Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Make the Perfect Little Gift - The Crocheted Card Wallet - A free photo tutorial

For Valentine's Day this year, I designed an easy-to-make, little crocheted card wallet. I thought I would use today's post to share a tutorial on how to make one.  While the tutorial shows a heart-themed wallet, as you will see from the photos at the end of this post, you can use this basic concept to create a variety of designs. Rather than give you a specific stitch-by-stitch pattern, I'm going to give you general instructions that will allow you to easily crochet a card wallet using almost any type of yarn that you have on hand.

Let me just say that I really love card wallets!  They are so versatile and just about any female you know, from elementary age to seniors, can use one.  Initially, they are fun to give because they can be worked up to suit the personality of the person you are gifting (favorite colors, embellishments, etc.), and you can tuck a gift card for their favorite shop or restaurant inside, or even just a little card with an expression of love or personal message for the recipient.  The card wallet can then be used to hold business cards, credit cards, identification, or can be used as a little change purse.  You could even stow keys or  a chapstick/lipstick inside. It fits handily in a pocket or your purse.

Materials You Will Need:
  • About 25 yards of yarn for the body of the card wallet (for the wallet pictured in the tutorial I used some leftover Malabrigo Silky Merino, a DK weight yarn that is 50% silk and 50% merino wool)
  • Crochet hook(s) of the appropriate size (in the tutorial, I used an F hook for the body and a G for the seam/edging)
  • Additional small amount of yarn for seams/edging (I used some leftover worsted-weight, deep red, wool blend yarn)
  • A button for the closure
  • Yarn, embroidery thread, beads -- whatever you wish to use for embellishments
  • A small amount of felt for the lining (I like 100 % wool felt)
  • Paper (for the lining pattern)
  • Sewing thread in a color that coordinates with the wallet/lining
  • Sewing needle (for sewing in lining)
  • Yarn needle (to work in your ends)
  • Any size needle that may be needed to add your embellishments
  • pencil
  • ruler and/or tape measure
  • scissors
  • straight pins

Step 1

Step 1:  Using a credit card or business card as a guide, crochet a chain that is just slightly longer than the card (about 1 chain stitch larger on each side).  The chain should be an odd number of stitches.  Then crochet 1 stitch more.  In the photo above, my chain was 17 stitches and I added one more to make 18 total.

Step 2

Step 2:  Single crochet (sc) into second chain (ch) from the hook and in each chain across.  (I had 17 sc.)

Step 3

Step 3 continued
Step 3:  Turn, ch 1, sc in each sc across to the end.  (Again, 17 sc for me in the tutorial example). Continue in this manner (turn, ch 1, sc in each stitch across), making rows of sc stitches, until your piece is the same height as the card you are using for a guide. Count the number of rows you have completed. (In the tutorial example, it was 11).

Step 4

Step 4: Now, take the number of rows your have completed, double it, and add two.  (For me this was 22 + the additional 2 rows made 24.)  Continue as you have been, creating rows of sc until you have completed that number of rows calculated. (In the photo tutorial, 24 rows.)

Step 5

Step 5 continued

Step 5 continued
Step 5:  At this point, you are going to be decreasing the number of stitches in each row, on both sides, to create the fold-over, envelope flap for the wallet. So, you will turn, ch1, sc2tog (over the first 2 sc in the previous row), sc in each sc across until you reach the last 2 sc, then sc2tog over those last 2 sc. (You thereby decreased the number of stitches in your row by two. For me, in the tutorial example, that was a decrease from 17 stitches across to 15 stitches across.)  Continue row by row in this same manner (sc2tog at each end of the row, thereby decreasing the row stitch count by two) until you have three stitches in your row (sc2tog, sc, sc2tog) (last Step 5 photo above).

Step 6

Step 6 continued

Step 6:  Turn, ch 1, sc3tog. (You will be pulling up a loop in each of the three remaining stitches from the previous row, so you have 4 loops on your hook, then yarn over and pull through all 4 loops, bringing the envelope flap to a point.)  Fasten off.

Step 7 a

Step 7 b
Step 7 c

Step 7 c continued

Step 7 d
Step 7:  Making the lining - Get out your felt, sheet of paper, pencil, ruler and/or tape measure, and straight pins.  (a) Measure the rectangular portion of your crocheted piece - length and width (for length measurement, start one row below the first row of the decrease on the flap and measure to about 1/8 inch shy of the bottom edge of the foundation chain; for width measurement, leave a small border on each edge).  (My measurement for the tutorial wallet was approximately 4 3/4 inches by 3 1/2 inches.)  (b) Using your measurements, create a rectangular paper pattern for your lining.  (c) Pin the pattern to your felt and cut it out.  (d) Then, take the resulting felt lining and pin it to the wrong side of the rectangular portion of your crocheted card wallet body.

Step 8

Step 8 (inside view)

Step 8 (outside view)
Step 8:  Using the needle and sewing thread, hand sew the lining to the inside of the crocheted card wallet.  (I used a small, whip stitch around the edge, being sure to pick up both the edge of the felt and underlying yarn in each stitch.)

Step 9
Step 9:  Fold the card wallet by bringing the bottom edge up to just below the triangular, envelope flap.  The felt lining should now be on the inside of the wallet.  Pin the edges in place.

Step 10 

Step 10 a

Step 10 b

Step 10 c
Step 10:  Side seams and edging - Join the yarn you've chosen for your side seams and edging to a bottom corner of the wallet, at the fold.  Be sure to go through both sides of the wallet (you are creating the side seam).  (My seam/edging yarn was a worsted weight, a bit heavier than what I used for the body of the card wallet, and so I switched to a size G hook.)  (a) Chain 1.  (b) Sc in the same space as joining, ch 3, then, working up the side, sc in the end of the next row, again going through both sides of the wallet (front and back) with your sc, ch3, sc at the end of the next row.  (c) Continue in this manner working your way up the side to the point where the front of the wallet body ends and the flap begins.  Note that you are creating the side seam and the decorative edging at the same time (easy and a time-saver!).

Step 11 a

Step 11 b

Step 11:  Flap edging - (a) Continue as in Step 10, beyond the side seam and around the edge of the flap. Placing a sc in the end of the first row of the wallet flap, ch 3, sc in the next row end, ch 3; continue in this way along the edge. (b) When you come to the point of the flap, lay the button you've chosen to close the wallet next to the wallet and determine the size loop you will need to go around it.  Chain an adequate number to make a loop that will fit the button, and then anchor the button loop with a sc on the other side of the point.  Continue with the pattern of sc and ch3 along the opposite side of the flap.

Step 12:  Remaining side seam/edging - when you reach the point where the flap meets the front upper edge of  the wallet body, resume creating the side seam/edging along this remaining side, just as you did in Step 10.  When you reach the bottom fold, place your last sc in the last row/bottom corner and fasten off.

Step 13:  Using your yarn needle, work in all of your yarn ends.

Step 14

Step 14

Step 14:  Add your embellishments - Now it's time to make your card wallet one-of-a-kind by adding your choice of embellishments.  For this particular design, I crocheted 2 small hearts, one a bit larger than the other, using the same yarn I used for my seams and edging.  I used Julie Kundhi's easy and adorable tiny crochet heart pattern.  You can add whatever decorative touches you wish to make your wallet unique!

Step 15

Step 15:  Determine your button placement.  Sew it on, and you're done!  You have a fabulous little gift for someone special (or a fun little treat for yourself).

Here are a couple of other card wallets I made using the steps outlined in this tutorial:

For this first one, I used Berroco Boboli Lace yarn for the body of the wallet.  I crocheted a few circles of different sizes using Lion Brand Bonbons yarn in various colors, and used a vining,  embroidered chain stitch (also done with Bonbons yarn) to "connect" the circles.  The edging and side seams were also done with Bonbons yarn. Note that I only used one chain between single crochets, thus creating a straighter, less frilly edge. (I like to keep a lot of Bonbons in different colors on hand for embellishing my work -- it comes in lots of colors and different fiber types, so I pick up a few when I see them on sale.)

This second wallet was crocheted using Cascade Yarns 220 Paints (a yarn which, as far as I can determine, has been discontinued).  For the seams and edging, I used a double strand of two shades of metallic Bonbons.  I crocheted stars in different sizes -- one larger one using the same double strand I used for the seams/edging, and then two smaller ones using each of the seams/edging colors separately, as a single strand.

Combine the instructions in this tutorial with your own creative imaginings and see what you come up with! Have fun!