Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Guest Post: Recycled Sweater Business Card Holder

I constantly find myself in awe of the wonderfully talented people I encounter daily - especially here in the land of blogging.  I share links to some of the fabulous projects I come across each weekend in my Week in Review posts, and now on (most) Wednesday's... at least for a awhile... I'm going to be going a step further and inviting one of those creative folks to guest blog here at Ready, Set, Craft! 

I am exceptionally excited today to welcome one of my favorite bloggers, Dot, from Dabbled.orgDabbled was one of the first craft blogs I ever encountered, and I've been following Dot's projects and artwork for more than a year now.  I'm honored to have Dot here today - she's been such a wonderful crafty inspiration for me.  Be sure to head over Dabbled after checking out Dot's tutorial - I promise that you will be inspired, too!

Recycled Sweater Business Card Holder

Hi, I'm Dot.  I blog over at and I've been loving the projects here at Ready, Set, Craft! for a while, so when Joanne asked me if I'd do a guest post for her, I figured it would be fun!

I've chosen a quick and easy project that doesn't take much sewing skill or time, and is a great way to use a small piece of fabric that you might have lying around from another project.  I had been saving
this little scrap of sweater, with a lovely beading detail, in my bag of tricks for a while.  (It's actually a scrap from one of my first recycled sweater projects back in 2007 -- the Ele-purse!

Old sweaters are a great material to work with.  They are 'free' (a great use for that sweater that was shrunk in the wash, or got a mothhole!) or very cheap (your local thrift store will have a bunch!).  And you're up-cycling old materials.  They are also extremely forgiving fabrics for those of us who are not overly skilled in the sewing department.  This is totally a project that YOU can do, even if you're not an experienced seamstress.

This project is for making a business card holder or mini-wallet (because I needed one, and because this fabric scrap was particularly small), but the same process can be applied to a simple case for a
compact camera, or anything you need a small pouch for.

So, on the the project:


Fabric scrap large enough to wrap around the front and back of a business card, with some to spare (somewhere around 3x8 inches).  Credit card sized piece of plastic (I used an expired insurance card -
those pretend credit cards that come in the mail work too.  This will stay in the card holder to keep it stiff.)  Ribbon for trim and button loop.  Coordinating button.

Sew the Body:

Fold your fabric in half, with the good sides facing each other, and the fold at the bottom.  Use a plastic card to estimate the size of your pouch-- the 'front' of the pouch will need an extra inch or so of fabric (for the flap), but the back should just a little higher than the height of the card-- use pins to mark where you'll sew the seams and where you'll cut (see photo below.)

Stitch a seam on either side.  Trim the excess.  (See photo below - you may want to leave more 'flap' than I did)  Turn pouch right side out, and insert the card to keep it stiff.

Sew the Flap:

You should now have a pouch with an opening at the top, and enough fabric to fold over for a flap on the pouch.  You're going to secure a loop of ribbon to the top of the flap, and hem it.  So, as shown in the photo below, you're going to make a small hole in the center of the flap.  Thread your ribbon through it to make a loop.

Then fold down a hem, and sew to secure.    This doesn't have to be super neat, as you're going to cover it with ribbon.  Trim off excess ribbon from the ends of the loop.

Pin a ribbon around the front and back of the flap, to cover the stitching.

Sew on ribbon by stitching around the edges on the front of the flap (use a matching thread -- here I used a contrasting thread for demonstration purposes).

Stick several business cards inside the pouch, and fold over the top to estimate where to place the button (whereever the end of the loop is!).  Find a coordinating button (make sure it fits through your
loop!) and sew it on to the front.

Enjoy your new card holder!

In retrospect, I would have made the flap longer (perhaps an inch or more), so it would fold down neater, but I had a stain on the sweater that I was working around, so I went small.  You could also do the flap rounded or to a point, instead of squared off as you see here.   The possibilities are really endless with something like this.  Just use your imagination!

Thanks to Joanne for inviting me!  I hope you've enjoyed this simple tutorial -- I'd love to see anything you make with it!  You can find me at, my Arts & Crafts blog, and I'm also the editor of --the website dedicating to answering the question of "What's For Dinner!?"  Drop by either place and say hi!


The Creative Place said...

This is fabulous!!! I love it!! :)

Joanne said...

Thanks so much for guest posting, today!!! This is such simple sewing - even I could handle it! :)

Dot said...

Thanks for inviting me, Joanne! I love simple sewing projects -- and trust me, using old sweaters as materials can hide a multitude of sewing sins!


Caroline said...

such a cool idea. I love ideas that reuse things--it's so smart.

CraftCrave said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [19 May 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

Maiden Jane said...

Really cute!

Gabrielle @ i.craft said...

ooo, you know I love this! Thanks for the tutorial!

Zafran ali said...

such a cool idea. I love ideas that reuse things--it's so smart.Thank,s for so informative post.
Plastic Card.