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Index-card Wallet August 9, 2006

Posted by caveblogem in Hipster PDA, Origami, Other.

I always liked using index cards for notes and lists and that sort of thing.  And I like those “pocket briefcases” that Levenger makes.  But they can be a little large for shirt pockets, and they are also a little thick.  (I should probably say here that I have four different types of Levenger’s Pocket Briefcases, and would not part with them and still use them.  They are particularly nice in that most of them allow you to write on them without extracting a card.)  Anyway, this is my workaround, which is based upon an old letterfold technique.  I think this might be particularly nice for those of you out there who use a Hipster PDA, but who want something a little more elegant than binder clips (and which won’t scratch a wooden desk, etc.). 

Here are instructions (with pictures) for making your own useful index-card wallet thing out of paper:

Step One–Get a nice piece of paper.  The one below is a cut-out section of a shopping bag.  Despite the appearance, it is a rectangle (7 7/8″ X 9 7/8″).  This size will give you a card holder that is about 3 1/8″ X 5 1/8″.  You could use standard (well in the bizarro U.S. sense of the word “standard,” at least, where we still use inches without a trace of irony) 8 1/2″ X 11″ letter paper.  Shopping bag paper is very durable.  And sometimes it has cool designs like this on it.  My personal favorites so far are from two used bookstores in Burlington, Crow Bookshop (which has a picture of a crow) and North Country Books (which depicts a growling bear).  Using shopping bags is also almost-sort-of-like reusing stuff and being less wasteful, kinda.  Take any design you want to appear on the finished product and put that part face down, not like it appears below, but instead so that you can’t see the cool design at all, cause it’s facing down. . .


Step Two–Take the bottom right corner and fold it so that it exactly meets the top left corner and crease the fold.


Step Three–Unfold and then fold from one end of the crease you just made to the other end of the crease you just made, which will give you a new fold that should start at the bottom right corner and extend all the way to the top left corner.


Step Four–These two creases have made an “X” in the middle of the paper.  Fold now the bottom right corner so that it ends up exactly at that “X”.


Step Five–Then take the bottom left corner and fold it so that its crease ends up at the “X” in the middle of the paper and its corner overlaps the previous fold and lines up along its top edge.


Step Six–The next fold overlaps the previous fold, too.  And it’s crease also goes exactly to the middle of the paper (which I have turned now a little, for reasons that seemed to make sense at the time but which seem stupid and ill-conisdered now).


Step Seven–So now fold the top part down so that the point exactly meets the center of the thing.  This pointy part, let us call it “A,” will need to be inserted into the slots at which the arrows are pointing in the drawing below (as you fold the thing now in half along its crease).  It is a difficult manuever the first time, but it gets much easier after you do a couple. This whole sequence is called a “Daisy Letterfold” and is diagrammatically represented much more succinctly here: http://www.ghh.com/elf/daisy_l.html by John Cunliffe.  Cunliffe refers to the Daisy Letterfold’s creator as Nick Robinson, but I’m pretty sure I have seen this depicted in much older works, although not so well as Cunliffe does.


This gives you the thing shown below, which has a pocket accessible from the top, and a different pocket accessible from the side.  There is also a more secure pocket which may only be opened by unfolding the whole apparatus, although I rarely use that one.  I use the top pocket for blank cards and the other one for cards with stuff on them, because there is less chance of losing cards in the side pocket accidentally, although it has never happened to me. 


Unlike the leather “Pocket Briefcases” and other index card holders I have seen, this one accomodates a pen quite easily, without having to add a little pen-holding loop apparatus thing, which would in any case detract from the sleek design (and its ability to store groups of cards in card-files that are adequately roomy). 


Anyway, there’s that. 



1. wiorka - October 19, 2006

Thank you for this :) Easy to fold and pretty, the only thing left is to buy index cards now ;)

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