Open Community Maker Space

Cook your own Wallet

So here it is, a little delayed. How to cook your own wallet. A recipe in parts, a process of creation that took a huge holiday right in the middle.

We’re presently documenting our process at the moment, it’s like tracing back events through history to identify the butterfly that caused the hurricane. However, to give you the heavily abridged version.

Jay and Chris and Mendel play with Bioplastic at an Open Design Maker Event @ Betahaus which also produced, and and ultimately the DMY Maker Lab (link to follow) and (it’s amazing what you can make with a bit of concentrated chaotic energy, passion and a good time).

Chris produces some lovely sheet using the following recipe.

7 Cups Water (in this instance it’s a cheap disposable plastic cup)
1 Cup 10% Acidity Vinegar
1.5 Cups Starch
1/2 Cup Glycerine
1 Sachet Gelatine

Heat in a saucepan, stirring until whole mix has turned into a gunky mess.
Add colour
Mix colour
Pour onto a smooth surface and spread out.

It’s sticky so he rubs starch into the material

Note: For this process we didn’t do the following, however we find that it does help.
Rub starch into the smooth surface before pouring – makes removal easier.

Material sits doing nothing for months, except being handled and touched and haptically admired.

Jay and Chris help found and move into Open Design City

Whilst Chris makes a mold for a bioplastic laptop bag, Jay begins trying to sew a bioplastic cushion in the shape of a man. It doesn’t work.

Jay wonders what to do with waste material. Chris show’s him how to sew properly.

Jay draws around credit card, marking out 3 sections (one slightly smaller than the others due to lack of material. (see pic)

Then folds material and sews lines. For a course on Sewing visit here. Of course our process was somewhat different along the lines of – put the foot down, put the material in, see what happens. But we all learn differently I guess.

Pattern should be clear from picture below.

Wallet is now finished.


Oh shit it’s on Boing Boing


For those of you who would like  to learn from our chaos, please drop into Open Design City, this Thursday at 7.00




8 responses

  1. I want to cook my own wallet! Let me know if there ever is a weekend workshop and I am there.

    May 18, 2010 at 1:07 pm

  2. water proofing might not be an issue with hydrophobic surface structure (like a lotus leaf) –;jsessionid=22352655D7A9CC0576D17C766C6C3265.c1

    May 18, 2010 at 8:22 pm

  3. Thanks Ahmet, now if we can work out how to do that in the home we’ll be set 🙂

    May 19, 2010 at 8:52 am

  4. I think I’ll have a workshop in my kitchen

    May 19, 2010 at 10:38 am

  5. Sweet! I’ve been running around with my Muji cardholder as my wallet replacement for what must now be 5 years… time for a change. Thanks for sharing!

    May 19, 2010 at 11:36 am

  6. Pingback: Making my own bioplastics wallet (prototype)

  7. Pingback: Bioplastic in betahaus | Berlin Metblogs

  8. Vivian Defty

    Is the bioplastic material waterproof?
    does it get soft if moisture gets on it?
    Does body heat make it softer and easier to rip?
    And last but not least…can one use it in closed forms to mold whole objects? or is it only able to dry and harden in thin sheets?
    I was at the DMY and forgot to ask these questions there-as I have developed ideas later on.
    Thank you very much allready for this great cheap and new material possibility!!!:) Greetings, Vivian
    I would appreaciate an answer to my email adress

    June 13, 2010 at 1:00 pm

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