Making a leather wallet based on “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

Making a leather wallet based on “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

I made this wallet based on the one seen in the movie and matched up many details such as the number of stitching holes as well as the general design and style. If someone knows where the original wallet came from or who made it, please let me know. I’d love to know more about it. A few things that I decided to change from the original movie prop version:

  • the type of leather (I used a dry kangaroo leather that is scarred and textured and a lighter colour)
  • I didn’t stamp any text into it
  • I used artificial sinew as a thread because it spreads out nicely in the large stitching holes

33 thoughts on “Making a leather wallet based on “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

    1. Thanks Tessy,
      the ones I made are already gone but I can make one on order. It’ll probably take around a week or 2 before I can send a custom order out. I’ll send you an email with colour options and more info

        1. I’m currently thinking about making a handful of them for AU$69 plus shipping. With different colours and added initials (up to 4 characters) in the front. I’m not doing the entire text and exact copy though. I don’t have the correct size stamps for that. If anyone’s interested, shoot me an email or wait a bit and I might have an ordering page up for this soon.

    1. Thank you for the link, Cristian! I’ve been trying to find the source of the wallet for a while and just wasn’t familiar with the logo. Now that we know, I hope that people will go there and order from Billykirk!
      Unfortunately, I can’t stamp the movie quote in my version of the wallet. The stamps I have are too large to make it fit properly

      1. No problem! I read your post and I saw that you have been searching for a while trying to find the original producer.
        I’ve tried to place an order with shippment in Estern Europe / country: Romania / city: Bucharest and I couldn’t find it…
        Are there any issues with that destination ?

        Regards,

  1. I’m looking to put my feet in the water of leather craft so to speak and want to make myself this wallet (big fan of the film). However I feel there is little point buying equipment if I find out that I don’t like the hobby as I go along. Birdsall Leather in Sydney has a workspace and tools that can be used for a fee. Do you know of a similar facility in Melbourne? I take it you are based in Australia. Thank you for your help

    1. Hey JD, I’m not sure about Melbourne, sorry. But you could make this wallet without that many tools, actually. The only “odd thing” you need is something to punch the stitching holes. Bunnings has hollow punch sets for $5 if you don’t have one already. Otherwise you need something to cut the leather (scissors will do if you don’t want to get a scalpel or similar knife) and the materials. I’ve also sewn one of these without needles (the pre-punched holes make that possible). Most of the specialised tools will just make it easier or save some time. If you look for a local leather supply store, they might also have some cheap offcuts in a bargain bin that are big enough to make one of these wallets. Stuff they sell by the kilo. It’ll take some hunting around but it’s not impossible.
      Hope that helps!

      1. Hi, I thought as much already. I think the hole punch should be easy to come by, but I am planning to do the internal lettering as well. Actually what size do you think matches the one in the movie best? I found a set of 3mm alphabet for $19 in QLD. It’s a great site that you have here. I checked out your other works as well, impressive.

        1. Thanks! I think the one in the movie has letters in the 3-4mm range (I’m thinking a bit more towards 4mm based on an arbitrary font I used to spell it out at original size). I’ve been looking at 5/32-inch sets on amazon but shipping it over here doesn’t make much sense.
          Haven’t found anything locally since I’m also not sure if the stamps for metal (the cheap ones in hardware stores) will leave a nice enough imprint on leather. If anyone has tried those, please let me know how you went.

          3mm is the safe option and will fit all the text but I think it should be slightly larger (and 6mm is too large)

          1. I used a 3mm punch for the holes in mine. It works well with artificial sinew as thread but also works with normal waxed thread (to get one that’s closer to the one in the movie). Will send an email shortly, thanks!

  2. Hello!

    Thanks for posting this – it’s amazing! I made the wallet and love it, but the only thing is that when I find it all up the inside piece of leather bunches up really bad since both pieces of leather are the same size. I don’t think there’s any way I can avoid that, though. Is it because I’m using a 3-4oz leather so it doesn’t lay as flat? Any help would be appreciated 🙂 thanks!!

  3. Well hello there!
    I love your site, it`s so easy going and understandable for a beginner that it`s a simple joy reading it. 🙂
    Hey, I got one question – I`m into horses and I`m looking to make some tack for myself and now i`m wondering about the thread types… As we all know, tack (like bridles, reins, saddles, blablabla) is really exposed to the weather extremes – sun, rain, moisture, etc., and it`s also widely known that most riders are a bit too lazy to polish and care their tack all the time. Soooo, I`m wondering what thread I should use for these conditions? I think that basic cotton thread will just rot from moisture after few seasons (happened to a couple of my bridles), so the nylon thread should do the job? Or… Maybe I should look after a Kevlar thread? I know that some hardcore outdoor freaks use it for their equipment, because it`s extremely tough, and as we all know, body armor vests, helmets and other stuff are from Kevlar material. Thread, of course is more expensive, but should I invest in it?
    Big thanks, keep posting good stuff and have a splendid day!
    Greetings from Latvia, EU!

    1. Hi Reinis, thank you for the kind comment! Have you had a look at polyester thread? I think that’s often used for those types of things. I have used kevlar thread before but I prefer polyester. But none of my products need to withstand crazy outdoor conditions

      1. Hehe, thanks! 🙂 I`ll try to find some of polyesters in my local stores. I know one old lady which sews tack with an thread from the fishing nets. With that stuff you can pull a tank. Only thing is that these threads are a bit too fat for my taste and tack looks very rigid, which I actually don`t like.
        What were your impressions with Kevlar? Is it worth the cash? Thanks! 😉

        1. The one minor thing I noticed with Kevlar threads is that you can’t really burn the ends (since it won’t melt like polyester). But the strength is nice and it looks like normal thread. The fishing net thread sounds interesting as well!

  4. Love this tutorial! any chance you would share the printed pattern you created for those of us who would like to try our hand at making one for ourselves?

  5. Have you got a file with the dimensions on, I’d love to make my own! The wallet you’ve made just looks incredible!

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