Journey of an Architect is a blog started by Tim Ung to document his journey to design 30 projects by the age of 30 (May 2020). His posts focus on his design process, thoughts, struggles, and successes throughout his journey.

Starting my 100 Leather Wallet Challenge

Starting my 100 Leather Wallet Challenge

As some of my projects come to an end, others are just beginning including project 20x30 which is designing and making 100 leather wallets. I know this isn’t an architecture project, but my journey so far has helped me realize my passion for design and leather making. After designing and constructing several leather bags late last year, I decided to take my leather making hobby to a new level. To pursue this newfound passion, I’ve set out to design and make 100 leather wallets by the end of April 2018. Here’s where I am after two weeks of hard work!

100 Wallets with 5 Types of Leather

When I set out on this new goal to make 100 leather wallets, I quickly drew a template of a very slim and minimal wallet design as a refinement of a prototype that I made earlier this year. This process of refinement is important because I can take all of the lessons that I learned from using my first prototype and make all of the necessary adjustments for the latest design.

The next step was the fun part.

Using several stacks of leather samples that I ordered from a full grain leather supplier in Maine, I laid them all out on my table and narrowed my selections down to 3 different piles. The first and largest pile had all of the leather samples that I disliked. The second and medium sized pile had leather samples that I could see myself potentially using for a future project. Lastly, the third and smallest pile had leather that I thought would be perfect for making these minimally designed wallets.

Out of about 10 of these leather samples, I chose 5 different colors and finishes; black, brown (x2), red, and a dark sea green leather.

Hand Making 80 Wallets in 13 Days

Once the leather sides were delivered, I immediately cut the templates out of the leather and stacked piles of each different color on my leather working table. With the leather cut to size and all of the stitching holes punched, all I had to do was focus on stitching 100 of them and finishing the edges. As I made each batch of leather wallets, I loved the aesthetic and the feel of each one. Every now and then, I would share photos of my progress on my Instagram page and put out small surveys asking my followers which color of leather and stitching they preferred. The amount of people who took the poll surprised me and I got a lot of new ideas for color combinations!

After 13 days of cutting and hand stitching the wallets, I’ve just finished my 80th handmade leather wallet. I’m excited that I was able to make so much progress on each one and that people love my creations on social media! Although I have plenty of time to finish this project, I want to have the stitching done by Sunday April 15th and transition to finishing the edges.

Next Steps

Aside from making these 100 leather wallets, I’m now in the process of forming an LLC for my leather product company! While I continue working towards finishing these leather wallets by the end of April, I’ll also be learning about setting up an LLC for a retail company and setting up my company’s finances. Remember to follow me on Instagram to see my progress and to learn more about how you can buy one of these 100 wallets!

Nearing the end of 100 Leather Wallets

Nearing the end of 100 Leather Wallets

Starting the Unpacking Design Podcast

Starting the Unpacking Design Podcast