Sunday, 25 January 2015

Elephant No. 114: Duct Tape Wallet

A couple of years ago, I made a duct tape elephant for my original Elephant a Day blog. He was cute but wasn't terribly practical, so today I thought I'd try making a duct tape wallet.

I started by buying a bunch of duct tape in pretty colours and patterns. My idea was to have a patterned background, with a solid-coloured elephant, and some sort of extra decorations, should I feel so inclined. The coloured duct tape seems to come in rolls of 10 feet/3 metres, so make sure to buy two rolls of your main colour.

My original idea was to take a wallet I already have and use it a template. But the very idea made my brain hurt. Instead, I looked on YouTube, and found a fantastic step-by-step tutorial by Chloe Hsu.

Because her tutorial is so good, I won't describe all the steps here with measurements and such, but the photographs below will give you an idea of how I got to the basic bifold wallet.

Now it was time to make an elephant to decorate it. I wasn't sure if I wanted one elephant that stretched across the entire wallet, one elephant on each half, or just one elephant on the front, so I decided to do a rough sketch. I decided on an elephant on each half.

To create the elephants, I laid down two strips of purple duct tape. I made a cardboard template and traced around it twice, then cut everything out with a craft knife.

It was fun, but a bit plain, so I added acrylic rhinestones.

I wanted to bring a touch of purple to the inside, so I added some purple duct tape crowns, also with rhinestones.

It's a great design, with six credit card pockets, two hidden pockets and a place for money. It's not terribly practical for a barbarian like me, but it was easy and fun to make, and would make a great project for kids.

Elephant Lore of the Day
For centuries, elephants have appeared on coins and banknotes—sometimes representing countries with indigenous elephant populations, but just as often not.

The British province of Carolina, for example—which was roughly equivalent to the southeastern United States—had an elephant coin in 1694.

Carolina coin, 1694

In 1990, the Cook Islands issued a tiny coin bearing an elephant, described as "smaller than a pinkie fingernail and quite thin."

Cook Islands $25 coin, 1990

An eighteenth-century coin from Coventry, England, featured Lady Godiva on one side, and an elephant on the other. In this case, however, the elephant made a certain amount of sense, as an elephant with a castle on its back was a symbol of Coventry and featured on its coat of arms.

Coventry halfpenny, 1792

African countries, of course, have always featured elephants prominently on their currency, and coins from ancient Greece and Rome often bore images of war elephants.

Coin from Seleucid Empire, Greece.
145–144 B.C.
Coin from rule of Julius Caesar
49–44 B.C.

My favourite elephant coin of all, however, is this gold coin from the Western Gangas kingdom, which flourished  in central India from about A.D. 300–1000. The stylized design is gorgeous, and I may just reproduce this little guy at some point.

Coin from Western
Gangas empire
A.D. 1200–1400

For an excellent overview of coins, currency and metal tokens depicting elephants, click here.

To Support Elephant Welfare


  1. Duct tape is pretty much the best invention of all time. The wallet looks great.

  2. Thanks, Barb. I had no idea you could make such an elaborate wallet with the stuff!