position it along the edge of the leather piece.
  2. Start by making a mark at regular intervals along the edge where you want the stitches to go. The spacing between the holes depends on personal preference, but aim for them to be evenly spaced and parallel to ensure a professional-looking finish.
  3. With the punch or awl, apply firm but controlled pressure as you push it through the leather at each marked point. This will create uniform holes for stitching.
  4. Continue punching holes along all the sides of the leather pieces that will be stitched together.

Make sure to punch the holes on both the main piece and the pocket piece if you opted to include one. This will ensure that they align when stitched together.


While punching the holes, be careful not to place them too close to the edge, as this can weaken the leather and make it prone to tearing. You want the holes to be close enough to stitch the pieces together securely, but with enough distance from the edge to maintain structural integrity.


Once you have punched all the necessary holes, your leather pieces are ready for stitching. Next, I will guide you through the process of stitching the card holder together.


Step 3: Stitching the Card Holder

Now that you have punched the holes along the edges of your leather pieces, it’s time to start stitching them together. This step will bring your card holder to life and provide the necessary durability. Follow these steps to stitch your card holder:

  1. Thread your stitching needle with a length of waxed thread. Make sure to leave a tail at one end for tying a knot later.
  2. Starting from one corner, insert the needle through the first hole from the back of the leather, leaving the tail on the inside.
  3. Pull the thread through until there is an equal amount on both sides of the leather.
  4. Carefully guide the needle through the corresponding hole on the adjacent side, going from the outside to the inside of the leather.
  5. Pull the thread snugly to bring the two pieces of leather together, but avoid pulling too tightly as this can distort the shape of the card holder.
  6. Continue this stitching pattern, going back and forth through each pair of holes, until you reach the starting point.
  7. Tie a secure knot with the two thread ends on the inside of the card holder. You can also apply a drop of glue to reinforce the knot.
  8. Trim any excess thread, leaving a short tail.

When stitching, take your time to ensure neat and even stitches. Consistent spacing and tension will enhance the overall appearance and strength of the card holder.


As you stitch, you can choose to use a simple running stitch or a more decorative stitching pattern, such as a saddle stitch, for added visual interest. Experiment with different techniques to find the style that suits your preference and skill level.


Once you have completed stitching the leather pieces together, you can move on to the next step: adding the card slots.


Step 4: Adding the Card Slots

Now that the main structure of your card holder is complete, it’s time to add the card slots. These slots will securely hold your cards in place, keeping them organized and easily accessible. Follow these steps to create the card slots:

  1. Start by determining the number of card slots you want in your holder. Typically, two or three slots are sufficient, but you can adjust this based on your needs.
  2. Using a ruler, measure and mark the appropriate width for each card slot on the inside of the main leather piece.
  3. Using a utility knife or scissors, carefully cut along the marked lines to create the slots. Make sure the cuts are clean and straight.
  4. If desired, you can use a leather edge beveler and a leather burnishing tool to smooth and polish the cut edges of the card slots. This will give your card holder a more professional and refined appearance.

When creating the card slots, remember to leave enough space between them to comfortably slide your cards in and out. It’s important to strike a balance between a snug fit and ease of use.


If you prefer a more elegant look, you can also consider adding a small leather strip or ribbon across the top of the slots. This will act as a pull-tab, making it easier to remove cards from the holder.


By adding the card slots, you are making your card holder functional and practical. With this step complete, you’re in the final stages of crafting your leather card holder. Let’s move on to the next step: folding and finishing the card holder.


Step 5: Folding and Finishing the Card Holder

With the card slots in place, it’s time to fold and finish your card holder. This step will give your creation its final shape and add a polished touch. Follow these steps to complete this stage:

  1. Take the main leather piece and fold it in half along the stitching line, bringing the two shorter edges together. Ensure that the card slots are on the inside of the fold.
  2. Apply gentle pressure to create a crisp fold. You can use a bone folder or the back of a spoon to help smooth and flatten the fold.
  3. If desired, you can use a leather edge beveler and a leather burnishing tool to round off and smooth the edges of the folded card holder. This will give it a more refined and professional look.
  4. Take a moment to inspect the overall appearance of the card holder, ensuring that the stitching is secure, the card slots are aligned, and the fold is even.

By folding the leather and giving it a clean finish, you are transforming it into a functional and visually appealing card holder. The fold ensures that your cards are protected and held in place, while the finishing touches add a touch of elegance.


Now that your card holder is complete, you can move on to the final optional step: personalization.


Step 6: Optional Personalization

Now that you have finished creating your leather card holder, why not add a personal touch? Personalization can make your card holder truly unique and reflective of your style. Here are some optional ways to personalize your card holder:

  • Monogramming: Use leather stamps or embossing tools to add your initials or a personal logo to the front or back of the card holder. This adds a personal and classy touch.
  • Decorative stitching: Experiment with different stitching patterns or use contrasting thread colors to create visually appealing designs on the card holder.
  • Tooling: If you have more advanced leatherworking skills, you can try your hand at tooling techniques to create intricate designs on the surface of the card holder.
  • Dyeing or staining: Apply leather dye or stain to change the color of the card holder. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and perform a test on a small area first.
  • Embellishments: Add small decorative elements like metal studs, beads, or leather fringes to customize the card holder and make it stand out.

The options for personalization are endless, and you can get as creative as you like. Just remember to consider the durability and functionality of your card holder while making these personalizations.


By adding your own personal flair to the card holder, you’ll have a truly one-of-a-kind accessory that reflects your style and personality.


With this final step complete, take a moment to admire your handiwork. You have successfully created a leather card holder from scratch, showcasing your craftsmanship and creativity.


Now that you have your very own handmade leather card holder, enjoy using it or consider making more as heartfelt gifts for friends and loved ones.


Congratulations on completing this DIY project, and I hope you find joy in using your newly crafted leather card holder!



Congratulations on successfully creating your very own leather card holder! By following the steps outlined in this guide, you have learned how to cut the leather pieces, punch holes for stitching, stitch the card holder together, add card slots, fold and finish the holder, and even personalize it. The end result is a stylish and functional accessory that reflects your unique style and craftsmanship.


Working with leather requires patience and practice, but the satisfaction of creating something by hand is truly rewarding. As you continue to hone your leatherworking skills, you may even explore more advanced techniques and experiment with different designs and materials.


Remember, a leather card holder not only serves a practical purpose in keeping your cards organized but also makes a statement about your personality and attention to detail. Whether you use it for everyday essentials or during your travels, it will undoubtedly be a reliable companion for years to come.


So, gather your materials and tools, and let your creativity flow. With the knowledge and skills you’ve gained from this guide, you have the ability to create unique leather accessories that showcase your personal style.


Enjoy using your handmade leather card holder, or share your newfound skills with others by gifting them with your beautifully crafted creations. Embrace the art of leatherworking and continue to explore the vast possibilities it offers in creating functional and stylish accessories.


Remember, the journey of a leatherworker is just beginning, and there are endless possibilities for you to create even more impressive pieces. So, keep practicing, learning, and honing your skills, and let your creativity run wild!