Saturday, April 10, 2010

Yoka Wallets

Yoka Wallet Assortment

So, what in the world is a "Yoka Wallet"? First I'll introduce you to Yoka Hart. I met this sunny, friendly, lovely woman at the internet shop in El Valle, Panama as we both struggled with the technology of getting our photos onto our travel blogs. (Click here for Yoka's blog.) A few days later, I stopped on my bicycle at the sweet little apartment she and her equally-lovely husband Matthew were renting for the month on the outskirts of El Valle.

During our Tea Break, Yoka told me she was an artist and showed me a beautiful bag made from one of her weavings. Then she gave me a wallet she had made from one of the wine boxes they bought while in Panama. (Look for the bunch of green grapes with yellow tape trim above.) She said she made the wallet because she needed a wallet to keep her  currencies separate while in Costa Rica. She also gave me a milk carton on which I could practice making my own, along with verbal instructions. I had some trouble finding the electrical tape she used to make hers, so the boxes and bags accumulated during the trip. I even collected a couple of wine boxes from fellow birders, including a nice one from Sue that is on its way to her now as a Red Wine Yoka Wallet. She is going to give it a test run. I hope it holds up and is fun to use! The graphics and text make this a great ReUse Project.

I ended up making several wallets from boxes I brought back (they are SO common down there), including a couple from the Duran coffee bags we bought on our first day in El Valle and one from an apple juice box, the text mostly in Spanish. My favorite, though, is one I made from a box I bought here in our local supermarket. I love mango juice, so it didn't take long to come up with this:

To make a Yoka wallet:
  • Try to find a box that has a rectangular circumference, to avoid making the "pleats" too thick. If the box is fairly lightweight, it doesn't matter so much.
  • Wash the beverage box thoroughly (of course).
  • With an Exacto knife or box cutter, cut off the bottom of the box. I like to use a plastic square on a cutting mat to get it even and - well - square.
  • Cut off the half of the top that holds the spout, leaving the other half for your top flap.
  • Fold the sides of the box inward so that a symmetrical pleat is formed.
  • Fold the length of the box in half, using a bone folder or some some other tool to flatten the fold. (Pliers may be needed to squash the fold enough to make it fold properly.)
  • You may want to use electrical tape on all the cut edges, but you must at least use a length of tape to join the innermost edges together so you end up with two compartments.
  • The extra flap you left when you cut the top of the box will be folded over now to cover the compartments.
  • Glue little pieces of Velcro on the edge of the flap and on the front of the wallet so they meet up. (You might need to put tape on the flap if the glue doesn't adhere to the plastic of the box interior. Seems to stick better to the tape.) I used the very serious E6000 glue.
  • Put a little money inside and let it steep for a day before taking your Yoka Wallet out into the world.
Please try this out and send me any comments about how to improve my directions. Enjoy!


Merry@St. Louis said...

Hey, welcome back! I love these! Heading to my bin right now to recover a half and half container, for a pint-size yoka. Hope to see you soon!

Cris Winters said...

How did your Yoka Wallet turn out, Merry? Bring it to show me when you come for a paddle with Susan and me up here in the North Country.