DIY: Miss Emergency Rescue Kit
If I’m not at home, it is a guarantee that something bad is going to happen and I won’t have the required tool to save the day. Catastrophes like painful splinters, surprise cold sores and losing keys under the car in the dark are a little more common happenings that I would like to admit. You’d think that 30+ years of being a klutz/accident prone gal would have taught me to get prepared before now, but better late than never!
Since I have a huge collection of wallets that are going unused in my closet, I really wanted to repurpose one. A couple years back, I really wanted a yellow wallet. I found one and used it for a year or more before I became tired of it. So tired of it, in fact, that it hasn’t been used since and probably won’t be. It seemed like a good an option as any to try a little DIY surgery and experimentation.
I learned that there isn’t a whole lot you can do with the small amount of space the interior of a wallet affords. But, if you tear the insides out and start from scratch, it turns out there’s plenty of space for a whole lot of emergency saving rescue items. Plus, since this isn’t a store bought kit, it is personalized to specifically the type of emergencies you tend to have!
Want to make your own conveniently purse sized rescue kit? First things first, decide what you want in it. To start I made a list of all of the emergency things that could come in handy. I then pared down the list to the things that I would most likely need. Here’s the list with an asterisk next to what I wound up using for mine…
- bandaids *
- pain medication *
- nail file *
- clear fingernail polish
- little scissors
- mini toothbrush *
- emergency cash *
- tweezers *
- feminine needs
- pen & small post its
- needle and thread
- hair tie *
- bobby pins *
- cough drops
- safety pins (aka risque cleavage rescue) *
- stain remover pen
- breath mints
- dental floss
- lip balm
- specialty medicine (i.e. cold sore medicine) *
- spare earring backs *
- glasses repair kit *
- nail clippers *
- mini flashlight *
- extra house and car keys *
- chocolate (because who doesn’t need emergency chocolate from time to time * (Friendly tip, Tootsie Rolls don’t melt!)
If you know what is going into yours, here are the supplies you’ll need to wrangle up:
- empty Tic Tac container
- thin cardboard (like from a gift box)
- regular cardboard
- thin elastic
- embroidery floss and needle
- spray adhesive
- fabric marking pen
- optional – spray paint
Step 1: If you want to change the exterior color of your wallet, go ahead and do that first. Mine started yellow and wound up silver! Use as many coats as necessary to get a nice, even finish. Allow to dry fully before moving on.
Remove the inside portions of your wallet. If you need assistance, shove a butter knife into a credit card slot for a bit of extra leverage. Trace one of the inserts on your felt plus your light and regular cardboard twice (one for each side). Trim the felt and light cardboard exactly as is, but trim the heavier cardboard a smidge (about an 1/8th of an inch) in from your traced line.
Step 2: Place both pieces of your felt face up in front of you. Gather your rescue products and put any small things together in your Tic Tac container. Situate your supplies on top of your felt pieces until you get as many as you can to fit.
If you have more items than room, you may have to cut out one or two of your less needed items. Don’t forget that the edges will slip underneath to hold the insert in – that space needs to be left clear in order for that to happen. I kept a quarter inch all around clear, just to be safe.
If you want a pocket, cut out of your felt and place with your other items. I added a little strap onto my pocket to keep my emergency safety pin.
Step 3: Use your fabric marking pen to trace the outline of each item as it lays on the felt.
Take your embroidery thread and begin stitching on your drawn outlines. I used 6 strands for very heavy lines, but the amount of floss you use is up to you. The more strands you use the thicker the lines, the less the finer.
Step 4: Elastic is what will hold in the majority of your items. For longer things, like tweezers, it is a good idea to use two pieces – one near the top and one near the bottom.
While stitching your drawn lines, include your elastic as needed. This will save you from having to go back and stitch your elastic on later.
If you’re adding a pocket, sew that on now also. You can also add extra storage room by cutting a ponytail holder in half and tacking it down in the middle. You will be able to use that to tie in things like other ponytail holders!
Step 5: Now it’s time to put your wallet back toghether. Place your heavier piece of cardboard in first. If it’s a bit too big, trim as necessary.
Spray your lighter weight cardboard liberally with spray adhesive. Allow to become tacky and then place your felt piece onto the glue to adhere. Use your hands to smooth out and remove any creases or air pockets. Allow a few minutes to fully dry.
Step 6: Place your inserts into the wallet. If they are side specific, make sure that you’re placing them correctly. Shove two of the sides directly under the metal rim. The other two you’ll need to use an implement, like a small flat screwdriver to help seat the felt piece fully.
Fill your rescue kit with all of your emergency goodies, snap it shut, toss it in your purse and call it a day! The next time you find a run in your hose, a splinter in your finger, or any other little emergency decides to rear its ugly head, you’ll be fully prepared to take it on!