We’re making our way into the new year, strapped with a fresh start and resolutions to make this year better than the past. While some are hoping to quit smoking, get in shape or spend more time with friends and family (all super important and popular resolutions), this year I am hoping to travel more.
Now, in all honesty, I do already travel some and maybe even more than most. But! This year I really want to get out there and see some new places, despite my fear at (usually) having to travel alone. I find that having a crafty outlet to channel my ambitions and get me pumped for new experiences is always helpful. (Check out this awesome post over at CraftFoxes for several projects to inspire your sure-to-be various resolutions). In this spirit, I decided to experiment with crafting some unique passport covers to adorn the somewhat boring looking ID required to leave the country. Now my future stamps don’t have to be the only fun thing about it!
Though there are several great how-to’s out there for making passport covers (a relatively simple beginner sewing craft), my favorite is the leather write-up over at DesignSponge. If you’re more of a visual learner, consider checking out a YouTube video how-to. Here are the basic steps for the project, but be sure to head over to the site for all of the detailed steps. All credit here goes to Matt over at DesignSponge – thanks for the clear steps and awesome project! Read on after the how-to for ten inspirational handmade passport covers from Etsy. Happy crafting!
- leather (or whatever fabric you’d like to use)
- waxed thread
- contact cement
- cutting mat
- metal ruler
- stitch spacer (overstitch wheel)
- leather awl
- two leather needles
“1. You’ll need enough leather (or other chosen fabric) for the main cover and two interior flaps. Cut your cover to 7 5/8″ wide and 5 1/2″ tall. Each interior flap is 5 1/2″ tall and 2 1/2″ wide. Position your pieces together, mark where the flaps will reside and then lay pieces separately and apply contact cement to the outer edges. Leave cement to dry completely then press the pieces together to adhere. Having your pieces properly secured will make stitching so much easier.
2. Take the entire assembly and place flaps down on the table. Place your ruler 1/8″ from each edge and run your stitch-spacing tool along the edge. This will mark the leather in a uniform pattern, indicating where each stitch will be placed. Apply plenty of pressure to get a good mark.
3. After all edges are marked, press through each with the awl.
4. Once your case has all the holes pressed, you can thread your needles and begin sewing. To thread a needle, put thread though the eye as normal, then bring it to the point and poke through the thick of the thread. Pull the end down the needle, over the eye completely, then slightly tug the long end of the thread to secure. After both ends of a long piece have been threaded with needles, you can begin hand sewing by pulling the thread to its half-way point in the cover.
5. Stitching should be completed in a crossing motion through the leather — each needle passing through the same hole, being careful not to stitch through the thread. As you work your way around the piece, pull the stitches tight to keep a clean appearance. Stitching on a lacing pony or a vice is the best way, but buying one might be more of a commitment for just one project.
6. Once you’ve made it through all edges, you should back-stitch 3 holes to secure your thread, then carefully cut the ends free. After the sewing is done, you can flatten the stitches with the overstitch wheel. This will press your thread into the leather and clean up the appearance of your stitches.
7. Finally, you can round the edges with a knife or some scissors, wax the edges and burnish with your finger. Then grab that passport and book your trip.”