You are here
How to Make a Wallet Shrine
Our Church of Craft project this month was Shrine Wallets. Since I forgot my camera this time, I'll offer up a tutorial instead.
These are based on Mexican Shrine Wallets, which are small, tri-fold pocket shrines. Unfolded, they reveal pictures of saints, a miniature rosary, and a printed prayer folded up into a pocket. There's a photo of one here.
My version is a more generalized pocket shrine, which can commemorate anything you like. I love the idea of carrying one around in your bag as a reminder of your favorite people, places, or things.
It all begins with two pieces of felt, cut to the same size. Mine are 3.5" tall by 5.5" long, but you can really make them any size you like.
You'll want to mark the center of each piece. I do this by folding each one in half, and placing a couple of pins along the fold. These pins help keep you from placing any embellishments over the fold -- because that could become a problem later on.
. . . Did someone say "embellishments?" Now's the time for those. It's so much easier to decorate your felt pieces before you assemble them into a shrine.
So you can really go to town here -- embroidery is great, ric rac is great, beads and sequins and felt applique. Here are some samples I have in progress:
(Learn to make these ric rac flowers at Primrose Design. I love them!)
You can add photographs, too! I glued this one down to the camel-colored piece with good old Aleene's Tacky Glue, and then glued the light-blue frame over it. (I did the couching on the light blue before I glued it down.) Those are my great-grandparents -- aren't they cute?
You can also use Aleene's to glue paper cut-outs right to your felt -- another embellishment option!
And you can add stuff like little pockets, and tags, and charms. You'll quickly become addicted to this part.
Once you've torn yourself away from embellishing, it's time to assemble your shrine. Put the two pieces together, right sides facing out. Join them along three sides with a whip stitch. But leave the top open. (And let me refer you to Futuregirl's excellent tutorial on sewing felt.)
Now, use those pins you placed to mark the center as a guide, and run a little running stitch down the center to help you fold your shrine.
You now have two openings in the top of your shrine. You'll want to insert a piece of cardstock into each one, to give your shrine some body. (The cardstock can be any old thing -- an old greeting card, some junk mail, etc.)
Just cut the cardstock so that it fits inside the two panels of your shrine. The pieces should be short enough to leave you some room to stitch up the top.
If you want to be extra shriney, you could also insert something secret into the inside of your shrine -- like a picture, or a handwritten note. That would be really cool.
Okay, so now you can stitch the top closed. And if you like, you can add some ribbon ties or a button-and-loop to hold your shrine closed.
If you want to make a three-fold shrine, you can start with felt pieces that are a little longer -- mine are 6.5" long by 3.5" tall. And the process is pretty much the same.
The only crucial thing to remember with a three-panel shrine is that the panel that will fold to the inside of the shrine should be a little narrower than the other two panels. (In other words, all three panels shouldn't be the same width. If you made it that way, it wouldn't fold up nicely.)
When you're looking at the inside part of your shrine, this narrower panel will be the one on the right-hand side.
When you're looking at the outside part of your shrine, this narrower panel will be the one on the left-hand side.