More Japanese craft books – handmade wallets

I did not mention in my previous post that, when I bought those Komihinata books, I also bought two other Japanese craft books about small things (or “komono,” as we call them in Japan).  These books are both on handmade wallets. One book is called “Handmade Wallets,” and the other one is called “More! Handmade Wallets” – both published by Vogue Japan. It’s pretty rare that I buy craft books on such specialized items, but I was hoping to learn all the high-level skills associated with wallet making. You can tell I was obsessed with wallets when I was making these mini wallets.

Two Japanese craft books on wallet making
I was pleasantly surprised to find a wide range of wallets discussed in these two books. There are traditional folded wallets with many compartments, L-shaped ones, clutch purse-like ones, ones with metal frames, and even those tiny “macaron” coin purses that have been wildly popular in Japan for the last few years.

Here are some pages from the books.
A page from a Japanese craft book on handmade walletsA page from a Japanese craft book on handmade wallets

A page from a Japanese craft book on handmade walletsA page from a Japanese craft book on handmade walletsA page from a Japanese craft book on handmade walletsMacaron coin purses from Handmade Wallets bookBeautiful, aren’t they? In addition to the many designs the books contain, I love that the publishers included several fabric variations for each design. You can see how a wallet would look completely different when the fabric choice is different.

So how many of these have I made so far? None. That’s right, not one. It probably has something to do with my laziness in following other people’s sewing instructions, compounded by the inherent complexity of wallet making. I mean, just look at this page from the “how to make” section.

Instruction page from Handmade Wallets book

Does it make your head spin? It totally spins mine. Look at the sheer number of little fabric pieces to cut…. I did read most of the instructions though. I pored over them at every opportunity over the summer holidays, when I did not do any sewing. I do this a lot with craft books actually – just read the instruction pages like a novel, without making anything.

But these wallets are just too beautiful. So yes, one of these days I will make one. One of these days…



5 comments to More Japanese craft books – handmade wallets

  • Kaye Stender

    I really like the one with the polka dots, lots of pockets. I’m not sure if I would be able to make something so complex. Asako, why don’t you some and I’ll buy them from you. Also, the little round ones are so cute….I really like the zippers on them.

    • Ha ha, Kaye. I don’t think I can make that one – it looks very, very fiddly to me. And that piping edging? It’s hand-sewn, I think, to make it so neat looking. I’ve always wanted to make a macaron coin case though (all hand-sewn of course). yes the metal zipper is very cute, isn’t it? You can buy them at Japanese online shops.

      • Kaye Stender

        Hi Asako,

        my daughter-in-law was able to help me figure out to get the english translation from Rakuten. I’m still looking at the different fabric and will be ordering some soon. thanks for all your help. now to look at some zippers

  • Kaye Stender

    I really like the wallet with the polka dots. It has a lot of pockets. Asako, why don’t you make some and I will buy them from you.

  • Francine Pellerin St-denis

    I know this is an old message but where can I buy these books please. You say a Japanese online store, but any in English to help me out? Thank you

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