The reasons I decided to build this wallet are because of my new credit card, an AMEX Clear (amazing), which has an RFID tag, my school ID, and some research I did on how easily these really can be hacked. It is nearly as simple as buying a credit card machine on eBay, pumping up the power, and plugging it into your computer, then collecting all the credit card RFID information that goes by. An absolutely ridiculous lack of security and disclosure is what the consumers get to look forward to today.
The copper I used was purchased on eBay for about $9. It was a 16×20″ sheet of 80 mesh. The only thing I would change in the copper would be how soft it is. I have in the past seen a copper mesh that is as soft as a cotton teeshirt, but this is more like heavy paper (maybe that soft recycled construction paper). If I knew what specifications to look for to get a softer copper I would. Note: Others have suggested that a softer copper might not be as good due to shape retention. I still want to try it though.
here is the link to the ebay auction where I bought the copper: ebay copper mesh link
These steps make a bifold wallet.
1. cut a piece of copper mesh approximately 23×18 cm (9×7 inches) (if you can make it slightly trapezoidal that would be optimum. The 23cm sides should be parallel, but the shorter side should be angled slightly to make the whole sheet trapezoidal. This allows for your wallet to have stuff in it without being too tight. )
2. fold the longer sides about 1.5 cm in
3. fold the shorter sides in about 1.5 cm
4. (optional) line the side with the folded edges with a nonabrasive, durable cloth (I am going to use silk, microfiber, or another extremely light material so that it does not increase the weight of the wallet at all, but you could use anything) and sew that over the folded down edges.
5. fold the sheet in half lengthwise, such that it looks like an open wallet.
6. Line up the edges (if you made it trapezoidal, it will not lie flat at this point, that is okay, just line up the edges.) and sew the two sides together, about halfway up leaving the top open. (not sewing it all the way up prevents you from having to open the wallet completely in order to remove items)
I have not actually finished building my entire wallet, I am currently using one that is not sewn, and that does not have a lining. The folds are staying taught enough to prevent things from falling out, so that is not a problem, but I am worried about the magstrips being scratched off, so I am making sure there is a bill on either side of my cards (which I have tucked under the folded edges of the wallet) to prevent any scratching.
I actually like this enough that I might not sew in a liner… you can see through it somewhat when looking straight on, but not at any angles. pretty cool.
I’ll probably be making a few of these in the next couple of weeks (I need to get to joanne’s or something to get some lining, “disposable” light needles, and maybe some matching coloured string.) and I will be trying a couple of different designs. I will likely do at least two lined wallets, and probably a card holder since I don’t normally carry any cash, and if I do I could always use my moleskine.
RFID Blocking Copper Mesh Wallet (V0.5) by aliencam (Cameron Kopas) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at blog.aliencam.net.
If you would like to repost this, feel free to do so as long as you post the above license information with a link back here. Although it is not required, please notify me with a comment on this page, I would like to know where my things are posted. thank you.