Sunday, 20 March 2011

Tutorial: how to make an oyster card holder

Hello, hope you're having a lovely Sunday. I thought I'd share how I made my oyster card holder from last week - it's very simple and I don't expect that any of you experienced sewists wouldn't be able to figure it out for yourselves, but hey, it's as much a reminder for me as anything else! Also please excuse the mishmash of photos - I've made two versions and I've just used the photos that best illustrate what I mean at the expense of continuity.

It's great for stash busting and uses next to no fabric - you could use up the teensiest scraps if you didn't mind it all being mismatched. It's also good because you can knock it up in less than 30 minutes!

I used some scraps and one of the fabrics that I bought in the V&A last week:

Using an old plastic card holder as a template I drew around it and cut out two strips of the floral fabric for the main body of the holder and one of a plain navy for the pockets (although if you are working with very small scraps/want a different fabric for each pocket, cutting out the navy piece isn't essential at this stage, I'll tell you the dimensions they need to be in the next stage). If you don't have an old holder, the dimensions are roughly 7.5cm by 21cm but test it with a credit card when you're sewing it up to ensure it sits snugly. 

I then chopped the navy piece in half and hemmed it along one edge to make the 'pocket' pieces. These should be about a third of your length each, so roughly 7cm wide by 7cm long after hemming.  

You then want to iron some interfacing to the wrong side of each of your floral pieces. I think mine was a medium weight one, I just found it in my scrap box. 

Now it's time to make a sandwich. Lay the bottom floral piece right side up, arrange your pocket pieces (also face up) on top, with the hemmed edges pointing towards the middle, then lay your top floral piece face down on top of everything. Hopefully you can see what I mean in this photo, this is the 'sandwich' opened up like a booklet:

In the first version I sewed the ribbon on at the end (it was something of an after-thought), however it's neater to insert it at this stage, as shown here (my second version!):

You just need to ensure that the ribbon has enough ease to go around the card and close up the holder without scrunching the cover flap up, so you can't just lay it down flat as shown in the pic above - I learnt this the hard way and had to unpick, hence no photos, but all you need to do is put a teeny fold in the ribbon (held with a pin or a small running stitch) just to make it a bit longer, about a cm will be perfect. Told you I was making it up as I went along. 

Pin it all together and sew, leaving one of the small ends open (in this photo I've sewn a little bit of the end closed, but having had another go I think it works better to leave the whole end open):

Clip your corners and trim as close to the stitching as you can, then pull it all out the open end, remove the stitch/pin from the ribbon and press (if you are like me you may briefly swear and think you've sewn the pocket piece at the open end on the wrong way, but panic not, this is all right, you probably haven't!). Arrange your holder so that the pocket piece at the open end appears inside out (the other should be the right way out on the other side) like so: 

Stitch along this open end, clip away any excess material as close to the stitching as you can, flip the pocket the right way round, press, et voila! Done. 

The inside will look like this: 

I hope that all makes sense! If you have any questions or anything is unclear please just ask. If you have any tips on an easier way to do it or an alternative tutorial please feel free to leave a link in the comments. 



  1. this article really helps me to make oyster card holder.It is easy to understand the article with the help of pictures.

  2. Simple and easy to create..but i thin for demonstration purpose video is more appropriate....