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…



  • 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.

    • Asako Sakai

      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