A leather wallet is a fashionable accessory used by both men and women.
They are stylish, durable, and a staple of good taste and fashion.
The only downside is that leather stretches. Whether the wallet is too big when you bought it or the leather has stretched over the time, you’ll surely have to shrink a leather wallet sooner or later.
I remember the first time I noticed my favorite leather wallet was too loose.
I didn’t know at the time that there was a way to shrunk it.
So, I just went ahead and bought a new leather wallet.
Long story short, it has one of the dumbest decisions I made.
Because I could have saved my favorite accessory by simply following the quick steps below.
This simple method works wonders on all leather items, including loosen leather purses or shoes.
Table of Contents
Tools and Materials
- A small bowl
- Lukewarm water
- Hair dryer (optional)
- Leather conditioner
How to Shrink A Leather Wallet
Shrinking a leather wallet is easier than you could imagine. All you have to do is follow the simple steps below.
Step 1 – Prepare Your Wallet
The first step is to make sure your wallet is completely empty. Because you will have to soak the wallet in water, leaving stuff inside could provoke irreversible damage to whatever you keep inside it. Forgetting items inside the wallet may also prevent the leather from shrinking.
Since leather and water are not exactly best friends, it is not recommended to use this method too often. Hence, getting it right the first time is important.
With this in mind, check all pockets and slots your wallet has and make sure you removed everything before proceeding.
Step 2 – Soak the wallet in lukewarm water
We all know that water can damage leather, but lukewarm water also helps shrinking it.
So, take a small bowl and fill it with lukewarm water. Soak the wallet in it and let it sit for no more than 20 minutes. In most cases, 15 minutes should suffice.
A timer can help at this stage, as it will prevent you from forgetting the wallet in water.
Remember that keeping it immersed for too long could cause irreversible damage. The leather may crack when it dries off, and nothing will be able to save it.
Step 3 – Reshape your wallet
This step is often overlooked, but it’s super important. A stretched out wallet has probably lost its original shape, and you should do your best to reshape it.
To do this, open and close the wallet a few times, then, with the wallet closed, press it together with your hands and work it around a bit to get it back in shape.
Now, take two plastic cards and place one on each side of the wallet. This will help the wallet maintain its shape during the drying process.
However, don’t use more than one card on each side. The purpose is to give the shrinking leather a little guide, not to prevent it from shrinking.
Step 4 – Dry the wallet
Soaked leather will shrink as it dries, so the next thing to do is let the wallet dry.
The best way to do this is by placing the item on a flat surface, possibly in a sunny area but avoiding the strong mid-day sunshine, and let it air dry for an hour or so.
At this stage, apply a small quantity of leather conditioner to the wallet and work it in with a smooth microfiber cloth. During this process, reshape and press the wallet with your hands to help it shrink properly.
Remember that it is essential to use only a little bit of conditioner, as too much of it can prevent the shrinking.
Once you’ve done that, let the wallet dry completely, for at least 12 hours.
If you don’t want to wait for an hour to apply the conditioner, you can speed up the process with a hair dryer. Set the appliance on the lowest temperature setting and direct the warm air jet onto the leather from a distance of at least 10 inches.
Dry it for 15-20 minutes, then apply the conditioner. You can also speed up the whole drying process by blow drying the wallet after you’ve conditioned the leather until it’s fully dry.
However, I don’t recommend it. The hot air can damage the delicate leather, causing it to crack.
Step 5 – Condition your wallet
Regardless of how you chose to dry the wallet, once it’s completely dry, you have to condition the leather to prevent it from cracking.
At this stage, you should apply an abundant quantity of leather conditioner. Work it in with a soft, microfiber cloth, while massaging and pressing the leather with your hands.
Most wallet manufacturers sell their products with conditioning instructions, so you could use those if you still have them. Otherwise, use the instructions on the conditioner.
Let the wallet sit for another 12 hours before filling it up again with your items.
How To Prevent A Leather Wallet From Stretching?
While the method above works wonders for shrinking leather in general and wallets in particular, it’s best to prevent it from shrinking in the first place.
To do that, avoid filling your wallet with junk.
Unless you really need to carry dozens of cards, receipts, vouchers and coupons, leave them at home.
Indeed, you typically don’t need more than two bank cards, some cash, and your driver’s licence or work badge. Leave anything else at home; not only you’ll keep your leather wallet in shape for longer, carrying fewer items can also prevent theft or too many headaches in case you lose the wallet.
If you’re not sure what to carry, check out the video below:
Wrapping It All Up
Shrinking a leather wallet is doable, but you could prevent it by simply avoiding overloading your wallet.
With that in mind, you can now also shrink a wallet should you ever need to.
So, what do you say?
Would you rather shrink a leather wallet or buy a new one?
Have you ever tested this method? If yes, what was the outcome?
Tell me in a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
And don’t forget, if you liked this article, share it with your friends.