How to make a Magic Wallet

The idea for today’s post came to me when I noticed that this month’s challenge theme for #areyoubookenough is Memory. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to combine a magic wallet and a favourite quotation.

A Magic Wallet is really just two panels of a Jacob’s Ladder, with one set of straps arranged in an X to emphasize the ‘magic’ of apparently moving a paper insert (usually money) from one location to another.A Magic wallet is usually made with the same colour for both sides, but I have used two colours of cardstock for this model to make the steps in construction clearer.

To make a model like mine you will need four pieces of card stock —mine are 8.9 cm (3.5″) x 15.25 cm (6″)— and four strips of paper or ribbon. One pair —for the straight straps— should be 11.5 cm (4.5″) long, the other —for the X— should be about 16.5 cm (6.5″) long.

I drew lines on the back of two of the panels. These were used to help in the placement of the straps. One set of lines is 2.5 cm (1″) in from the sides, the other is 1.25 cm (0.5″) in from top and bottom.

Lay out your two longer strips in an X on your work surface, then lay one of your marked pieces of card stock on top with the pencil markings up. The straps will extend beyond the top and bottom edges of the card. Adjust the position of the straps so that the outer sides of the straps lie just inside the vertical lines. Turn the top edges down and glue in place.

When you turn the card over, the front should look like this.

Set this card aside. Lay out your shorter straps and place the second pencil-marked card on top with the markings visible. The straps will extend above and below the card. Position them so that their inner edges sit just outside the vertical pencil lines. Turn down the upper ends and glue in place.

When you turn the card over, it should look like this.

Leave the card on your work surface and lay the first card with the X straps face down on top of it. (Pencil marked side will be on top.)

Turn up the projecting ends of the vertical straps from the bottom card and glue them to the lower edge of the upper card. Make sure the ends are outside the vertical lines. Pull the straps taught, but not too tight.

Flip the entire piece over.

Turn up and glue the ends of the X straps to the lower edge of the upper card. Remember to pull them taught and keep the outer edges of the straps inside the vertical lines.

Finally, glue the last two pieces of card stock to the outer pencil-marked sides of the inner cards.

Open your magic wallet and insert a piece of card stock (or some paper money) under the parallel straps. The magic wallet can be opened two different ways along the long edges. One opening gives you this.

When you close the wallet and open it from the other side, the item you inserted appears under the X. If you make both sides of your wallet from the same colour of card stock, this definitely seems like magic!

If you would like to try out a full Jacob’s Ladder in paper, Paper Kawaii has two tutorials. One version is done with ribbon straps, the other is all paper.

You can find the links to both tutorials here.

I will be spending a week in Toronto, so next Sunday’s post may be a little late.  ; ]

About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
This entry was posted in artist's books, book arts, DIY, instructions, moveable books, paper folding and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How to make a Magic Wallet

  1. Pingback: Road Trip (with knitting) | Byopia Press

  2. Pingback: How to Make a “Hidden Page” Book | Byopia Press

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