Passport Wallet and Travel Diary

Whenever I used to travel overseas with the family, passport and boarding pass management for the 4 of us was something I always stressed out about.

Our last trip back in 2019, I had made a passport wallet specifically to hold all of our passports and only the credit cards I was traveling with. It was my first time designing and cutting for leather on the Glowforge. I made a lot of mental notes on what to change for “next time.”

Well…still waiting on next time. But I decided to go through my old files anyways and see what I could update and change. So my passport wallet was renovated. I also found an old paper pattern I had made for a refillable travel diary, and rather than wasting leather and space like that (I hate carrying things), I just combined the two.

I’m not a leatherworker at all. I lack any leather tools to make the edges nice and thin, but it works as is. I used the leather stitching pony from the catalog to help me out this time, and good thing too. I came out of this project with both thumbs intact and no unintentional piercings.

This is in the medium proofgrade leather. I painted it poorly with leather acrylic paint. It required much sanding after painting because I noticed that every surface in my house is covered in cat hair, which also meant that my freshly painted cover was also covered in fur…which didn’t look good at all.

It fits 2 passports comfortably and 2 cards (my original used some softer leather, so I was able to jam 5 passports into it). My husband told me I should have changed the shape of the pocket to make the passport easier to pull out…but I honestly wanted it deep because I’m so scared of losing them.

I also tried my hand at a small removable keepsake folder for the inside…I only added this because it was part of my original paper pattern…though I can’t for the life of me remember why I made it (it’s been a number of years). I changed it a little to add space for a couple more cards, but I wouldn’t put anything important in it, probably pictures and admission tickets and whatnot.

Anyways, I can cut up some printer paper and slide it in under the elastic to hold it in, and my pen sits well on the closure. The design is simple enough to be put together quickly. I like it…and I have found that keeping it on my desk is very distracting…I keep looking up airline tickets and travel regulations instead of working…


Nicely done! The number of times it’d be nice to have a piece of paper while traveling is not small - “I can write that on my phone” is harder when you’re talking on your phone :stuck_out_tongue:

If you rub leather conditioner (or coconut oil) into the leather it’ll soften up quite a bit (do some on a scrap first) - it’ll never get as soft as milled leather, but certainly softer than right off the shelf PG :slight_smile:


I actually like how stiff the PG is. It made lining up the holes for sewing super easy. Plus, I imagine it getting softer over time.

The original wallet I made would not be able to be a “diary.” It was too floppy without the passports giving it shape. The leather was too soft. :rofl:

I’ll try the conditioner on a piece of scrap to see how much of a difference it makes. My husband wants me to make a watchband like what Brad Pitt wears in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”…I’ve never seen the movie…I really don’t think leather is my thing. I need some tools to make it less bulky.


You did a great job on this! I love working with leather. I haven’t done a lot but love the smell:-)

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Hmm…I would say the reason I don’t work with leather often (besides the high price tag), is the smell…yeah…not a fan of it.

You did a wonderful job, and satisfied all your own requirements by the sound of it. Hope you and the family get to travel again soon.


You sure you’re not a leather worker? Looks pretty professional to me. Very nice!


To clarify, i love the smell of ‘leather’ not cutting leather :rofl:


:rofl::rofl: this makes more sense.

@cynd11 leatherworker, definitely not. I’ll give all the credit for the clean project to my Glowforge and the stiffness of the proofgrade materials. As for the pattern, I’ll take credit for that :rofl::rofl: at least it’s the only thing I can claim professional experience in this project.

@arh2 I hope we get to the point where we can all travel soon. Most of my friends are foreign nationals who can’t travel back home or visit family because of the pandemic now.

A good friend of mine and I were talking about a trip to Vietnam before the pandemic so she could show me her hometown; now she can’t even go back to visit her parents.

And I’m definitely due for a visit with my brother and my husband with his grandmother. We’ll get there eventually, just hopefully it’s sooner rather than later (grandmother is in her 90s).

And I’m probably the only person on the planet who looks forward to seeing the airline meals and their packaging… weird things i miss :rofl::rofl:


Lovely!!! Will be perfect for your next trip!