Monday, July 11, 2016

DIY Travel Accessories

Last year at H&M, they had these thin vinyl travel document holders which were cute and tempting but too flimsy to actually purchase (even though they were only $3). I had been toying around with the idea of making my own for a while now - even before I saw the cheap ones at H&M - and I finally got around to it.

I had several criteria for my ideal version. It had to be light and compact. I didn't want any frills. It wasn't supposed to be a substitute for a wallet; I was mostly looking for a cute way to hold onto boarding passes and train tickets. I also wanted it to be a way to safely store my passport and travel credit card (the Capital One Venture, which I exclusively use when I am abroad) at home.

I decided I wanted to go with a pale pink (because I'm stupidly girly like that) so I sourced some faux leather on Amazon and grabbed some gold embroidery thread and a few other bits and bobs. Then, my sister asked me if I'd make her a luggage tag. I had enough faux leather to reupholster an armchair (it's sold by the yard) so I thought why not? And then she decided she also wanted a passport cover so I'm turning this into a full on DIY travel accessories post.
You'll need:
faux leather
clear vinyl
needle & thread
pins
scissors
ruler
invisible ink fabric marker
ribbon/twine/leather trim
puffy paint
cardstock

Before I do any DIY project, I like to plan it out.
Luggage Tags (dimensions in inches)
Start by sewing the vinyl piece to the back of the piece with the center cut out. Then, sandwich the pieces together and sew all around the edges except on the angled side. Leave that side open so you can slide in the info tab. I sewed the edges - individually, I didn't sew them together of course - for continuity and aesthetics. Cut a little slit on the top and slip knot a ribbon or twine through the cut.
Once it's all sewn up, go along the sewn edges with the puffy paint. This part is optional, but all of the leather goods I own have some sort of flexible filler along the cut edges. This is to mimic that.
Document Holder (dimensions in inches)
The document holder is made with just one piece; it's a rectangle with a corner cut off. Fold over the edge and sew just at the bottom and the just an inch or two up - enough to make a little nook for tickets to nestle into. Fold over the other side and sew along the edges and then sew a line through the center; make sure the bottom portion is big enough for a passport and that should leave enough room for credit cards up top. And to finish, use a little puffy paint to seal up the sides.
Passport Holder (dimensions in inches)
This is the easiest one by far. It's made with one rectangular piece. Just fold in the sides enough (so that the new length is 7") and sew along the edges. And again, add a little puffy paint to finish off the edges.
Aren't these cute?

I want to try and source some faux leather trim to use instead of the thin rope I used here, but I also kind of like how this looks.
The document holder is super convenient. I like this faux leather because it's soft enough to fold up when it's not being used, but sturdy enough to keep my passport and tickets safe in my bag. The true beta test will be in a couple of weeks in Greece. We have a few Easyjet tickets to keep safe so I think this will come in handy.
The passport holder is pretty basic, but it's nice and sturdy and it'll keep passports clean while it's tumbling around inside of handbags and luggage.
The pockets are deep enough that the passport won't easily slip out but they're also shallow enough that it can be slipped off in a second, which is handy since the customs officers always ask us to remove the covers. Passport covers are really just mean to keep the passport from getting dirty or bending when it's in your bag.
This little collection of travel accessories is so cute! I love them; they're pretty and practical. I thought about adding some gold lettering, but then thought against it. I think they look simple and classy when they're plain.

Now I need to find a way to use up the rest of my faux leather. Maybe I'll make a journal cover or a carry on bag and go full on with this pink stuff.
xoxo.

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