September 28, 2010

The Lunch Money Cuff Tutorial


My son has just started first grade this year, and we let him buy his lunch once a week.   Instead of him having to carry his wallet, he can just wear this cuff that can hold his lunch money (or keys, notes, etc.). 


I remembered when I was young seeing a watch with a detachable face that held money.  I thought it would be fun to be able to make something similar that would hold money.  I did do some research and saw that these types of things are sold online, but now you can make your own with some cute fabric!


*I made mine to fit my 5 and 7 year old.  You can adjust the longer measurement to fit your child’s wrist.  Just make sure to leave some room for the velcro.

What You Will Need:

-two pieces measuring 8.5” x 3” of the lining fabric

-two pieces measuring 8.5” x 3” of the outer fabric

-3” zipper (if you don’t know how to shorten a zipper, here is a good tutorial for doing so on

-2.5” strip velcro

-two 1” x 4” pieces fusible interfacing

-glue stick


(*I learned how to do this type of zipper following this tutorial found here on U-Handbag.  It was a lot easier than I had imagined.  Thank you for the great tutorial, Lisa!)

Iron the fusible interfacing down about 1/2” down from the top and centered, onto the wrong side of one lining piece and one outer piece.  The interfacing is ironed on where the zipper will be placed. 


Place the lining and outer fabric with the interfacing on top of each other, right sides together.DSCF1726

On the back of the lining piece, mark a line in the center horizontally, and 1” down from the top (the interfacing is on the back of this piece, at the top).   DSCF1727 

  Mark a 1/2” x 3” rectangle, using the markings you already drew to make the rectangle centered.  See picture for reference.  (To explain this better:  You will draw a line 1/4” away on either side of the line that was 1” down, and then 1.5” marks on either side of the horizontally centered marking). DSCF1728            

And sew around the rectangle, as follows: DSCF1729

Stick in your seam ripper or cut a small slit with your scissors in the middle.  Now cut a line through the middle, but at the ends cut diagonally to create little triangles:


Now tuck the lining fabric through the slit.DSCF1731

It’s gonna look a little crazy right now. DSCF1732

Iron it so it looks like this:DSCF1733

Take the glue stick and rub on the fabric part of the zipper. Place the zipper in the rectangle—the glue will hold it in place while you sew. 



Use your zipper foot and sew all the way around the zipper.


So you have this now: DSCF1736

Getting close! 

Take your other outer piece and place right sides together with the zippered outer piece.  Place the other lining piece (the owl fabric in the picture), right side together with the other lining piece (that has the zipper with it).  See the two pictures below for a guide.



Pin them all together, and leave a 3” – 4” gap for turning.  DSCF1597

Sew 1/4” seam around the edge.  Clip corners and turn. 



Tuck in the opening and topstitch around the entire thing.


Place the rough velcro strip on the top and sew on.  The soft side goes on the other end of the cuff, on the back.  


If you don’t want your money to go clear to the ends by the velcro, you can sew a couple lines indicated by where I am pointing, or around there.


You are done!  





Pin It!


  1. What a wonderful idea, thank you very much.
    It's great for making sports!
    Greetings from germany
    Kathrin from tinistaschen

  2. really such a great idea and just cute!

  3. Awesome tutorial! Thanks so much, I'm definitely going to make one. I was so excited to find your website last week, I entered your Purse Week contest, so exciting! Thanks for hosting it!

  4. Geez, I love this for my boy. It wouldn't help with his school lunches [prepay online]...but instead of a wallet when we make special reward trips for him. [We'll plan out special trips for him to bring allowance money to GameStop, etc]

    ♥ -Kat.

  5. Awesome! I'm going to add this to my list of things to try!

  6. Where in the world did you get those adorable fabrics?
    I NEED some! :)

  7. What a fabulous idea!! I love it! Gonna add this to my crafty-to-do list of things I want to make. Thanks for sharing.

  8. thats just awesome! i'm pretty sure i need one of those for myself for disneyland next week.

  9. So cool! Little boy version: adorable. I envision little girl and big girl versions, too!

  10. awesome! this is so handy! thank you for the tutorial!

  11. I love this idea!! I can't wait to get started....The question now is do I put this ahead of my other projects that need to be finished (one of which is a purse that I hope to enter in your contest)???

  12. I want one for myself! The owl fabric makes me squeal :-)

  13. Thank you for this idea! I used it to make my niece a money cuff for her birthday! I posted over on my blog:

  14. This would be great for traveling, too! Love the pretty fabric! I'm going to put your blog on my list of favorites! ♥

  15. i wish i would have had one of those when i was a kid. i remember going on field trips and my mom always made me put money in my shoes incase i got lost. great idea!

  16. This is a great tute!! I am going to have to make a couple for the little kids in my life...and maybe one for me lol

  17. I featured you today over at Today's Top 20! You did an awesome job!!!


  18. Love this tutorial, Thanks for sharing!

  19. I've been waiting for an excuse to link to this great project. I'm including it in my Friday Favorites this week!

  20. I love this zipper method what a nice clean finish and it makes it so easy once under that presser foot. I am a self taught seamstress and I love being able to pick up new tricks! Love the cuff and also I saw this same method on the sleepover pillow case, so great thanks for the time you put into these great tutorials!

  21. this is seriously SPECTACULAR!

  22. Rather than leaving an opening (at the very end, when you are sewing everything together) you can just leave the zipper unzipped, sew all the way around the outside, and use the zipper opening to turn it all right side out.

  23. What a terrific idea! I want one for myself. Too bad I can't sew.

  24. Successfully made two for my boys! YAY! Thank you so much! Now they won't forget their money for church. :)

  25. Hi, this is funny. I made a tutorial for something like this as well. Thought I was original ;-) It's a bit different, more girly.
    Keep up the good work!

  26. This is such a great idea. I saw a link to this blog on $5 Dinners. I think this idea might be good for adults - put your coffee budget in your cuff, and maybe use it around your beverage when you are done.

  27. this is a totally cute idea. But I LOVE how you showed the step by step opening to put in a zipper!

  28. I saw this over a year ago on your blog, I have eventually gotten around to making one myself. I blogged about it and gave you the credit for it on my blog, great work! Here is the link: Hope you have a great day, Karima

  29. This is so cute! Since I never carry a purse or wallet, this is the perfect hands-free solution for where to store my money or key without worrying that they'll fall out of my pocket. Think I'll use snaps instead of velcro for the closures. Thank you so much for sharing! Judy @

  30. Thanks for the tutorial. Super cute and easy.

  31. Hi just thought I'd let you know I have just used your tutorial and found it very simple to follow. I have also linked back here in case anyone wants to find it too.
    My post is here


  32. This is a great idea and I plan to make a couple. I think it would be a great place to add a label with parent contact information just in case the unthinkable should happen.

  33. My kiddos carry wallets, but of course when we're at the store they put them down to look at things...I'm always afraid they'll lose them. I'm looking forward to making these for my kiddos and I know they'll love them too. Thanks for the tutorial!!

  34. What a wonderful idea. Too bad I can't get this site to allow me to pin to my Pinterest board. I've tried both using my pin toolbar, and using the pin button on this site, but I keep getting an error message that doesn't allow me to go any further. I've tried changing photos to see if you're only allowing one photo to be pinned, but - no joy.

    Too bad that I can't keep this for future use (kids grown, grandsons have a few more years before they start school.

  35. Darlene,

    I responded by email but will write the same reply here in case anyone else is having the same problem:

    I'm sorry, that is frustrating. I am having no problem trying to pin any of the pictures--I do not have any restrictions on pinning on my blog. If you are trying to pin from blog-lovin, I have run into the same problem. To fix that, click the x on the blog-lovin bar above the blog, and it will take you to the main blog page for that post and you should be able to pin it. Hope that helps!

  36. Thank you so much for looking at this.

    Hummmm....I'm not using blog-lovin, but trying to post straight from your blog page. I do use Firefox and the Pinterest button that you can put on the Firefox bookmark tool bar. The only two blogs I've had problems with is yours and "One Good Thing" and with OGT, I can use the Pinterest button on her blog to get it to post. This is the error message I get - whether I use my Pinterest button or yours:
    Parameter 'image_url' (value is not a valid URL format.

    I'm usually pretty tech-savvy, but this has me stumped and I don't know what this particular error code means.

    Totally weird. And I waited for a week or so to reply back to your reply as Firefox was due an update. I was hoping that maybe the update would fix the problem, but no joy.

    I just tried again to use both my button, and yours - to no avail.

    I've tried using several different photos thinking that maybe there was a downloading glitch, but that didn't fix the problem either.

    I wonder if anyone else using Firefox is having problems pinning from this page.

    Thanks again!

  37. This is such an awesome idea. I'll definitely be making one of these for my 8yo nephew and for my niece when she gets school age^^ Thanks for posting this!!

  38. I just made one today and it turned out great. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial and idea. It will help my kindergartener make it to lunch with his money :). I tried it on all my kids and it fit them too (ages 5, 7, 9 and 11.)

  39. Thank you so much for taking time to put together this excellent tute! Your instructions are clear and the images are very helpful.

  40. I love this so much for my son! Always forgets his money at home and I'm always worried he'll lose his wallet. I am always on pintrest but this will be my very first pin!! Had to share! Thank you so much for sharing this!


I appreciate your comments so much and read every single one of them. I try my best to respond and will do so with a follow-up comment after yours. So make sure to check back and see if I've responded. I sometimes answer through email as well, but I can only do so if you have your email linked in your profile.

Hope you have a wonderful day!!!


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